Downsizing and Voluntary Retirement Scheme
The permanent establishment of the department
was further reduced from 8,754 on 1.1.2002 to 8,247 on 31.12.2002
without compromising the quality of service. The reduction was
largely attributable to the deletion of posts in line with the
Government's policy to contain the size of the civil service and
the continuous outsourcing of services made possible by the high
subscription of our staff to the Voluntary Retirement Scheme. By
31.12.2002, a total of 1,103 officers had left the service under
the Voluntary Retirement Scheme.
The department will continue to explore scope
for private sector participation in the delivery of leisure and
cultural services to the public with a view to streamlining its
establishment. In proceeding with any service outsourcing programme,
care will be taken to ensure that there will be no permanent staff
redundancies and that the quality of service to the public will
not be jeopardised.
Staff Training and Development
In the face of rapid and unprecedented changes,
training and development are crucial in helping staff to strengthen
their professional competency, respond to the needs of the community
and enhance the quality of cultural and leisure services.
During the year, more than 8,400 officers attended
training programmes organised in-house and by local institutions
to enhance professional knowledge, customer service and information
technology. Local and overseas experts were invited to give lectures
and conduct seminars on specialised subjects. To further equip
our staff with the latest professional knowledge, 19 officers were
sponsored to undertake training programmes in top-notch institutions
|Staff of the Information and
Public Relations Section receive training on production
of Internet webpage.
In addition to vocational training, the department
places equal emphasis on training in management and communication.
Arrangements were made for 850 officers to take short courses at
the Civil Service Training and Development Institute during the
year. On China Studies, eight officers joined the Tsinghua Course
and the familiarisation visit to the Mainland sponsored by the
Civil Service Bureau. Arrangements were also made for management
staff to attend local executive development programmes for staff
development and succession planning.
Through staff training and development, the department
will continue to strive to develop a dynamic and customer-oriented
workforce to meet new challenges ahead.
Staff Relations and Communication
The department has a large number of staff working
in different work streams and locations, and it is therefore vital
to ensure formal and informal channels exist for maintaining effective
staff relations and communication.
The management and the staff meet regularly at
the Departmental Consultative Committee and the General Grades
Consultative Committee meetings to discuss issues of mutual concern.
These are effective forums to cultivate understanding and to pull
strength together to meet common goals. Formal meetings and informal
gatherings are also held with union representatives.
The Staff Relations/Staff Welfare Unit arranges
goodwill visits and counselling services to cater for the needs
of individuals. On the recreational aspect, special interest classes
and sports activities are held regularly. For example, Tai Chi
classes have been conducted voluntarily by a staff member who readily
shared his expertise with colleagues during lunchtime; and a colleague
gave a talk on narcissus-carving after work at the turn of the
Chinese New Year. These activities promote staff sharing and encourage
staff to make good use of their leisure time.
A very informative Staff Newsletter is published
every two months. It is another effective channel for staff communication.
The department places great emphasis on motivating
staff to perform their best and on recognising meritorious service.
The department operates a system to grant awards
to individuals and teams. For individuals, the highest award is
a Commendation Letter issued personally by the Director of Leisure
and Cultural Services. There are also Certificates of Merit issued
by Assistant Directors, and Long and Meritorious Service Certificates
are issued to long-serving staff with more than 20 years of service.
A Customer Appreciation Card Scheme enables satisfied customers
to acknowledge good service from individual staff members and for
staff members to obtain instant feedback from customers.
Staff who have made constructive and practical
suggestions are duly awarded under the Staff Suggestions Scheme.
This year these included two staff members who were recognised
for their notable inventions. The first is a small mechanical device
to remove iron tree stakes from the ground, which has proved useful
for staff working on horticultural activities; and the second is
a metal device for fixing swimming lanes.
|Staff who invented the metal
device for fixing swimming lanes demonstrates the
usage of the device.
Work Improvement Teams (WIT) are set up and competitions
are held to encourage and reward good team performance. WIT competitions
were previously held only for sports centres and aquatic venues,
while this year, a competition was also held among parks and playgrounds.