The Civil Service

Wilson Wong

in Contemporary Hong Kong Politics

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098299
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206779 | DOI:
The Civil Service

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This chapter explores an influential political institution in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR): the civil service. It also investigates the structural and systemic features of the civil service and the special role that its top guns—the administrative officers—play in the governance of Hong Kong. The chapter then argues that civil servants have been powerful political actors both before and after the handover and that they were seen (and still regard themselves) as the guardians of public interests. The reforms of the civil service—such as the Accountability System for Principal Officials, public sector reform, and civil service reform—are reported. In addition, the impacts of these reforms on the civil service system are explained. The chapter concludes by pointing out that the civil service remains an influential actor in the governance of the HKSAR, although it is too early to tell whether its reforms will lead to a better system of government.

Keywords: Hong Kong; civil service; administrative officers; Accountability System; public sector; reform

Chapter.  9481 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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