Hong Kong Civil Service
The Hong Kong Civil Service, formerly known as the Administrative Service, is managed by 12 policy bureaux in the Government Secretariat, and 67 departments and agencies, mostly staffed by civil servants. The Secretary for the Civil Service (SCS) is one of the Principal Officials appointed under the Accountability System and a Member of the Executive Council. He heads the Civil Service Bureau (CSB) of the Government Secretariat and is responsible to the Chief Executive (CE) for civil service policies as well as the overall management and development of the civil service. His primary role is to ensure that the civil service serves the best interests of the community and delivers various services in a trustworthy, efficient and cost effective manner.
The Hong Kong civil service provides a wide range of services, which in many countries are divided among various public authorities, e.g. public works and utilities cleansing and public health, education, fire services and the police force. Hong Kong civil servants therefore do a wide variety of jobs. The civil service is a unified service in the sense that all its employees are subject to common appointment procedures and similar disciplinary codes.
Appointments to the civil service are based on open and fair competition. Candidates have to go through competitive appointment processes and are appointed only if they possess the qualifications and capabilities required for the job. Vacancies can be filled by promotion from within the service. In the case of basic ranks or where promotion is not possible or where there is a special need, vacancies are filled by open recruitment. Entry requirements for civil service posts in general are set on the basis of academic or professional qualifications obtainable from local institutions or professional bodies (or equivalent), technical skills, work experience, language proficiency and other qualities and attributes as required. To achieve the aim of a civil service which is bi-literate (Chinese and English) In accordance with the Basic Law, new recruits appointed on or after July 1, 1997 must be permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, save for certain specified exceptions. Officers are promoted on the criteria of character, ability, experience and prescribed qualifications.
It is the Government's established policy to offer sufficient remuneration to attract, retain and motivate staff of a suitable calibre to provide the public with an effective, efficient and high quality service. In order to ensure that civil service pay is regarded as fair and reasonable by both civil servants who provide the service and the public who foot the bill, the Government adopts the principle that the level of civil service pay should be broadly comparable with private sector pay.
The main objectives of training and development are to equip civil servants with updated knowledge and skills, and to develop their potential so that they can continue to improve their performance and provide quality service to the public. There are four core service areas: senior executive development, national studies programmes, human resources management consultancy service and promotion of a continuous learning culture.