The network of advisory and statutory bodies is a distinctive feature
of the system of government. It seeks to obtain, through consultation
with interested groups and individuals in the community, the best possible
advice on which to base decisions or to perform statutory functions.
Advisory bodies give advice to the Government through
a Principal Official or a Head of Department. A few advisory bodies tender
their advice directly to the Chief Executive. Their areas of activities
are wide-ranging. Some of the advisory bodies, such as the Telecommunications
Standards Advisory Committee, deal with the interests of a particular
industry. Others advise on a particular area of government policy, such
as the Transport Advisory Committee. Some advisory bodies, such as the
District Fight Crime Committees and Area Committees, deal essentially
with district affairs. Statutory bodies perform their functions according
to the relevant legislation. Some of them, such as the Hospital Authority,
perform executive functions.
Government officials and members of the public are
represented in these bodies. Over 5 000 members of the public are serving
on about 500 bodies. These people are appointed in view of their specialist
knowledge or expertise, their record or interest in contributing to community
service, and the specific needs of the concerned bodies. Many of them
are also nominees or representatives from organisations in different sectors.
The Government oversees the operation of the advisory
and statutory bodies to ensure that they meet the needs of the community.
A reasonable turnover of membership is generally maintained to keep up
the inflow of new ideas. The Government will continue to enhance participation
of various sectors in the work of advisory and statutory bodies as well
as promote the public's understanding of their work through a number of