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Home > Administration of the civil service >> Overview

An Overview

The Civil Service Bureau is responsible for the management and development of the Civil Service. The Public Service (Administration) Order, the Public Service (Disciplinary) Regulation and the Civil Service Regulations are the three key instruments setting out the authority and framework for the discharge of these duties.

For officers in the disciplined services, their conduct and discipline are also governed by respective disciplined services legislation.

The Public Service (Administration) Order was made by the Chief Executive in July 1997, with the advice of the Executive Council, under Article 48(4) of the Basic Law. The Order sets out the Chief Executive's authority to appoint, dismiss and discipline public servants; to act on representations made by public servants; to make disciplinary regulations; and to delegate certain powers and duties under the Order. It is largely an adaptation of corresponding provisions in the Letters Patent and Colonial Regulations which were in force before 1 July 1997, and provides continuity in the primary framework governing the administration of the Civil Service.

The Public Service (Disciplinary) Regulation which is made under the Order regulates the conduct of disciplinary proceedings and procedures leading to the removal of officers in the Civil Service. It applies to the majority of public servants, except those public servants (primarily rank and file and officers up to certain ranks in the disciplined services) whose conduct is governed by relevant ordinances.

The Civil Service Regulations are administrative regulations made by or with the authority of the Chief Executive. They set out the authority of the Secretary for the Civil Service and Heads of Department/Grade on day-to-day management of the Civil Service, the terms of appointment and conditions of service for public servants, as well as the standards of conduct and performance expected of them. They are the key references for both the management and staff in respect of the day-to-day management of the Civil Service. The Regulations are supplemented and elaborated by Circulars and Circular Memoranda issued by the Civil Service Bureau. The Secretary for the Civil Service is authorised to amend, supplement, apply, interpret and make exceptions to the Regulations.

Advisory Bodies

A number of statutory and advisory bodies, including the Public Service Commission, have been set up to advise the Government on civil service matters.

The Joint Secretariat for the Advisory Bodies on Civil Service and Judicial Salaries and Conditions of Service (JSSCS) provides dedicated support service to the following four advisory bodies :

  • The Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service;
  • The Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service;
  • The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service; and
  • The Standing Committee on Judicial Salaries and Conditions of Service.

The four advisory bodies provide independent advice to the Chief Executive on the principles and practices governing pay, conditions of service and salary structure of the non-directorate civil service, the disciplined services, the directorate and the judicial officers respectively.

Since 1 September 2011, JSSCS has also been providing secretariat support to the Advisory Committee on Post-service Employment of Civil Servants. The Committee advises the Chief Executive and Secretary for the Civil Service on all applications for post-service outside work from directorate officers and publishes an annual report on the work of the Committee.


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