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Contemporary Hong Kong PoliticsGovernance in the Post-1997 Era$
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Wai-man Lam, Percy Luen-tim Lui, and Ian Holliday

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9789622098299

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622098299.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

The Civil Service

The Civil Service

(p.75) The Civil Service
Contemporary Hong Kong Politics

Wilson Wong

Hong Kong University Press

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

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