Q.1 The NAMS for approved time-limited project will be included in department's Estimates with effect from 1 April 2000. Can we arrange a posting before this date?

The posting of staff is a matter between the departments and the relevant Heads of Grades. Departments are encouraged to get in touch with the Heads of Grades for the posting arrangements as soon as possible. However, as the additional NAMS will only be available in 2000-01, salaries can only be charged to the departments with effect from 1 April 2000 the earliest. If departments have spare NAMS in 1999-2000 or if the Heads of Grades could accommodate the staff whilst on attachment to departments on their reserve, we will have no objection to postings being affected earlier.


Q.2 Once the department is allocated with the additional NAMS, can the Controlling Officer redeploy the resource at his own discretion?

No. The additional NAMS is allocated for designated posts and projects. Departments are not allowed to redeploy the resources to other projects or create/delete posts of different ranks within the additional NAMS allocated, unless with the prior consent of Finance Bureau and the Heads of Grades concerned.


Q.3 In case the time-limited projects have to be extended for a longer period, is it possible to extend the additional NAMS accordingly?

Departments should submit an application to Finance Bureau well in advance, stating the reason for the extension. However, we will only consider such requests very exceptionally.


Q.4 Is the additional NAMS allocated subject to EPP savings in future years?



Q.5 Can a department use the "Save & Invest Account" to purchase vehicles (recurrent cost to be absorbed by the department's own resources)?

"Save & Invest Accounts" are for initiatives to achieve productivity gains. Bureaux/departments may only draw from their Account to spend on one-off projects. These projects should be initiatives leading to productivity gains and may range from purchase of plant and equipment, investment in IT, to training and cultural change workshops, etc. If the purchase of vehicles fits in the above, there is no objection.


Q.6 Is reduced provision for allowances (including acting allowance) acceptable for the purpose of EPP savings?

Yes. Savings in job-related allowances (as opposed to allowances which are fringe benefits) may be counted towards the 5% EPP. These job-related allowances include standard and non-standard allowances accounted for under departments' Subhead 002 and Subhead 007.


Q.7 Efficiency dividend is a one-off arrangement. But will FB consider a similar scheme to encourage departments to deliver more than 5% EPP saving by 2002-03?

Savings over and above 5% could be retained by the departments concerned. We have no plan for distributing efficiency dividend in future.


Q.8 To avoid staff redundancy, would FB allow our department to defer the 2% additional savings in year 2 to year 3, i.e. adjusting the cumulative savings targets to 1% in 2000-01, 1% in 2001-02 and 5% in 2002-03?

Other than a mandated 1% savings for 2000-01, the overall EPP target remains to be 5% by 2002-03. We have yet to decide whether to specify a compulsory saving figure for 2001-02. Even if we do, we will be flexible with departments which have genuine problems.



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