Critics lambast Leung's 'multi-layer' office plan

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2012, 12:00am


A master plan by chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying to restructure the government would create an unclear chain of command and end in administrative chaos, two prominent critics have warned.

In the latest South China Morning Post debate, former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang and political scientist Cheung Chor-yung cast doubts on how the creation of a deputy for both the chief secretary and financial secretary could improve governance.

Defending the multimillion-dollar revamp, Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, head of the chief executive-elect's office, said it would help with co-ordinating policy formulation, developing long-term plans and expanding the city's economic base.

Cheung, a senior teaching fellow at City University, said: 'If the line of command and the division of responsibility between the new deputies and their subordinate bureau chiefs are not clear, this may create administrative confusion and accountability problems.'

Under Leung's proposal, the new deputies will report to their bosses but not to the chief executive.

'It could cause further confusion since one policy portfolio apparently may involve three subject officers (the chief secretary or financial secretary, their deputies as well as bureau ministers) who all have responsibility over that policy,' Cheung warned.

The proposed changes, which also include new ministers for culture and technology, will cost an extra HK$72 million a year.

Chan said she had never believed that good co-ordination in policymaking could be best achieved 'by creating multiple layers of administration'. She called for a review of the plan.