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High quality service to be offered by outsourced Tai Kok Tsui Sports

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has sent letters to staff of all ranks and grades as well as their trade union representatives, detailing the arrangements of outsourcing management work of the soon-to-be-completed Tai Kok Tsui Sports Centre and its swimming pool to address their concerns.

The LCSD trusts that the outsourcing arrangements will also provide quality recreation and sports services and facilities for the general public.

Explaining the background of the outsourcing arrangements and the underlying considerations, an LCSD spokesman said that due to the freeze in the civil service establishment, the department was unable to create new posts for newly-completed facilities. "This is the reason the department has to outsource the management work of the new facilities. At present, the management work of 10 sports centres has been contracted out and such arrangements have not affected existing staff members," the spokesman said.

With the continued freeze in the civil service establishment, the department needs to contract out the management work of Tai Kok Tsui Sports Centre and its swimming pool which will soon be completed. The department stressed that such arrangements would not affect any existing staff members.

Scheduled to be open to the public late this year, Tai Kok Tsui Sports Centre comprises a multi-purpose arena, an indoor climbing wall, three multi-purpose activity rooms, a gymnastics room, a children playroom, an indoor swimming pool and a training pool, thus providing a wide range of recreation and sports facilities for residents of the district.

"To ensure the quality of services provided by the contractor, in addition to stipulating the various services to be offered and the required standards in the contract entered into with the contractor, the LCSD will conduct regular visits to the venue and mount surprise checks so as to ensure the contractor will fully comply with the contract terms," the spokesman emphasised.

"The department has also set up a standing committee chaired by the Deputy Director (Leisure Services) that meets regularly with district representatives in order to strengthen communication, map out effective management measures and monitor the standards of service provided by the contractors," he added.

The LCSD has been keeping a close watch on the quality of outsourced service provided by contractors. On the list of the 10 outsourced facilities is Island East Sports Centre and its swimming pool whose facilities are quite similar to those of Tai Kok Tsui Sports Centre and its swimming pool.

"The records of the outsourced Island East Sports Centre in the past four years showed that the overall performance of the contractor has been satisfactory," the spokesman said.

"A survey conducted between February and March this year by an independent consultancy firm engaged by the LCSD showed that 87.1% of respondents ranked the overall quality of service provided at the swimming pool as 'satisfactory'."

"The department believes that outsourcing the management work of Tai Kok Tsui Sports Centre and its swimming pool will also provide quality service for members of the public," the spokesman said.

Ends/Wednesday, June 29, 2005

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