Executive Council of Hong Kong

Executive Council of Hong Kong

The Executive Council of Hong Kong (ExCo, zh-t|t=行政會議) is an organ in the Executive branch of the political structure of Hong Kong. It is responsible for assisting the Chief Executive in policy-making. (Article 54 of the Basic Law). In other words it is the cabinet of the Chief Executive.

The Executive Council normally meets once a week (on Tuesday). The Executive Council is consulted before the Chief Executive makes important policy decisions, often make decisions via Orders-in-Council, or introduces bills to the Legislative Council.


The Executive Council was first set up by the colonial government. In 1949, Exco had five ex-officio members: the senior military officer, the colonial secretary, the attorney general, the secretary for Chinese affairs and the financial secretary; the Commissioner of Labour, while an 'official' was not an ex-officio member. In addition, there were six 'unofficial members': the chief manager of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp, the Jardine's taipan, a solicitor, two barrister, and a physician. [Ingrams, Harold, "Hong Kong" (Her Magesty’s Stationery Office, London: 1952), p. 231.] The formation of the Executive Council remained after the transfer of sovereignty in 1997 (except the title of senior member was renamed convenor) until a ministerial system (named Principal Officials Accountability System or POAS) was introduced in 2002, Tung Chee Hwa's second term of office. Since then all secretaries are political appointees and have to leave the civil service. All secretaries are appointed to the council, transforming the council effectively into a cabinet. Non-official members are minorities in the council, and are like ministers-without-portfolio. The position of convenor was abolished.

In fulfilling his election platform, Sir Donald Tsang, the new Chief Executive, appointed eight new non-official members the day after the policy address was delivered on October 12, 2005. Secretaries of bureaux will sit in meetings of the Council when the agenda is related to their portfolio, and the position of convenor was restored. It was seen as a move to re-strengthen the role of the Council as a link with the community.


The members of ExCo are appointed by the Chief Executive from among principal officials (informally called "ministers"), members of Legislative Council, and public figures. The appointment and removal is decided by the Chief Executive. There is no fixed term of office, but the term of office of members shall not extend beyond the expiry of that of the Chief Executive who appoints them. (Article 55 of the Basic Law)

The Council is presided over by the Chief Executive. There are currently 14 ex-officio members and 15 non-official members in the Executive Council. Ex-officio members except the Chief Secretary, Financial Secretary and Secretary for Justice only sit in meetings that are related to their portfolio.

Members include

* Sir Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, KBE, GBM, JP, - Chief Executive of Hong Kong and President of the Executive Council
* Henry Tang Ying-yen, GBS, JP - Chief Secretary for Administration
* John TSANG Chun-wah, JP - Financial Secretary
* Wong Yan Lung, SC, JP - Secretary for Justice
* Michael Suen Ming-yeung, GBS, JP - Secretary for Education
* Rita Lau Ng Wai Lan, JP - Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development
* Stephen LAM Sui-lung, JP - Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
* Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, IDSM, JP - Secretary for Security
* Dr York Chow Yat-ngok, SBS, JP - Secretary for Food and Health
* Denise Yue Chung Yee, GBS, JP - Secretary for the Civil Service
* Tsang Tak-sing, JP - Secretary for Home Affairs, criminal record holder [ [http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.2af62ecb329d3d7733492d9253a0a0a0/?vgnextoid=de748b35e0ba6110VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCRD&ss=Hong+Kong&s=News "Chan 'flabbergasted' by attack"] "South China Morning Post", Thursday, December 6, 2006 ]
* Matthew CHEUNG Kin-chung, GBS, JP - Secretary for Labour and Welfare
* Prof CHAN Ka-keung, SBS, JP - Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
* Carrie LAM CHENG Yuet-ngor, JP - Secretary for Development
* Edward YAU Tang-wah, JP - Secretary for the Environment
* Eva CHENG, JP - Secretary for Transport and Housing

Non-Official Members include:
* Leung Chun-ying, GBS, JP (Convenor of non-official members)
* Rafael Hui Si Yan GBM, GBS, JP - Former Chief Secretary for Administration
* Jasper Tsang Yok-sing GBS, JP - Legislative Councillor of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong
* Cheng Yiu-tong SBS, JP - General secretary of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions
* Andrew Liao Cheung-sing SBS, SC, JP - Senior Counsel
* Laura M Cha SBS
* Bernard C Chan JP - Legislative Councillor of The Alliance
* Lee Yeh Kwong, GBS, JP
* Ronald Arculli, GBS, JP
* Leong Che Hung, GBS, JP
* Marvin Cheung Kin Tung, SBS, JP
* Henry Fan Hung Ling, SBS, JP
* Victor Lo Chung Wing, GBS, JP
* Anthony Cheung Bing Leung, BBS, JP


The Executive Council meets in the Main Wing of the Central Government Offices on Government Hill, in Central and below Government House (former residence of the British Governor of Hong Kong).

The Provisional Executive Council of Hong Kong headed by Tung Chee Hwa met in Shenzhen prior to the handover. Members of the outgoing council were not permitted to attend this body.

ee also

* Politics of Hong Kong
* Legislative Council of Hong Kong

External links

* [http://www.ceo.gov.hk/exco Executive Council]


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