The LCSD is funded by the Government. Its expenditure for 2016-17 was $8,302 million. This covered operational and capital expenditure in five major areas: Recreation and Sports, Horticulture and Amenities, Heritage and Museums, Performing Arts, and Public Libraries. Funds were also used to support the Hong Kong Life Saving Society, the Hong Kong Archaeological Society, various local sports bodies, and camps run by non-government organisations.
The Government's Capital Works Reserve Fund finances the department’s major systems and equipment items which cost more than $10 million each, as well as the department’s capital works projects. The Architectural Services Department supervises the funding and progress of these projects.
To ensure robust financial control over the approved budget, the department operates a three-tier budgetary structure. About 200 budget holders are authorised to deploy funds under this structure, and are also accountable for their expenditure.
The LCSD administers more than 550 types of fees and charges. The department is responsible for ensuring that they are collected on time, properly accounted for, and periodically reviewed.
The department's revenue of $1,155 million for 2016-17 came primarily from fees and charges, ticket sales and facility rentals. Revenue is credited to the General Revenue Account.