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CP lauds gain of EPP targets without adverse Force effects

Enhanced Productivity Programme targets can be met without reductions to frontline services or other cuts within the Force.

Commissioner of Police Eddie Hui Ki-on recently endorsed the contents of the Programme which is set to start in April next year and includes 38 measures covering all five of the Force's departments.

Riding on: Border Enforcement Sub-unit officers continue their patrols after their former Field Patrol Detachment was amalgamated into Border District under the EPP changes
They will contribute to a saving of $130 million by making better use of resources and achieving productivity gains by computerisation, streamlining in organisation and procedure, along with the civilianisation, or contracting out, of some posts.

Mr Hui said he was pleased to report the moves would not bring about a decline in services or give rise to any redundancies, and thanked those involved in putting them together.

The Chief Executive announced the implementation of the EPP in his policy address last year saying five per cent must be saved from each government department's operating expenditure from 2000 to 2003, with a view to improving productivity across the civil service and ensuring money is spent on priority areas and funding new initiatives.

Numerous Force proposals were received and the plan for the first year's savings were confirmed and approved by Mr Hui in April who said he was grateful for the efforts of all levels of command in the Force for their contributions.

The Programme was put together by the five Programme Managers, the directors of Operations, Crime and Security, Management Services, Personnel and Training, and Finance Administration and Planning, who each consulted senior staff and established lists of initiatives for the first year.

"The programme does not affect the resources devoted to frontline operations in maintaining law and order and will not give rise to redundancies"

The Programme will make better use of resources and achieve productivity gains through information technology, streamlining in organisation and procedure, civilianisation of posts not necessary to be filled by police, employment of non-civil service contract staff, out-sourcing of services and support functions, and the reduction and deletion of unnecessary internal services, including services provided to other government departments.

The measures will include:

  • the amalgamation of the Field Patrol Detachment with Border District;
  • the revision of the Vetting Section and the various training courses;
  • centralisation of Crime Bureau control rooms;
  • contracting out the management of holiday and recreation facilities;
  • a revised role for the Auxiliaries;
  • civilianisation of Border Catering; and,
  • the regionalisation of recruiting facilities.

    They will also see the convergence of communication and information technology line rentals along with the computerisation of the Stores Management Division.

    Force Establishment and Manning Committee (FEMC) Chairman, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Management) Tsang Yam-pui, stressed the measures would not lead to redundancies and there would be no significant depletion to any promotion ranks.

    Mr Tsang said the Committee took great care in the creation and deletion of posts to avoid any major depletion to any particular rank or grade, which was a difficult, yet successful balancing act allowing the Force to meet the first year requirements of the EPP exercise.

    If a post was lost in one area, another was created somewhere else.

    "These measures met with our original ideas for the EPP, which was to restructure, civilianise, computerise and contract out.

    "It meets all the objectives and the CP is very pleased that in doing so we will not reduce our services to the public, or the quality of them, which is very important," Mr Tsang said.

    "The Programme does not affect the resources devoted to frontline operations in maintaining law and order so there will be no reduction in our services to the public. "The measures in 2000 and 2001 will not give rise to redundancies and promotion prospects will not be affected significantly. "

    "However it is inevitable there will be some reduction in certain promotion rank posts but great care will be taken and no specific rank or grade will be targeted - all areas of the Force will be considered evenly."

    Mr Tsang said there were plenty of proposals for the second and third years of the scheme which were now under consideration by Programme Managers who had expressed confidence in being able to produce the required savings without affecting Force efficiency.

    He said the Force would adopt the same concept in reviewing proposals for the second and third year, as it did in the first. "The most important thing in this kind of exercise is for each and every manager in the Force to adopt a value for money approach to day to day operations."

    Mr Tsang described a pilot project now under consideration, as an example. "One of the considered projects is to contract out some cleaning services in Police buildings.

    "However the workmen are more than just cleaners, so by contracting out cleaning services, we would not see the replacement of all the workmen in Police buildings.

    "We may start with pilots in selected buildings which may involve regrouping of workmen. We intend, for example say, if there are three stations we will pilot one for contract-out cleaning and then move the spare workers to the other two stations in order to avoid redundancy.

    "This would allow for natural wastage to occur. It would help efficiency also, for if in all three Police stations you have some deficiency of staff, it would allow the station with greatest deficiency to put the other two up to strength.

    "This would allow the highly deficient one to be contracted out, avoiding redundancy. So that will be used as a pilot and is one possibility for implementation."

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