Lawmakers doubt the effectiveness of setting directorate grade officers to poach talent

Lawmakers questioned the necessity of the labour authority's proposal to set six directorate grade officers for attracting talent and poverty alleviation.

According to a proposal raised at the meeting of the Legislative Council's Panel on Welfare Services and Panel on Manpower today, the Labour and Welfare Bureau was planning to create six directorate posts, including one non-civil service post of director on talent-appealing issues and one supernumerary Principal Economist post for poverty alleviation and welfare issues.

The six posts would add over HK$20 million in fiscal expenditure each year for the salary and welfare costs of the new-employed officers.

"We have been more than cautious about raising the suggestions and what we aim for is to meet the demand of targeted poverty alleviation and manpower management," said Secretary for Labor and Welfare Chris Sun Yuk-han in the meeting.

However, lawmaker Tik Chi-yuen opposed strongly as he argued that adding new posts is putting the burden of government expenditure on citizens rather than asking the current civil servants to improve the working efficiency.

"It seems the creation of the posts is more about administrative purposes, rather than supporting the policies, according to the work tasks listed in the proposal," said lawmaker Lai Tung-kwok, "I didn't see any necessity for part of the new officers to deal with these tasks."

"I would support the proposal for new posts setting," said lawmaker Peter Shiu Ka-fai, "but I doubt whether eligible candidates could be recruited since the local manpower is facing a shortage in every sector."