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5th Legco Report to HKSA Council By Eric K.C. Li


I. Highlights

This is a short two months' Report with the political arena dominated by news of the selection of the Chief Executive and to a lesser extent, members of the Provisional Legislative Council.

The Democrats of LegCo understandably responded with barrels of emotively charged Motion Debates in protest. I took little part in such political posturing but have concentrated
my efforts in getting Bills properly studied and on the work of the Public Accounts Committee. These efforts have paid good dividend.

I attended CICPA's welcome dinner held in honour of the HKSA's China delegation on 3 November 1996. In anticipation of the delegation's arrival, I have explained some relevant
background of CICPA/HKSA future international co-operation to Mr. Lu Ping and Vice-Ministers of both the Ministry of Finance and the Hong Kong and Macao Office.

As the new Chairman of the Hong Kong Council of Social Services, I led a top level delegation of representatives from the Non-Government Organisations Sector on a four-day visit to
China. The delegation was warmly welcomed by senior officials in Beijing and Wuhan.

II. Committees and Panels

1. Public Accounts Committee (PAC): The PAC met 11 times with tangible progress and
noticeable publicity. I shall present the PAC Report to LegCo on 29 January 1997.

2. Financial Affairs Panel:
The Panel held 3 meetings (Agenda attached as Appendix I) since the last report. No significant business for HKSA.

3. Administration of Justice and Legal Services Panel:
The Panel held 5 meetings since the last report. No significant business for HKSA.

4. Welfare Services Panel:
The Panel held 3 meetings since the last report. No significant business for HKSA.

5. Matters relating to the Formation of Parliamentary Friendship Groups:
The Group met once since the last report. No significant business for HKSA.

6. Finance Committee and House Committee:
TD of HKSA kept informed of progress on all bills on a weekly basis. There were 6 meetings of Finance Committee and 8 meetings of House Committee.

7. Special Transport Panel:
The Panel held 1 more meeting since the last report and the Government has just announced major costs reduction in KCRC and a substantially reduced scale of the Western Corridor
Railway. In essence, the Administration has accepted much responsibility for its previously slack control by taking many real corrective actions.

III. Bills Committee Joined

1. Evidence (Amendment) Bill 1996:
The Bills Committee decided at its last meeting on 29 October 1996 to ask the Administration to withdraw the Bill and to introduce the more comprehensive Mutual Legal Assistance Bill instead. The Administration has now deferred the Second Reading Debate of the Bill without fixing a date for its resumption.

2. Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996:
After three more meetings since the last report, the final version of the amended Bill has incorporated all HKSA's views. The Bill was passed with full HKSA's blessing on 18 December 1996.

3. Companies (Amendment) Bill 1996:
After three more meetings since the last report, again the final version of the amended Bill has incorporated all HKSA's views. The Bill was passed with full HKSA's blessing on 18 December 1996.

4. The Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia Bill:
The Private Member's Bill sponsored by me at the request of the Church was passed without a hitch in record time of only two weeks on 23 October 1996.

5. Professional Accountants Ordinance:
After some active lobbying, the Bills Committee on subsidiary legislation very swiftly accepted HKSA's unique situation of self-regulation and withdrew its originally intended blockage of giving the Incorporation of Accounting Firms an effective date.

6. Independent Police Complaints Council Bill:
This Bill which seeks to reorganise the Independent Police Complaint Committee (IPCC) met twice. I attended because I am the Vice-Chairman of IPCC.

7. Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1996:
This Bill which offers statutory protection for auditors in reporting fraud was introduced into LegCo on 11 December 1996. I have assisted HKSA to prepare a submission to LegCo and in the House Committee meeting on 13 December 1996, it was decided that a Bills Committee will be formed at the end of a rather long queue.

IV. Motion Debates

List attached as Appendix II. Speeches on my Web Page and highlights will be published in my circulars to members.

V. Questions

I have asked 3 written questions and 2 oral questions (Appendix III) since my last report.

VI. General Political Background

I have taken part as a member of the Selection Committee to elect the first Chief Executive of the HKSAR on 11 December 1996. I was also invited to join the Chairmen Team of the Celebration Committee for the 1997 changeover and later voted into the Office of Hon. Treasurer and Chairman of its Finance Committee. I am also running for a seat in the Provisional
Legislature which will be elected in two days' time on 21 December 1996.

It is real activity time and people of Hong Kong are putting empty talks behind. I have placed myself in 'centre field' as your representative to keep tap on all the actions that might eventually affect the practice environment of accountants. If I am re-elected on 21 December 1996, I hope to be able to continue my service to the accountancy profession and HKSA even after 1 July 1997 until the new elected representative emerges in 1998. I shall appreciate Council's






Appendix III

List of Legco questions asked by Mr. Eric Li:

Date Question Replied by
3.10.96 (Oral)
Is it appropriate for the Governor to lay down the work programme and set performance targets for the future Chief Executive of the HKSAR
Governor
6.11.96 (Written)
Remuneration of academic staff in tertiary institutions
Secretary for Education and Manpower
21.11.96 (Oral)
Appalling fire at Garley Building and possible guidance for attending VIPs
Governor
11.12.96 (Written)
Compulsory requirement to appoint a professional accountant by all listed companies in Hong Kong
Secretary for Financial Services
18.12.96 (Written)
Policy and Considerations for providing official residence
Secretary for Civil Services

 

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