Selection Committee

How the Selection Committee Should Work

The Selection Committee has been an integral part of the Selection process since its inception. The Selection Committee had been established by the Preparatory Committee for Electing the first Chief Executive in 1997 for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region after the formation of the special administrative region. The role of the committee is to recommend and elect the best candidate for the role of chief executive. In a general election, the chairperson of the Selection Committee is elected by a voting process with a large number of members. The role of the Selection Committee is to select a candidate who can be elected by the entire assembly of Hong Kong. A selection of the best candidate can only be done after careful consultation with the senior leaders of the Chinese community, among other external parties.

At its inception, the Selection Committee had six members; two from the Executive of the Executive Council and two from the Secretaries of the government departments concerned. The Secretaries are selected by the Chief Executive after consultation with the Selection Committee so that they are not biased. The selection committee plays an important role in the provision of ethical standards, training and development for the candidates and making sure that no candidate is offered a position on the basis of race, color or religion. The role of the committee is very important in providing guidelines for hiring that must be adhered to in order to avoid conflict of interest.

After the review and negotiations of the candidates, the final selection is made. Two members of the Selection Committee are chosen by the Chief Executive and two by the Chairmen of the Standing Committee and the elected members of the Selection Committee are: The Secretary for Health and Welfare, The Secretary for Education, The Chairman of the Joint Review and Appeal Procedures Committee, The Counseling and Lecturers’ Committee, The Assistant Chief Executive, The Assistant Head of the Legal Department and a Doctor of Health. The latter two posts are vacant as of now. At the time of filling the vacancies, the Government of New Zealand appointed two additional members to the Selection Committee: The Attorney General and The Solicitor General. The role of these two individuals is to ensure that all procedures are followed in the selection of candidates.

The role of these committees is important in ensuring that the public interest is protected. If the public interest is to be protected then these committees have to take their mandate from the government. There are times when the hiring committee is constituted by both the Cabinet and the opposition parties. These parties control the process by ensuring that the criteria to be used for selection are suitable for the country.

The role of these committees also involves giving the person interviewing a chance to develop and understand his interviewee prior to the interview. Through the entire selection process, transparency is maintained, and it is the panel’s responsibility to ensure that the interviewee has an opportunity to communicate with the committee member who is interviewing him/her. The openness shown by the interviewing committee member during the selection process enhances the confidence level of the interviewee and he/she can communicate the necessary information during the selection interview. Transparency increases the opportunity for candidates to develop their inner strengths and weaknesses in order to excel during the interview.

Candidates will only be successful if they will be comfortable expressing their thoughts during the selection process. The interview questions given should not have any predetermined answers because a successful candidate will be able to think on his/her own and arrive at the right answer without the help of any outside source. Interviewers should use their best judgment in selecting the most effective candidate and should be careful not to over-rule a successful candidate. The interview questions should be structured in a way that will enable successful candidates to understand what they should expect when they are being interviewed for a specific post.