At the invitation of the Administration, the three advisory
bodies on civil service salaries and conditions of service
agreed to conduct a review of the pay policy and system for
the civil service.
The three advisory bodies are the Standing Commission on Civil
Service Salaries and Conditions of Service; the Standing Committee
on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service;
and the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions
A Task Force was established in January 2002 to conduct the
review in two phases. It released its Phase One Interim
Report in mid-April 2002, followed by public consultation
until June 30, 2002.
The three advisory bodies today (September 20) submitted the
Phase One Final Report of the Task Force to the Administration.
The recommendations of the Task Force are mainly conceptual
at this stage, with specific areas identified for further
study in Phase Two. The Task Force has also identified
some pressing issues which it believes the Administration
In the short term, the Task Force suggests that priority should
be given to devising a practical framework and methodology
for conducting a pay level survey, and to reviewing the pay
trend survey methodology. The Administration should
consider the appropriate interim measures to be adopted for
the annual civil service pay adjustment exercise pending the
outcome of the above review.
In the medium term, the Task Force suggests
that an extensive and critical assessment should be made regarding
the staff appraisal system to see what changes are needed
in order to pave the way for introducing elements of performance
pay and flexible pay ranges to civil servants, preferably
the senior tier (directorate level). Consolidation of
job-related allowances should also be adopted as a target,
as part of a move towards a "clean wage" policy
in the long run.
In the long term, decentralisation of pay administration,
as part of the devolution of human resource management, should
be adopted as a target after detailed feasibility studies
are conducted. The ultimate objective is to allow departments
greater freedom to manage pay arrangements to suit their needs.
A "clean wage" policy with benefits incorporated
into base pay should also be adopted as a target.
While the Task Force pointed out that changes could not be
rushed, it also emphasised the importance of taking proactive
steps towards its vision of a modern civil service pay system.
The Task Force will consider next the appropriate scope,
methodology and timeframe for Phase Two of the review.