The Department has followed the Government's policy of outsourcing non-core activities to the private sector in its provision of public services. The major services that have been outsourced to date include cleaning, security, horticultural maintenance and facility management. As of March 31, 2009, the Department was managing 117 outsourced contracts, covering both leisure and cultural facilities, with a total value of $2,120 million. The main objective of outsourcing is to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

In drawing up its outsourcing plans, the Department has adopted the following set of predetermined principles.

  • The contract must be commercially viable;
  • The standard of service must not be lowered;
  • The services must be cost-effective; and
  • There should be no staff redundancies.

Since 2000, the LCSD has contracted out the management of 16 sports centres to deliver quality services to the public in a more cost-effective manner and to make use of the private sector's expertise. These centres are the Jockey Club Tuen Mun Butterfly Beach Sports Centre, contracted out in 2000; the Quarry Bay Sports Centre, Island East Sports Centre, Chun Wah Road Sports Centre, Cheung Sha Wan Sports Centre and Chuk Yuen Sports Centre, contracted out in 2001; the Choi Hung Road Sports Centre, Wo Hing Sports Centre, North Kwai Chung Tang Shiu Kin Sports Centre and Ap Lei Chau Sports Centre, contracted out in 2004; the Fa Yuen Street Sports Centre, Wong Chuk Hang Sports Centre and Tai Kok Tsui Sports Centre, contracted out in 2005; and the Hiu Kwong Street Sports Centre, Yeung Uk Road Sports Centre and Tin Shui Wai Sports Centre, contracted out in 2007.

As a result of a previous staff freeze, the Department had no alternative but to contract out the management of several cultural facilities, including the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre in 2005; the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum and Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery in 2006; and the Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery cum Heritage Trail Visitors Centre in 2007.

Management of the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum was contracted out in 2006.

Contract Management

The Department maintains tight control over the monitoring and assessment of service contractors to protect the wages and employment benefits of non-skilled workers. Regular meetings are held between the headquarters contract management team and the senior managers of the contractors to appraise the latter's performance and exchange views on contract management issues and related policies. These meetings serve as a forum by which the Department enhances mutual communication and convey a message of zero tolerance for the exploitation of non-skilled workers. The LCSD has also implemented a computerised appraisal system that provides an overview of contractors' performance trends.
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