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Home > Administration of the civil service >> Pay and Allowances
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Our Ref. : BP 6/25
22 December 2005

Dear Colleagues,

Development of an improved pay adjustment mechanism for the civil service : Conduct of a pay level survey

I am writing to update you on the latest progress of the pay level survey for the civil service.

Under the adopted survey methodology, a job inspection process is to be carried out with the participation of management and staff to gather detailed job-related information on the civil service benchmark jobs (i.e. those included in the survey field) to facilitate identification of broadly comparable jobs in the private sector on which pay data will be collected. In September this year, I informed you that the Phase Two Consultant would carry out staff consultation on the approach for the job inspection process.

During the consultation carried out in September and October this year, we received many valuable comments on the job inspection approach from the staff side members of the Consultative Group on Civil Service Pay Adjustment Mechanism, Departmental Consultative Committees and staff unions/associations. I take this opportunity to thank you all for the contributions to improving this crucial process of the pay level survey.

Taking account of the consultation feedback, the Consultant has now finalised the job inspection approach, which is set out in his interim report. We have uploaded a copy of the report onto CSB website at so that all parties concerned are fully informed of how the process will be carried out. As can be seen from the report, the Consultant has taken on board most of the staff's comments while adhering to the guiding principle that the survey is to be conducted in a professional and impartial manner.

Noting that it has been the Government's long-established practice to effect the annual civil service pay adjustments from 1 April of the year, the Consultant has recommended in the interim report that the reference date of the current survey (i.e. the date on which to compare civil service pay with private sector pay) be set at 1 April 2006. Taking account of the need to consolidate and analyse the private sector pay data, the Consultant expects to complete the whole pay level survey exercise by about July next year.

The Consultant will now proceed with the job inspection process in accordance with the approach set out in the interim report and aims to complete it in the first quarter of next year.  To facilitate your participation in the job inspection process, we have prepared a leaflet (copy attached) addressing the frequently-asked-questions from colleagues about the survey. You are also welcome to continue to express your views as we proceed further in this process either directly or through your representatives.

The job inspection process will be a large-scale and extensive exercise involving 193 ranks from 61 grades.  I look forward to your continued support to make this important exercise a success.

Yours sincerely,

The signature of SCS, Joseph W P Wong

(Joseph W P Wong)
Secretary for the Civil Service

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