Note: This is an English translation of the Chinese original. In case of any divergence of interpretation, the Chinese text shall prevail.

26 July 2006

DC Review Secretariat
c/o Home Affairs Bureau
31/F, Southorn Centre
130 Hennessy Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

(Fax:2591 6475)

Submission on Review on the Role, Functions and Composition of District Councils

In regard to the consultation document, I would like to raise the following opinions:

1. Composition of District Councils (DC)

1.1 Appointed seats and ex-officio seats should be abolished. The reasons are as follows:

1.2 All the DC seats must be directly elected. Elected seats would bring about positive impact:

2. Quality of DC Members and District Management

2.1 Problems

2.2 Solutions

3. District Management and the Proposed Committees and Summit

3.1 The current global trend favours a streamlined structure to facilitate efficiency and to save resources. It seems that the proposals in the consultation document are not in line with the trend.

3.2 In regard to the proposed annual District Administration Summit, my opinions are as follows:

4. Pilot Scheme

- Unless the Government can establish a set of objective selection criteria, the pilot scheme should be implemented in all of the 18 DCs but not in certain selected districts.

5. Conclusion

It would be difficult for DC members who are lack of public mandate to gain public endorsement from the citizens; it would be difficult to attract high-calibre individuals to participate in DCs and to stimulate the citizens’ interest in community affairs when DCs have failed to earn recognition from the public. As a result, the negative impacts are interrelated.

We must be determined to get to the root of the problem, namely to make a complete review of the formation of DCs, otherwise it would be futile even if there is a perfect management structure in place.

Therefore, in my opinion, the Government and the Home Affairs Bureau should (i) abolish appointed seats and ex-officio seats, having all the DC seats returned by direct election; (ii) offer inducements to attract high-calibre candidates to join DCs, so as to raise the quality of DC members and DCs as well as the quality and efficiency of district management; (iii) develop community-based management in order to encourage the local residents to actively take part in community affairs, which would help establish a tailor-made development strategy for each district.

Yours sincerely

Amy Yung
Islands District Council Member
Discovery Bay

c.c. Islands District Council Secretariat (Fax: 2542 0183)