Speech at Establishment Subcommittee

Proposed implementation of the relevant recommendations of the grade structure review for the disciplined services grades in the Correctional Services Department, Customs and Excise Department, Fire Services Department, Immigration Department, Government Flying Service and the Hong Kong Police Force with immediate effect upon approval of the Finance Committee

Mr CHAN Chun-ying expressed support for the relevant establishment proposal.

He raised the following enquires and views: (a) the Panel on Security had earlier on paid a visit to the GFS Headquarters to learn about the scope and complexity of its daily operation. Over the past decade, to cope with the additional workload and new responsibilities, the establishment of GFS recorded an increase of 50%, higher than that of other DSDs. The authorities suggested revising the Disciplined Services (Commander) (“DS(C)”) pay scale by adding a new pay point equivalent to D4 (i.e. DS(C)3a) between DS(C)3 and DS(C)4 as an incremental scale. Members enquired whether the proposed revision would bring along a substantial increase in the applications from other DSDs for creating additional posts pitched at that pay scale;

(b) according to Enclosure 11 to EC(2022-23)9, the responsibilities of Controller, GFS included maintaining a continued review of the service performance, instigating appropriate policies, strategies, procedures and contingency plans, overseeing the management of the internal training system, overseeing the safety and airworthiness performance and activities, as well as overseeing the departmental grade staffing issues, etc.; given that the said Controller was primarily tasked to undertake policy formulation, coordination and supervision duties, whether the post holder was required to possess a pilot qualification; and

(c) having received long-term professional training, GFS personnel possessed a high degree of operational efficiency and capability in emergency response, and such talents might be highly sought after when the aviation industry turned better when the epidemic subsided. The authorities should take into account the potential talent wastage arising therefrom.

The Administration took note of members’ views and responded that: (a) SCDS and SDCS had a long-established stringent mechanism and been conducting GSRs constantly; the proposed upgrading of the post of Controller, GFS was made on the basis of the relevant proposals of SCDS and SDCS. Having regard to the complexity and scope of responsibilities undertaken by the Controller, GFS, as well as the growth in GFS personnel over the past decade, SCDS and SDCS made, after careful consideration, the relevant recommendations and put forward the revision of the DS(C) pay scale by adding a new pay point DS(C)3a. At present, other DSDs had no plan to create additional posts pitch at such pay point; and

(b) to maintain a high degree of operational efficiency, particularly during 24/7 emergency response, the Controller, GFS took on the overall responsibility of operational performance, safety and response integrity. The Controller, GFS not only shouldered the daily management of GFS but was also responsible for instigating measures and responses from a strategic and executive level to tackle the challenges and to ensure safe and effective implementation as well as execution of response; therefore, the post holder of the Controller, GFS was required to possess a pilot qualification as well as update his/her flying experience from time to time.