Following is a question by the Hon Abraham Shek and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (December 5):
In his 2007-2008 Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced that the District Lands Offices would set up dedicated teams with an integrated management structure to expedite the processing of lease modification and land exchange applications. The Government would launch a pilot scheme in the next financial year by setting up the first dedicated team in the District Lands Office (Hong Kong West and South). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the details of the above pilot scheme (including the membership of the dedicated team, and the measures to be adopted by the relevant District Lands Office to expedite the processing of lease modification and land exchange applications);
(b) whether the Government will consult the relevant sectors on the measures to be adopted in the pilot scheme; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(c) whether the Government will eventually implement the pilot scheme on a territory-wide scale; if so, of the timetable for setting up the above dedicated teams in other District Lands Offices?
My reply to the three-part question is as follows -
(a) A dedicated team will be set up in April 2008 at the District Lands Office (Hong Kong West and South) for the processing of lease modification and land exchange applications. The team, comprising about 10 officers of appropriate professional and technical grades, will be working specifically on lease modification and land exchange applications. The team will also explore ways to expedite the processing of such applications through streamlining and enhancing the procedures and work flow, fostering stronger links with other departments, and enhancing communication with the applicants, etc.
(b) The Lands Department will maintain a dialogue with the sector on the setting up of such a dedicated team through the Land and Building Advisory Committee and its Land Sub-committee. We will also listen to the views of the sector through other channels.
(c) In the light of the experience gathered from the pilot scheme of a dedicated team in the District Lands Office (Hong Kong West and South), we will review how the scheme has been implemented in about one year's time, and consider how such experience can be applied to other District Lands Offices and the associated timetable of implementation.
Ends/Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Issued at HKT 15:00