Published: 18:12, June 10, 2022 | Updated: 23:12, June 10, 2022
Funding for SAR govt's restructuring plan approved
By William Xu

This March 12, 2021 photo shows buildings of the HKSAR government and Legislative Council in Central, Hong Kong. (LI GANG / XINHUA)

HONG KONG – A proposed HK$120 million ($15.29 million) funding to foot the bill of the special administrative region government’s restructuring plan was approved by the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee on Friday. 

The committee approved the funding overwhelmingly with 73 votes in favor, one against and two abstentions.

READ MORE: HK Executive Council approves government restructuring plan

The restructuring plan will be put to a vote by the assembly of the Legislative Council on Wednesday

The government’s revamping proposal intends to increase the number of bureaus from 13 to 15 and add 70 posts, including 13 politically appointed officials. 

The expansion is expected to incur expenditure of HK$120 million a year, of which HK$ 95 million will be used as salaries for the new openings. 

It also proposes to add three deputy secretaries, one each to assist the city’s chief secretary for administration, financial secretary, and secretary for justice. 

The proposal intends to set up a new Culture, Sports, and Tourism Bureau, and split the Transport and Housing Bureau into two separate bureaus.

The restructuring plan, previously approved by the city’s Executive Council and LegCo’s Establishment Subcommittee, will be put to a vote by the assembly of the Legislative Council on Wednesday. 

If approved, it will be gazetted on June 17, to make it effective for the start of the new-term government on July 1 when John Lee Ka-chiu is sworn in as the new chief executive.

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The restructuring will help the government be more focused, create better synergies, and form a clear labor division among government departments, the CE designate said after the Executive Council approval.

Acting on his suggestion, the proposal suggested setting up three new posts as the deputy secretaries. The move aims to enhance policy implementation as the current three secretaries have heavy workloads, which depleted their energy when coordinating and supervising government work.

Under the plan, the chief secretary for administration will take charge of nine bureaus, and the financial secretary will lead six.