Why necessary?

Recent public debates on budget deficits and new taxes have brought out the community's clear expectation for greater control on Government expenditure, amongst which the largest component is staff cost. It is necessary to start a critical rethink on whether some of our existing services can be delivered through means other than further expansion of the civil service.

The initiative to reduce the size of the civil service by 10 000 posts by 2002-03 aims to -

* demonstrate our commitment to enhance public sector productivity

* maintain a lean and fit civil service

* enhance private sector participation in the delivery of public services.

How is it done

The reductions will be achieved in a rational and well planned manner through the combination of -

(a)freezing recruitment to the civil service in 2000-01 except for very justified reasons;

(b)deleting vacancies and giving up funded new posts unless exceptionally justified;

(c)restricting the creation of new posts in Baseline-plus and Resource Allocation unless exceptionally justified.

All Heads of Departments and Heads of Grades are required to submit manpower plans before end of May. A joint panel co-chaired by SCS and S for Tsy will then carefully consider all applications.

Will existing staff be made redundant?

We expect the main bulk of posts reduction will be achieved through controlled recruitment, deletion of existing vacancies and funded new posts as well as the Voluntary Retirement (VR) Scheme.


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