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Two Teams or One? The Relationship between Political Appointees and Civil Servants in Hong Kong

Two Teams or One? The Relationship between Political Appointees and Civil Servants in Hong Kong

Mr. Henry Ho
Former Political Assistant to Secretary for Development, HKSAR Government

Date: June 19, 2017 (Monday)
Time: 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Venue: A724, 7/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Language: English

Abstract
The civil service system in Hong Kong established by the British colonial government remained largely intact after the reunification with China in 1997. The Hong Kong SAR Government launched the Principal Officials Accountability System (POAS) in 2002. Principal Officials, previously occupied by civil servants, became politically appointed. The system expanded to include Under Secretaries and Political Assistants to Secretaries in 2008. While the accountability system was inherited from Western democracies, the Hong Kong version displays some unique features as well as limitations. The fact that Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region rather than an independent state, calls for a refreshed approach in assessing the system’s design and its effectiveness. Being a former political appointee, Henry conducted in-depth interviews with current and former political appointees as well as senior civil servants. Key issues of the system were identified and recommendations to strengthen its design were put forward.

About the Speaker
Henry Ho is currently the Convenor of One Country Two Systems Youth Forum, a newly formed think tank composed of Mainland young scholars and Hong Kong young professionals and politicians, with an aim of promoting the dialogue and research on One Country Two Systems. Henry has ample experience in the government and local think tanks. He worked at the Central Policy Unit and the Development Bureau before and he is currently a Council Member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies.

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