HK$8.3m set aside for new chief's interim office
The government has earmarked HK$8.28 million to operate the office of the chief executive-designate who will be elected in March, documents submitted to the Legislative Council constitutional affairs panel showed yesterday. The temporary office is expected to operate for just three months.
Of the sum, HK$5.31 million will be spent on salaries. Most of the staff are expected to be civil servants seconded to the office, which will be in the west wing of the former government headquarters in Central.
Five directorate-grade officers, including the head and a secretary general as well as a private secretary, will staff the office.
'We will renovate the 12th floor of the west wing of the former government offices to accommodate the chief executive-elect's office,' the paper said.
It will open on March 25, the day the next chief executive is chosen, and will close by June 30. Four cars will be provided for the office, which will help the chief executive-designate form a governing team and liaise with the administration for a smooth transition.
In December 1996, the government set up an office for the first chief executive-designate, Tung Chee-hwa, in the Asia-Pacific Finance Tower in Central. It was used until June 1997 and cost HK$18.1 million to operate, of which HK$13.6 million went on staff. Tung's office had 87 staff.
Michael Suen Ming-yeung, the then home affairs secretary of the pre-handover administration, served as Tung's secretary for policy co-ordination, while the then deputy director of housing Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun was the office's director. Law is now running the campaign office of Leung Chun-ying, one of the front runners to be chief executive.
Raymond Tam Chi-yuen, secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, said the new leader would have no authority until July 1.
The Legislative Council's constitutional affairs panel will discuss the plan on Monday.