Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 1:
Constitution and Administration
Role of the Chief Executive
The System of Government
- Executive Council
The System of Government
- Legislative Council
The System of Government
- District Administration
The Electoral System
HKSAR's External Affairs
Working Relationship of the HKSARG with the MFA Office
Working Relationship with the Mainland Authorities
Office of the HKSAR Government in Beijing
Advisory and Statutory Bodies
Structure of the Administration
Official Languages
Government Records Service
Office of The Ombudsman
Office of the Director of Audit
Home Pages
Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese
Table of Contents Constitution and Administration The Legal System The Economy Financial and Monetary Affairs Commerce and Industry Employment Education Health Food Safety, Environmental Hygiene, Agriculture and Fisheries Social Welfare Housing Land, Public Works and Utilities Transport The Environment Travel and Tourism Public Order Communications, the Media and Information Technology Religion and Custom Recreation, Sport and the Arts Population and Immigration History Appendices PRINT
The System of Government
- District Administration

The District Administration Scheme started in 1982 with the establishment of a District Board and a District Management Committee in each district. Through the scheme, the Government promotes public participation in district affairs and fosters a sense of belonging and mutual care among the people of Hong Kong. The scheme also helps to ensure that the Government is responsive to district needs and problems. Following the 1998 review of the structure and functions of district organisations, District Boards were renamed District Councils (DC) in 2000 to underline their important role in reflecting public opinion and monitoring the delivery of public services at district level.

The second term of the District Councils started on 1 January 2004. In addition to the 400 elected members, there are 102 appointed members and 27 ex officio members (chairmen of rural committees in the New Territories), making a total of 529 District Council members. The term of office of these council members is four years starting from January 2004. The next District Council election will be held in November 2007 and the third term will begin on 1 January 2008.

The main function of District Councils is to advise the Government on matters affecting the well-being of the people living and working in the districts as well as on the provision and use of public facilities and services within the districts. The Government also consults the District Councils on a wide range of issues.

Each district has a District Management Committee, chaired by the District Officer, and comprising the chairman, vice-chairman and committee chairmen of the District Council as well as representatives of Government departments providing essential services in the district. The District Management Committee serves as a forum for consultation, coordination and collaboration between different departments and the District Council to help resolve inter-departmental district issues and ensure that district needs are promptly met.

Another key function of District Councils is to carry out minor environmental improvement and community involvement projects with funds available. Such funds have been increased from $130 million in 1999-2000 to $173.5 million in 2006-07.

In 2006, the Administration conducted a review of the role, functions and composition of District Councils with a view to enhancing the functions of District Councils and improving government work in districts. Recommendations under the DC Review were generally well received. These include arrangements for District Councils to participate in the management of some district facilities, measures to strengthen communication between the District Councils and the Administration as well as to set up a high-level Steering Committee on District Administration to expedite resolution of district management issues, and proposals to provide better support to District Council members. A pilot scheme in four districts to involve the District Councils in the management of district facilities will be launched in January 2007. Experience from operating the pilot scheme is expected to facilitate the smooth implementation of the DC Review in all 18 districts starting January 2008.

To maintain a direct dialogue with local residents, each District Council operates a meet-the-public scheme, under which residents can meet council members face-to-face to express their views on district problems. The scheme has been well received by the public. It also provides a direct channel for District Councils to collect public views on local matters and territory-wide issues. In addition, many District Council members also operate ward offices to maintain contact with their constituents and to better meet the needs of the local community.

To promote harmony in the community and encourage public participation in district affairs, Area Committees have been set up in the 18 districts to advise on local issues as well as to help organise community activities and government campaigns. At year-end, there are 70 Area Committees.

Twenty Public Enquiry Service Centres, attached to the District Offices, provide a wide range of free services to the public. These services include answering general enquiries on government services; distributing government forms and information; administering oaths and declarations; and referring cases under the District Council members' meet-the-public scheme, the Free Legal Advice Scheme and the Rent Officer Scheme. The Public Enquiry Service Centres and the General Telephone Enquiry Centre served a total of 1.66 million clients in 2006.

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