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LCQ9:Appeals against rulings made in civil service disciplinary proceedings

Following is a question by the Hon Audrey Eu and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Miss Denise Yue, on appeals made against rulings in civil service disciplinary proceedings at the Legislative Council meeting today (December 20):

Question:

The disciplinary proceedings surrounding the Harbour Fest case conducted by the Civil Service Bureau earlier on was completed in October 2005. The government officer concerned has appealed to the Chief Executive against the decision of the Secretary for the Civil Service (SCS) on the outcome of the proceedings. In reply to my question at the Legislative Council meeting on May 24 this year, SCS said that the appeal was still being dealt with, and the authorities had not confirmed when the appeal would be disposed of. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a)  whether the appeal has been disposed of; if not, whether the authorities have studied if there will be unnecessary delay in the processing of the appeal should the appeal fail to be disposed of before the expiry of the incumbent Chief Executive’s term of office; if they have, of the outcome of the study; and

(b)  whether it will set a time limit for processing appeal cases of this nature according to public expectation and the principle of natural justice?

Reply:

Madam President,

(a)  The officer concerned has appealed to the Chief Executive (CE) under section 20 of the Public Service (Administration) Order (PS(A)O) against the decisions of the Secretary for the Civil Service  with regard to the disciplinary proceedings against him. The appeal is being dealt with in accordance with established procedures. The handling of the appeal has nothing to do with matters falling outside the scope of the case or the appeal (including the CE’s term of office).

(b)  The Administration has laid down internal administrative guidelines on the timeframe for dealing with appeals to CE. In general, the guidelines state that for non-statutory appeals to CE (these include appeals lodged against rulings made in disciplinary cases under PS(A)O), the Administration should give a reply within two weeks in simple cases, or four weeks in more complicated cases. Where the case is extremely complicated, the Administration should furnish an interim reply within the above timeframe and give a substantive reply as soon as possible. It is noted that the circumstances and complexity of each individual case vary. Nevertheless, the Administration has endeavoured to complete processing the appeals and provide replies within the specified timeframe laid down in the administrative guidelines as far as practicable.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

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