The Policy Address 2000

Executive Accountability

109. The SAR Government represents the executive authorities of HongKong, responsible for formulating and implementing policies, conducting awide range of administrative affairs and drafting and introducing legislation.More than 20 principal officials play an important role in the formulation andimplementation of policies pivotal to the effectiveness of the administration.

110. As I have mentioned earlier, following the reunification, a period ofadjustment and adaptation is required for our transition from the formerestablishment to the new administration. The public demand for our officialsto be held more accountable is one such example. At present, most of theprincipal officials' posts are held by pensionable civil servants. Theadvantages of having civil servants appointed as principal officials are thatthey focus on objective analysis, establish internal consensus, maintain thecontinuity of our policies and ensure a high degree of administrativeefficiency. The civil service places special emphasis on discipline, follows verystrict codes of conduct and disciplinary procedures, and has maintained avery high standard of integrity. SAR Government officials at different levelshave been very open and active in explaining our policies and accounting forour work to the public, the various councils and the media.

111. I have noted that the previous Legislative Council and thecommunity have expressed the view that as senior officials are involved inpolicy making and play a leading role in public affairs, they should be heldaccountable for the outcome of their policies. As Hong Kong people are nowrunning Hong Kong, I appreciate their aspirations for the SAR Government tobe subjected to a higher degree of accountability. I also agree that the SARGovernment should respond seriously, undertake a thorough review, andmake the system of accountability more complete. We can consider this issueat two levels.

[more ...]

Government Information Centre