Civil servants making room for ministers
Hundreds of civil servants will have to leave their offices to make room for politically appointed secretaries in government headquarters.
The Administration Wing is busy reorganising office space in Lower Albert Road to accommodate the new secretaries and bureaus.
Under the ministerial system to be implemented on July 1, there will be 11 politically appointed secretaries in addition to the Chief Secretary, the Financial Secretary and the Secretary for Justice.
They will be given supporting staff such as press secretaries and administrative assistants. The existing 16 bureaus will be merged into 11.
Secretary for the Civil Service Joseph Wong Wing-ping said yesterday that about one-third of his 340-member bureau in the West Wing would soon be rehoused in a private commercial building across the road to make way for new appointees.
'As we have a number of new secretaries, the existing Central Government Office is insufficient and therefore my bureau has to make a sacrifice,' he said.
A total floor area of 1,400 square metres at No 9 Queen's Road has been leased to accommodate bureau staff.
The Administration Wing would not disclose the cost involved but said all spending other than the $42 million funding request put to Legco would be met from internal resources. Future use of the offices vacated by the Civil Service Bureau has yet to be decided.