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Govt work unaffected by CS vacancy

The Government today said its work will not be impeded despite the Chief Secretary post being left vacant since April 7, as appropriate arrangements have been put in place.   ​Responding to media enquiries, the Government pointed out the Chief Secretary is delegated with the power in granting exemptions from compulsory quarantine or from directions imposing certain requirements or restrictions on scheduled premises such as event places.   Such a power is granted under the relevant regulations made by the Chief Executive-in-Council under the Prevention & Control of Disease Ordinance.   With specific references to this delegated power, the Government explained that, by virtue of section 45 of the Interpretation & General Clauses Ordinance, the Chief Executive may by order direct the holder of another public office to exercise the power conferred upon the holder of any public office when “no person has been appointed to discharge the functions of that office”.   As a matter of fact, the Chief Executive has made such an order for an exemption from quarantine to be granted for the fifth batch of Mainland experts arriving Hong Kong on April 7 to support the city’s anti-epidemic work.   On April 2, the Government announced that exemptions from the prevailing social distancing restrictions and group gatherings under the relevant regulations have been granted to facilitate the necessary activities during the Sixth-term Chief Executive election in the interest of the Hong Kong public.   It added that it will continue to act lawfully in accordance with the public interest in respect of any Chief Executive election matters.
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