To present orally.
II. Committees and Panels
||Public Accounts Committee (PAC):
On 25 April 2001, the Director of Audit tabled his Reports
No. 36 in the Council. The Committee, after holding public
hearings to receive evidence from Controlling Officers,
will finalize our own independent report soon. I intend
to present the main bilingual PAC Report No. 36 to LegCo
on 4 July 2001.
||Financial Affairs Panel:
The Panel held 4 meetings to date and the relevant agenda
are attached as Appendix I.
On 4 June 2001, the Financial Secretary has provided
the Panel with a report on Hong Kong's latest economic
The Chief Executive of HKMA also briefed the Panel on
HKMA's Annual Report for the year 2000 in a special meeting
on 3 May 2001. There was also a special meeting on 19
June 2001 to study the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited
(Merger) Bill as well as The Bank of East Asia, Limited
A proposed list of future agenda items is attached as
Appendix II for reference.
||Economic Services Panel:
The Panel held 2 meetings since the last report.
The Panel focused on Hong Kong Post, Subsidiary legislation
under the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance,
as well as Retail price of ultra low sulphur diesel and
the concession on diesel duty.
It also reviewed Air Navigation (Dangerous Goods) Regulations
and Dangerous Goods (Consignment by Air) (Safety) Regulations,
civil liability for unsafe products, regulation of deceptive,
misleading and unfair practices in consumer transactions.
||Information Technology and Broadcasting
The Panel held 3 meetings to date.
The Panel studied issues relating to digital divide in
certain sectors of the community such as the disabled,
elderly and low-income groups etc. It also discussed the
Government's information technology programmes for secondary
students in summer, administration of Internet domain
names in Hong Kong and proposal to engage consultancy
service by the Television and Entertainment Licensing
Authority for enforcement of competition provisions in
the Broadcasting Ordinance.
There was also a special meeting to discuss 2001 Digital
21 Strategy, E-Government Strategy and Regulation of acquisitions
and mergers in the telecommunications market.
The Panel held 2 meetings to date.
The Panel mainly focused on the additional support to
schools with a large intake of students of lower academic
ability, personnel Information Management System, Post
Secondary College (Amendment) Bill as well as the switch
to use English as medium of instruction at Secondary Four
and above by some Chinese-medium schools.
It also studied the issue of teaching force for basic
education, regulation of tutorial schools, Pilot Scheme
of the use of information technology in schools and the
creation of a Senior Principal Executive Officer Post
in Education and Manpower Bureau.
||Finance Committee and House Committee:
There were 4 meetings of Finance Committee and 9 meetings
of House Committee. TD of HKSA were kept informed of progress
on all Bills on a weekly basis.
III. Bill Committees Joined
||Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2000
On 2 March 2001, LegCo Members decided that the slot
currently taken up by the Bills Committee should be released
to enable another Bills Committee to be formed to scrutinize
other bills on the waiting list. The Bills Committee would
only be reactivated upon the Administration's request
and subject to the availability of a Bills Committee slot
at the time.
||Drug Trafficking and Organized Crimes
(Amendment) Bill 2000
There was only 1 meeting held since the last report on
the 4 May 2001.
Some Government's Committee Stage Amendments were presented
to the Bills Committee in that meeting which the Committee
had rejected in principle. We understand that the Administration
is now holding further consultation with the affected
||Bills Committee on Securities and Futures
Bill and Banking (Amendment) Bill 2000
There were 16 meetings held to date.
The Committee is now entering clause-by-clause examination
of the Securities and Futures Bill and the Banking (Amendment)
Bill 2000. We do not expect the passage of the Bill until
after September this year at the earliest.
||Bills Committee on Dutiable Commodities
(Amendment) Bill 2001
The Bills Committee held only 1 meeting with the Administration
since the last report. The objective of the Bill is to
amend the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance (Cap. 109) (the
Ordinance) so as to provide a legal basis for the use
of a specified electronic service to process applications
for dutiable commodities permits.
In this Bill, a new Part IA relating to the use of electronic
records and procedures is added. Clause 8 provides for
books and documents in non-legible form and clause 12
adds a new section 42A on the proof of contents of electronic
record. Other clauses are miscellaneous amendments relating
to the use of electronic records generally under the Ordinance.
While acknowledging the Administration's determination
to foster market competition for provision of EDI services,
I was concerned that since the Government was the major
shareholder of Tradelink, and that the Administration
intended to retain Tradelink's services after 2003, other
potential contenders might be anxious about unfair competition.
As such, I asked whether there was any plan to privatize
Tradelink to maintain a level playing field in the market.
In addition, I also suggested that a detailed plan should
be worked out if the Administration were to open up the
market for fair competition, and that consideration should
be given to releasing information relating to the revenue
base. If possible, Tradelink's accounts should be made
available to prospective contenders for reference. This
would help potential participants estimate their investment
returns before considering whether they wished to express
In response to my question, Principal Assistant Secretary
/ Commerce and Industry Bureau (PAS/CI) indicated that
the Government would withdraw gradually from Tradline.
Suitable options, such as selling of shares through public
offers, were being explored. He also advised that instead
of putting in place a licensing system, the Administration
intended to enter into a contract of five years with service
providers, and renewal / termination of contracts would
be subject to service providers' performance.
The expected date for resumption of Second Reading will
be on 11 July 2001.
||Chief Executive Election Bill
There were 15 meetings held since the last report. The
Bill will have to be rushed through in July 2001 so as
to enable the preparatory works of the Chief Executive
Election in the first quarter of 2002.
||Bills Committee on Copyright (Suspension
of Amendment) Bill 2001
The Bills Committee held 5 meetings with the Administration
and received a total of 54 submissions. Twenty-one organizations
representing the copyright industry, the business sector,
the educational sector and other interest groups appeared
before the Bills Committee to give their views on the
The objective of the Bill is to provide for the suspension
of the operation of certain amendments to the Copyright
Ordinance effected by the Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous
Amendments) Ordinance 2000 (64 of 2000).
HKSA had made a submission which is being followed up.
HKSA supported the suspension in principle, and considered
that a comprehensive review of the relevant legislation
should be conducted to explore long term solutions. HKSA
also suggested that the implications of the amendments
should be examined carefully in view of the extended criminal
liability in the Copyright Ordinance, as effected by Intellectual
Property (Miscellaneous Amendment) Ordinance 2000.
The Bills Committee welcomes the Administration's decision
to include in the Bill an end date to the suspension.
This arrangement will provide a clear timeframe for the
Administration to conduct public consultation with a view
to formulating long-term and acceptable solutions to address
the problems relating to the implementation of the Copyright
The Bills Committee also notes that the Administration
has responded positively to the suggestion made by the
Legal Adviser about the making of transitional provisions
in the Bill to cover the enforcement and investigative
actions in respect of copyright works which would be affected
by the suspension of amendments during the period between
1 April and the enactment of the Bill. In the CSA to clause
2(1) and the new clause 2(2E) of the CSA, it provides
that the Bill commences retroactively on 1 April 2001
to ensure that the provisions of the Bill will apply to
cases currently under investigation.
The resumption of the Second Reading debated on the Bill
will be on 20 June 2001.
||Subcommittee on draft Telecommunications
(Method for Determining Spectrum Utilization Fees) (Third
Generation Mobile Services) Regulation and draft Telecommunications
(Designation of Frequency Bands Subject to Payment of Spectrum
Utilization Fees) Order
There were 5 meetings held since the last report. The
purpose of the Subcommittee is to study the regulation
and the terms and conditions of auction after the passage
of the main enabling Bill - Telecommunication (Amendment)
In studying the relevant draft regulation and the proposed
auction design and process, the Bills Committee on Telecommunications
(Amendment) Bill 2001 notes that the identity and number
of, and bids made by the bidders during the auction will
be kept confidential and the auction will continue beyond
that point to where the fourth winner decides to leave.
The industry has taken a very strong view against such
blind-auction design and the royalty rate to be set at
the point at which the fourth last bidder withdraws.
The Subcommittee is seriously concerned about the major
issue relating to the proposed 3G-specific subsidiary
legislation, i.e. the proposed "4th leaver
rule" of the auction to determine the royalty percentage
payable by 3G licensees. Among the Subcommittee, meetings
considered that the price level should be set at the current
bid being offered when the 5th bidder (instead
of the 4th bidder as currently proposed) withdrew
and that the auction should end upon the withdrawal of
the 5th bidder.
In the last meeting held on 18 June 2001, the Government
agreed with the Committee's stance and will propose Committee
Stage Amendments to resolve the matter.
V. Motion Debate
List attached as Appendix III. In addition, I have written two
'Letters to Hong Kong' on the 'Importation of Schemed Labour' on
25 March 2001 and the 'Housing Policy' on 17 June 2001 for the RTHK
which were widely reported. Speeches on my Web Page and highlights
will be published in my circulars to members.
I have asked 7 questions - (questions for daily turnover of stock
projected by Government and SFC when preparing budgets, subsidies
for disabled athletes, advance polling arrangements for Legislative
Council general election, low level of funding approved by innovation
and technology fund, support to Hong Kong representatives participating
in international cultural and sports activities, sending and receiving
short messages among customers of different mobile phone network
operators, and petitions presented to court for bankruptcy orders
) since the last report which are attached as Appendix IV. The relevant
HKSA Committees may wish to be advised and to consider the replies
VII. General Political Background
To present orally.