District councils may hire more help to cope with extra workload

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 December, 2007, 12:00am

District councils will be allowed to employ additional manpower to assist them with more work as the scheme to expand council power is fully implemented next month.

Director of Home Affairs Pamela Tan Kam Mei-wah announced four measures yesterday to improve the scheme as the effectiveness of a nine-month pilot version carried out in four districts was reviewed at the Legislative Council Home Affairs Panel meeting. Under the reform, all 18 district councils will enjoy more power to manage regional facilities such as libraries, swimming pools and leisure ground from next year.

A tenth of the annual HK$300 million fund for community involvement projects would be earmarked for hiring extra personnel to handle various jobs of the councils, Mrs Tan said. A spokeswoman later added that these workers would be employed on non-civil-service contract terms, and would assist the district council in duties including administration work for the committees and working groups, co-ordination and promotion of large-scale and cross-year community involvement projects, and monitoring and evaluation.

Also, councils will no longer have to follow the government's purchase policies when choosing printing, transportation and other providers.