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Home > Administration of the civil service >> Declaration Requirement for Government Staff appointed on Non-Civil Service Terms

Declaration Requirement for Government Staff appointed on Non-Civil Service Terms

      FAQs      

Q1

Why are government staff appointed on non-civil service terms on or after 1 July 2020 required to sign a declaration?

A1

Article 6 of “The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”, which was enacted and promulgated in Hong Kong on 30 June 2020 and came into effect at 11 p.m. on 30 June 2020, stipulates that “[a] resident of the [HKSAR] who stands for election or assumes public office shall confirm in writing or take an oath to uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China in accordance with the law”.

It has consistently been the duty of public servants to be dedicated to their duties and be responsible to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China under Article 99 of the Basic Law.

The requirement of declaration by government staff appointed on non-civil service terms is an open acknowledgement of the acceptance and a genuine manifestation of the responsibilities of and expectations on them, which will further safeguard and promote the core values that should be upheld by all government employees, and ensure the effective governance of the HKSAR Government.

 

Q2

When should serving non-civil service staff of the government return their signed declarations?

A2

The Civil Service Bureau issued a circular to all policy bureaux and departments on 21 May 2021, promulgating the requirement for government staff appointed on non-civil service terms on or after 1 July 2020 to sign a declaration.  They should sign and return their declaration within three weeks after the department issues the letter concerned.

 

Q3

For non-civil service staff of the government who resign, are they still required to sign the declaration?

A3

Generally speaking, serving government staff who were appointed on non-civil service terms on or after 1 July 2020 are required to sign the declaration.  If a non-civil service staff of the government has served notice to resign, the department will normally not require him / her to sign the declaration.  However, enquiries concerning the detailed arrangements for individual government staff (e.g. where the government staff will remain in service for a period longer than the usual resignation notice period) should be directed to the departments concerned.

 

Q4

What are the consequences for refusal to duly sign and return the declaration?

A4

Negligence, refusal or failure to duly sign and return the declaration by a non-civil service staff of the government without reasonable explanation will be taken as refusal to accept the relevant responsibilities.  The commitment of the non-civil service staff of the government concerned to adhere to the core values of government employees is in serious doubt.  He/she will therefore be considered no longer suitable for holding the office.  Hence, the Government will, with regard to the specific circumstances of each case, decide whether to terminate the contract of the staff.

 

Q5

Will applicants for non-civil service jobs of the government be required to sign the declaration when submitting a job application or during the selection process?

A5

Applicants for non-civil service jobs of the government will not be required to sign the declaration when submitting a job application or during the selection process.

Heads of Department/Grade will specify in the letters of appointment when issuing conditional offers as one of the conditions for employment that the prospective appointee shall sign the declaration.  The prospective appointee shall return the signed declaration as part and parcel of his/her acceptance of the appointment offer.

 

Q6

If a prospective appointee of a non-civil service job of the government does not sign the declaration as required, will he/she still be appointed?

A6

In case a prospective non-civil service appointee of the government neglects, refuses or fails to duly sign and return the declaration, he/she will be treated as failing to meet the conditions for appointment and the conditional offer shall lapse accordingly.

 

Q7

What constitutes a breach of the declaration?

A7

It is not feasible to list exhaustively all types of improper conduct which constitutes a breach of the declaration.  Nevertheless, the following are examples of improper conduct to be considered in breach of the declaration:

  • advocating or supporting “Hong Kong independence”;
  • refusing to recognise the People’s Republic of China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong and the exercise of the sovereignty;
  • soliciting intervention by foreign or external forces in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s affairs;
  • carrying out other activities endangering national security;
  • committing serious violation of the law, including violent acts that disrupt public order and safety;
  • using official position to further personal interests or the private interests of others;
  • expressing opinion contrary to the Government’s stance in their official capacity;
  • committing gross negligence of their duties or gross failure to discharge their duties.

The circular issued by the Civil Service Bureau to all policy bureaux and departments on 21 May 2021 has elaborated on the content of the declaration and what constitutes a breach of the declaration.

 

Q8

What are the consequences for breach of declaration?

A8

The misconduct cases of non-civil service staff of the government are handled in accordance with the existing mechanisms for handling disciplinary matters of non-civil service staff of the government.  Where a misconduct also constitutes a breach of the declaration, the fact that the non-civil service staff of the government concerned has signed the declaration and has a clear understanding of the duties and expectations on him/her will be taken into consideration in the determination of disciplinary sanctions to be imposed in accordance with the existing mechanisms.

 

 

 

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