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HKSAR gov't requires all civil servants to swear to uphold Basic Law, bear allegiance to HKSAR
From:Xinhua  |  2021-01-15 22:29

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HONG KONG, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government has started to require all civil servants to swear to uphold the HKSAR Basic Law and bear allegiance to the HKSAR.

The Civil Service Bureau (CSB) issued a circular Friday to all government agencies and departments that civil servants appointed to their positions before July 1, 2020 should sign a declaration within four weeks and those in senior positions will be additionally required to take oath.

New civil servants, appointed to their positions after July 1, have already completed such procedure, a spokesman of the CSB said, adding that more than 4,000 people have made the declaration.

Under the Basic Law and the Civil Service Code, it has consistently been the duty of civil servants to uphold the Basic Law, bear allegiance to the HKSAR, be dedicated to their duties and be responsible to the HKSAR government, which has all along been what the government and the society expect and require of them, the spokesman said, stressing that all civil servants should in no uncertain terms acknowledge and accept these basic duties.

Taking an oath or signing a declaration is an open acknowledgment of the acceptance and a genuine manifestation of the responsibilities of and expectations on civil servants, which will enable civil servants to have a clearer awareness of their duties, responsibilities and requirements, the spokesman said.

The core values that should be upheld by civil servants will also be further safeguarded, strengthened and promoted, and the effective governance of the HKSAR government will be ensured, the spokesman said.

Negligence or refusal to take the oath or to duly sign and return the declaration by a civil servant casts serious doubts on the person's willingness to take up these basic duties and on the person's suitability to remain in the civil service, the spokesman said.

The government will, with regard to the specific circumstances of each case, decide whether to initiate action in accordance with the mechanisms under the Public Service (Administration) Order or the relevant disciplined services legislation as appropriate to terminate the service of the officer, the spokesman said, adding that the officer concerned will be given an opportunity to make representations in the process.

The government has an established mechanism to handle disciplinary matters of civil servants, the spokesman said.

If a civil servant commits misconduct that also involves a breach of the oath or declaration, the government will, having regard to the specific circumstances of the case, take appropriate disciplinary action against the officer for the misconduct committed, the spokesman added. Enditem