Policies and reviews fuel research projects
From the railway merger to a fitness test for firemen, the topics briefed out to consultants reveal a long list of policies and reviews suggested by the government.
The Financial Services and Treasury Bureau earmarked HK$14 million for a consultancy study on the railway merger and HK$19 million for studying the financing of the railway set-up and the Disneyland theme park.
While the Education Bureau topped the list by commissioning 38 studies in 2007-08 and 2008-09, the Central Policy Unit fielded the widest range. Topics covered family policy, young people's participation in politics, Pearl River Delta integration, the 'hidden elderly', social enterprises, and adaptation of strategies for returnees and mainland professional migrants.
The Labour and Welfare Bureau is looking into training and employment programmes for young people without jobs and who have become isolated from the community, in parallel with another study on their learning difficulties and psychological problems.
The Security Bureau is examining drug abuse, with one study on cocaine abuse in Hong Kong, one on drug use among students, one on engaging parents in anti-drug work, and a public opinion survey on anti-drug publicity.
Following a HK$381,348 review on the fitness test for firemen in the past financial year, the Fire Services Department has paid another HK$889,912 for the review to be completed this year.
The Department of Justice has paid HK$4.17 million to ascertain common legal problems faced by the public, which it says will be useful in formulating policy regarding access to justice and legal education.