The person chosen to head Hong Kong’s new civil service college must have “a comprehensive and accurate understanding” of China’s constitution, the city’s Basic Law and the Beijing-imposed national security law, among other attributes – and in return will earn more than HK$3 million a year.

The successful applicant will be awarded a three-year contract and paid a monthly salary of at least HK$265,150, according to a statement by the Civil Service Bureau on Tuesday.

Carrie Lam oath-taking
File photo: GovHK.

It described the college as a “major undertaking” by the government to “enhance training for civil servants on all fronts.”

“The Head of the College is required to take forward the mission of the College in enhancing training for the civil service, particularly as the backbone of the Government in ensuring the accurate and comprehensive implementation of ‘one country, two systems’,” it quoted a bureau spokesperson as saying.

The applicant must have at least 15 years’ administrative or managerial experience. However, the job description does not specify that this must be as a civil servant.

Ingrid Yeung, permanent secretary for the civil service, will temporarily take up the post before the government appoints a candidate, which it expects to do in the first half of 2022.

Mid-December launch

First proposed in Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s policy address in 2017, the civil service college will initially be located at the Civil Service Training and Development Institute in North Point and then move to a purpose-built site in Kwun Tong

Patrick Nip
Patrick Nip. Photo: Patrick Nip, via Facebook.

The Kwun Tong complex, of which the civil service college will be a part, will cost over HK$4.5 billion, according to government documents submitted to the Legislative Council in August.

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip said on Commercial Radio last Saturday that the college would be launched by mid-December this year.

Civil servants in Hong Kong are now required to swear allegiance to the Hong Kong government and sign a vow to uphold the Basic Law.

After the government announced the new requirement, the civil service saw the highest number of resignations since the handover in 1997. Nip said in July that 129 people refused to take the oath and faced dismissal.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.