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A new partnership culture with civil servants

I have promised to listen to and empathise with civil servants. As I said in my Manifesto, we have to "be decisive in policy making, and support civil servants charged with the responsibility of implementing those policies".

What I mean is fostering with civil servants a new partnership culture to ensure the effectiveness of public service. Under this new culture, we will listen attentively to the views of civil servants, press ahead determinedly with policies arrived at following debate and back up civil servants fully if they are censured in the course of implementation.

In less than two months since I was elected on March 25, I have met with civil service bodies five times. The first two meetings were held on March 27, one with the Administrative Service Association, and the other with eight major civil service bodies, namely the Senior Civil Service Council, Model Scale 1 Staff Consultative Council, Police Force Council, Disciplined Services Consultative Council, Government Employees Association, Hong Kong Civil Servants General Union, Hong Kong Federation of Civil Service Unions and Government Disciplined Services General Union.

After the Executive Council's endorsement of the proposed reorganisation of the Government Secretariat on the afternoon of May 4, I met with about one hundred departmental heads to brief them on the concepts and objectives of the reorganisation, to listen to their views and answer their queries.

There were two similar discussions yesterday. First, I met with staff representatives of the eight major civil service bodies again, and then later on I explained the reorganisation proposals to over a hundred directorate members of the Administrative Officer Grade, collected their views and answered their questions.

I found these exchanges most meaningful and beneficial. Communication is the best way to form partnerships and we will certainly arrange more meetings of this kind in future.

Our civil service is a diligent and dedicated team, a combination of exemplary of professionalism and excellence. It has contributed tremendously to the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. Civil servants are my close partners, in good times and in bad times. On July 1, they will be joining me in charting a brighter future for Hong Kong together with the community.

May 11, 2012