New civil servant requirement set

October 12, 2020

Civil servants joining the Government from July 1 will be required to take an oath or make a declaration that they will uphold the Basic Law, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and be responsible to the Government.


The Civil Service Bureau issued a circular to all departments today, promulgating a new requirement for appointment to the civil service on or after July 1.


The bureau said the arrangement is made to enhance civil servants' awareness of the expectations and responsibilities brought on them by their official positions.


Most prospective appointees are required to sign a declaration when accepting the offer of appointment, while those appointed directly to senior positions such as heads of departments will be required to take an oath. 


The bureau noted that the requirement for civil servants to take an oath or make a declaration is an open acknowledgement of the acceptance and a genuine manifestation of the responsibilities of and expectations on civil servants, which will further safeguard and promote the core values that should be upheld by civil servants, and ensure the effective governance of the Hong Kong SAR Government.


This arrangement also accords with the National Security Law, it added.


The bureau also pointed out that it has consistently been the duty of civil servants to uphold the Basic Law, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR and be responsible to the Hong Kong SAR Government under the Basic Law and the Civil Service Code.


Appointees to civil service posts should in no uncertain terms acknowledge and accept these duties.


Article 6 of the National Security Law also stipulates that a resident of the Hong Kong SAR who stands for election or assumes public office shall confirm in writing or take an oath to uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR in accordance with the law.


Where an officer is suspected or is found to have breached the declaration or oath while in service, the case will be dealt with according to civil service rules and regulations, including disciplinary action under the Public Service (Administration) Order or the relevant disciplined services legislation, the bureau added.

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