DC amendment bill gazetted

May 30, 2023

The District Councils (Amendment) Bill 2023 was gazetted today and introduced into the Legislative Council for the first and second readings tomorrow.


To implement the proposed reform of the District Councils (DCs) in the proposals on improving district governance announced earlier, the Government will amend the relevant legislation.


The amendment bill, covering six pieces of primary legislation and 15 pieces of subsidiary legislation, provides for nine key matters.


They include DCs’ functions; designation of District Officers as DC Chairmen and the relevant powers of the DC Chairmen; DCs’ composition; the appointment procedures of appointed DC members; the registration procedures of DC ex officio members; the establishment of the District Council Eligibility Review Committee; scenarios where DC members are disqualified; the election methods of DC members and relevant electoral arrangements; and the performance monitoring mechanism for DC members.


The Government said in order to put an end to the chaos of the sixth-term DCs and restore them to the right track, there is a necessity and urgency to reform DCs.


The purpose of the legislative amendment exercise is to enhance the functions of DCs and reform their composition, so that they can return to the positioning under Article 97 of the Basic Law, which are advisory and service bodies that are not organs of political power to be consulted by the Government on district administration and other affairs, it explained.


The Government stressed that the proposals strictly adhere to the three guiding principles for improving district governance such as according top priority to national security, fully implementing the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” and fully practising executive-led governance.


The Government added that it will fully complement the work of LegCo in scrutinising the bill for its early passage to kick-start the preparatory work for the election with a view to forming the new term of DCs on January 1, 2024.

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