Bureaux, departments and subvented organisations have been adopting a variety of measures to bring about productivity savings. These measures have one thing in common: achieving savings without affecting the quality of service. Some of these measures are highlighted below.
Re-engineer work process
- The Government Land Transport Agency re-structures and streamlines its organisational structure to improve efficiency in the management of Government vehicle fleets. It also re-distributes duties in its Planning Division for enhanced productivity.
- The Government Property Agency revamps the organisation and operation of property management services for Government premises to achieve higher quality of service and greater efficiency in deployment of resources.
- The Information Technology Services Department streamlines the procedures of system development and adopts “Rapid Application Development” methodology to expedite computer application system development.
- The Audit Commission streamlines operation by using improved audit methodology and internal re-deployment of staff.
- The Census and Statistics Department streamlines data collection work in survey resulting in increased productivity.
- The Leisure and Cultural Services Department optimises the deployment of lifeguards at swimming pools and public beaches while maintaining adequate manning level of life saving services.
Re-organise structure and re-distribute duties
- The Planning Department merges the Housing Task Force Section with the Housing and Land Supply Division to enhance efficiency and achieve better utilisation of resources.
- The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department amalgamates the New Territories (NT) East and NT West agricultural extension districts into one district to improve efficiency.
- The Buildings Department reorganises the existing buildings divisions and introduces the “one-stop-shop” approach to tackle various building safety problems in a more effective and efficient manner.
- The Correctional Services Department restructures the organisation of its headquarters and four maximum security institutions to improve and expand services with less manpower.
- The Education Department implements the Regional Education Offices scheme and related organisational changes to provide a client-based structure and service delivery model, which results in better services as well as savings in resources.
- The Hong Kong Police Force streamlines the command structure and support units through amalgamation of divisions to improve efficiency.
Adjust level of service in line with demand and utilisation
- Subvented organisations in the welfare sector operate additional residential and day places in rehabilitation service units through enhanced productivity with no additional subventions.
- The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department deploys staff flexibly to manage the wholesale markets and meet the need of users during peak and non-peak hours.
- The Civil Service Training and Development Institute restructures a number of training courses to better meet clients' needs and at the same time to improve cost effectiveness.
- The Customs and Excise Department rationalises the establishment of various formations to match changing operational requirements.
- The Hong Kong Observatory uses satellite broadcast under the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System and ceases the Morse broadcast of marine meteorological forecasts and warnings.
Reduce expenditure in various allowances
- The Department of Justice continues to tighten up the policy on acting appointments.
- The Fire Services Department reduces expenditure on disciplined services overtime allowance by more effective staff deployment.
- The Lands Department reduces travelling expenses by more stringent control on the issue of duty mileage allowance.
- The Home Affairs Department reduces various allowances such as overtime and on-call duty allowances.
Use in-house staff to absorb work where appropriate
- The Fire Services Department re-deploys 30 existing staff to take up inspection and enforcement duties under the initiative to step up fire safety in private buildings.
- The Information Technology Services Department reduces the number of contract analyst programmer staff and deploys in-house staff to absorb the workload of the contract staff through re-scheduling of work.
- The Hong Kong Police Force ensures sufficient front-line officers through various productivity initiatives, and relies less on the support of the Auxiliary Police.
- The Government Supplies Department takes up additional workload from the reorganisation of municipal services by using in-house staff.
Contract out where it is more cost-effective
- The Intellectual Property Department outsources non-core activities to the private sector, including information management, development and administration of computer systems, and office operation.
- The Civil Aid Service hires private contractors to provide security and general duties services.
- The Department of Health contracts out cleansing and security services to achieve savings while maintaining the level of services through close monitoring.
- The Drainage Services Department outsources minor civil works as well as the operation and maintenance of selected drainage and sewage plants.
- The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department reschedules and outsources street cleansing and waste collection services to achieve savings while maintaining the level of services through a tight monitoring system.
Make greater use of IT and equipment
- The Inland Revenue Department promotes electronic tax payment and electronic Tax Reserve Certificates to reduce manual workload.
- The Social Welfare Department installs a Computerised Social Security System to administer the social security schemes more efficiently.
- The Hong Kong Productivity Council implements the “green office” initiative and saves paper through setting up web-page for document management.
- The Government Supplies Department installs a new computerised vehicle tracking system to position accurately the delivery vehicles, thus ensuring effective deployment of delivery teams. The department has also installed an electronic tendering system to receive tender offers round-the-clock which saves time and money.
- The Civil Engineering Department utilises the computerised Slope Information System and the Landslip Preventive Measures Information System to facilitate updating and retrieval of slope-related information.
Reduce maintenance costs for equipment
- The Civil Aviation Department continues to review its maintenance programme for air traffic control systems, taking into account actual system performance and the optimal mode to carry out maintenance work.
- The Highways Department continues to undertake better planning, programming and rationalising of road maintenance works.
- The Water Supplies Department uses modern technologies and equipment to reduce the operation and maintenance costs of waterworks installations and plants.
- The Information Technology Services Department adopts new disk technology to help reduce computer maintenance costs.
- The Home Affairs Department achieves savings in expenditure on equipment maintenance through wider use of information technology and broader sourcing of services suppliers.
Spend less on office expenses
- Bureaux, departments and subvented organisations adopt various measures to reduce expenses on paper, electricity, duty visits, entertainment, overseas telephone calls, accommodation, car rental, stationery and furniture, etc.
Safeguards for Quality Service
- In implementing the above measures, Controlling Officers have to confirm and satisfy themselves that these measures will not undermine their respective policy objectives and that sufficient safeguards are put in place to preserve the quality of service. Some of the safeguards are highlighted below.
Step up monitoring of services
- The Information Services Department conducts regular reviews to ensure better utilisation of departmental transport and better control over printing requirements for various publications.
- The Civil Aviation Department puts in place comprehensive monitoring measures to ensure that the high quality of air traffic control is maintained despite initiatives to save energy and streamline maintenance procedures.
Monitor the performance of contractors where the services are outsourced
- The Drainage Services Department further enhances the efficiency of maintenance resources through better planning and analysis as well as enhanced monitoring of contractors' work.
- The Social Welfare Department ensures effective monitoring of the service quality of the new home care and meal services through the Service Performance Monitoring System which sets out clearly the required level of performance and well-defined service quality standards.
- Radio Television Hong Kong trims down expenditure under the Technical Services Agreement by measures such as reshuffling of work schedules of the contractor's staff thus reducing overtime, and tightening control over the purchase of spare parts.
Provide suitable training and guidance to staff
- The Inland Revenue Department increases productivity through strengthening staff training and formulating sufficient guidelines and operational instructions for its supporting staff.
- The Transport Department solicits staff's feedback and provides suitable training, coaching and counselling to ensure staff are able to adapt to EPP initiatives.
- Put in place adequate support for staff
- The Legal Aid Department ensures smooth implementation of a multi-skilling scheme by providing proper computer training and equipment to its clerical staff.
- The Home Affairs Department employs more temporary staff to support its front-line staff in handling ad hoc projects.
- The Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority provides adequate training and equipment for office automation, so to reduce staff's reliance on typing and secretarial support.
We have put full details of the EPP plans of bureaux, departments and subvented organisations as well as those of the Trading Funds on Finance Bureau's web site at http://www.fstb.gov.hk/tb/. Interested parties are invited to visit the web site to browse through the details. They are also welcome to approach Finance Bureau or relevant bureaux, departments and subvented organisations to obtain hard copies of these plans.