The outgoing chief of a government department has said there isn’t enough collaboration between departments when it comes to youth work in Hong Kong.
Lau Ming-wai, the chief of the city’s Commission on Youth – which will soon be shut down – said there was “close to zero” cross-bureau collaboration. He was hand-picked by former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to lead the advisory body in the aftermath of the 2014 Occupy movement.
“Youth work is fragmented and uncoordinated,” Lau said. “Most youth issues are interdepartmental, [but] those familiar with the government know that [it] is not the best at cross-departmental collaboration.”
When asked to name one thing he had failed to achieve so far, Lau said it was to “get other bureaus to listen and work together”.
“I cannot recall any time when there was genuine inter-bureau or cross-bureau collaboration … that has been a disappointment.” Lau said he had high hopes for the new Youth Development Commission, which will be led by Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung.
The seeds for the new Youth Development Commission were planted when Lau took the idea of a high-level body overseeing youth policies to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
Lau took part in the selection process for members to sit on the new commission. He said most of the interviewees were of a higher quality than expected. Cheung said he hoped the selection process would be finished in the first quarter of this year.
On October 11, Lam pledged to appoint more young people to government committees and policy research units. Her aim was to increase the ratio of youth members to 15 per cent per advisory committee, which usually has at least 20 members.