Saturday, May 19, 2012

Oral Presentation at Panel for Constitutional Affairs Meeting on Re-organization of Government Secretariat

Chairman, Councilors, The Professional Commons believes that the proposal to re-organize the Government Secretariat will create the situation of a Top Level Group of policy bureaus directly under the CS and FS, and a secondary level group of bureaus led by the Deputy CS and Deputy FS.  The secondary group of policy bureaus will be confined to lesser important roles and priorities.

For example, from the perspective of the technology sector, there is a concern that the creation of the Technology and Communications Bureau will not live up to the expectation of the industry because of this layered structure.

Also, we are concerned the new structure actually will add more complexity and bureaucracy to the daily operation of the CS and FS and hence the entire Government, not less.

Moreover, adding a huge and practically self-multiplying number of political assistants to the Government will make our administration overly bulky, without serving any proven need.  Instead, it will tip the balance with and hurt the morale of our existing rank-and-file civil servants and administrative officers.

With these concerns, and our belief that there has been insufficient pubic consultation, we urge the Government to conduct the necessary consultation before proceeding, and also consider a number of our proposals including:

#1. Re-grouping the policy bureaus to better align the more related policy areas.

#2. Establishing clearer delineation of policy responsibility between the CS, FS and the proposed Deputy Secretaries.

#3. Creating a Strategic Development Group to coordinate strategic policy development and resource prioritization among the various bureaus.

#4. The level of remuneration for the principal officials and undersecretaries should remain the same and that for the political assistants should be decreased and made consistent with their qualifications, but the number of political assistants should remain at one per bureau.


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