Promotion complaint sparks probe into process

Local | Stella Wong 12 Sep 2018

An investigation has been launched after a complaint filed by a group of executive officers on the promotion process, Civic Party lawmaker Jeremy Tam Man-ho said yesterday.

The Civil Service Bureau's probe stems from a group of EOs accusing the promotion board of taking into account how long a person has occupied a certain position rather than their skills when deciding who would be promoted.

In the complaint letter, the EOs said that there is a lack of vacancies in higher management positions, including senior executive officer and executive officer I. The group accused the board of "unprecedentedly" drawing a line on a specific date. The EOs who assume their roles after the date will not be considered for promotion, regardless of how well they perform.

"Although the General Grade Office has never announced this arrangement, this is common knowledge among administrative officers," they wrote.

The letter also included a table showing information they collected from over 500 administrative officers in 2017 and this year.

The table also compared their dates of commencement until they were promoted.

Last year, only one of the 66 officers that were promoted to SEO occupied acting positions after November 2015.

Of the 74 officers that were promoted to EO I, no one held acting positions after August 2015.

This year, only two of the 67 officers that were promoted to SEO held acting positions after September 2016, and out of the 106 officers that were promoted to EO I, only one was in an acting position after April 2016.

"The above statistics clearly show that the date of commencement of acting is the prerequisite for promotion," the EOs wrote. "This severely violates the principle of fairness."

The group added that the appointment of acting positions does not solely depend on an officer's performance. An officer may be granted the acting position solely due to operational needs.

In addition, the delay of the appointment from the General Grade Office will also affect the commencement date of the acting position, it said.

The group said that this arrangement violates the principle of promoting officers according to "character, ability and experience."

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