Principal Officials Accountability System

Principal Officials Accountability System

Principal Officials Accountability System

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Description:
Principal Officials Accountability System (), commonly referred to as the Ministerial system, sometimes the Accountability system, was introduced in Hong Kong by Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa in July 2002. It is a system whereby all principal officials, including the Chief Secretary, Financial Secretary, Secretary for Justice and head of government bureaux would no longer be politically neutral career civil servants. Instead, they would all be political appointees chosen by the Chief Executive.

Under the new system, all heads of bureaux would become Minister, members of the Executive Council, a refashioned cabinet. They would report directly to the Chief Executive instead of the Chief Secretary or the Financial Secretary.

POAS was portrayed as the key to solving previous administrative problems, notably the lack of cooperation of high ranking civil servants with the Chief Executive. The changes were introduced by Tung at the beginning of his second term, with the hope of resolving difficulties he faced in governance.

It was expanded and superseded by the Political Appointment System in 2008.

Overview

Background

After the transfer of sovereignty, Hong Kong inherited the colonial system that all positions in the government were filled by civil servants. The historical bureaucracy...
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