Purview of the Executive Council
Under the Basic Law, the Executive Council is an organ for assisting the Chief Executive in policy-making. The Executive Council normally meets once a week. The Chief Executive presides over its meetings. Except for the appointment, removal and disciplining of officials and the adoption of measures in emergencies, the Chief Executive shall consult the Executive Council before making important policy decisions, introducing bills to the Legislative Council, making subordinate legislation, or dissolving the Legislative Council.
If the Chief Executive does not accept a majority opinion of the Executive Council, he shall put the specific reasons on record.
Members tender their advice individually, but the Council's conclusions are presented as collective decisions.
Appointment and Removal of Executive Council Members
Article 55 of the Basic Law stipulates that the Chief Executive shall appoint members of the Executive Council from among the principal officials of the executive authorities, members of the Legislative Council and public figures. At present, the membership of the Executive Council comprises the 16 Principal Officials appointed under the Accountability System and 14 non-officials. Members' appointment or removal is decided by the Chief Executive.
Members of the Executive Council have to be Chinese citizens who are permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with no right of abode in any foreign country.
Terms of Office of Executive Council Members
Members hold office for a period no longer than the expiry of the term of office of the Chief Executive who appoints them.