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LCQ16:Disciplinary Action for Dereliction of Duty

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man Kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (March 28):


Regarding disciplinary actions or prosecutions against civil servants for dereliction of duty, will the Government inform this Council of:-

(a) the respective numbers of civil servants who were subject to disciplinary actions and prosecutions for dereliction of duty in each of the past three years, with a breakdown by the nature of the dereliction, department and the penalty imposed; and

(b) the criteria adopted in determining whether civil servants should be subject to disciplinary actions or prosecutions for dereliction of duty?


Madam President,

In reply to the two issues raised in the Hon Cheung Man-kwong's question, I propose to deal with them in reverse order as set out below:-

(a) All cases of misconduct (including dereliction of duty which covers neglect of duty; negligence; failure to carry out his duties; unauthorised absence; or unpunctuality) are subject to disciplinary action. However, whether or not a particular case of misconduct should be referred to the Police or ICAC for criminal investigation depends on whether the civil servant's conduct amounts to alleged crime. Following investigation by the Police or ICAC, it is for the Department of Justice (rather than management) to determine whether prosecution should be made, having regard to the evidence available and the public interest. Where the Department of Justice decides to press charges, the disciplinary proceedings would be put on hold until the outcome of the prosecution action is known.

(b) The number of civil servants subject to formal disciplinary action for dereliction of duty since April 1998 is shown below:-

Period No. subject to formal disciplinary action No. subject to disciplinary action after criminal coviction Total

1998/1999 236 4 240

1999/2000 200 4 204

April to December 2000 101 3 104

Total 537 11 548


End/Wednesday, March 28, 2001

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