Seminar on ‘two sessions’ held

Fewer directorate posts proposed

The Government today said the number of civil service directorate posts it proposes to create this year represents a significant reduction compared to the numbers proposed over the past few years, with the same going for non-directorate posts.


The statement was made in response to media enquiries.


The Government said that in 2024 it expects to submit proposals to the Legislative Council’s Establishment Subcommittee to create four permanent civil service directorate posts and four time-limited civil service directorate posts, and to retain three time-limited civil service directorate posts.


It stressed that targeting zero growth in the overall civil service establishment does not imply that there can be no growth in individual bureaus or departments, which, having regard to operational needs, may still increase in size in terms of directorate and non-directorate posts, and in terms of both permanent and time-limited posts.


It added, however, that in line with the premise of maintaining zero growth, the number of posts created by the Government will not exceed the number of posts expected to be deleted.


To ensure the sustainability of public finances, the Government has strictly controlled the overall size of the civil service establishment since 2021-22.


In 2024-25, the Government will continue to maintain its target of zero growth in the civil service establishment, with the aim of containing the overall establishment at a level not exceeding where it stood at the end of March 2021.


Compared to its size at the of end of March 2021, and despite an increase in public services provided, the civil service will have been reduced by about 2,000 posts during the four-year period since that date.


The Government underlined that the civil service establishment includes permanent and time-limited posts. Time-limited directorate posts are referred to as “supernumerary directorate posts”, which does not mean that they are counted outside the establishment.


To avoid misunderstanding, the Government has clearly highlighted in its submissions to  LegCo since November last year that time-limited directorate posts count towards the size of the overall establishment.


Directorate posts account for less than 1% of the overall establishment.


The Government has a rigorous mechanism to ensure that any proposal for the creation of a directorate post is supported with full justification, and that the post concerned has a substantial operational need, before seeking approval from LegCo.


While the change in individual non-directorate posts does not require the approval of LegCo, any increase will be subject to stringent internal scrutiny by the Government.