The Civil Service Consultation Document issued by the Hong Kong Government in March 1999 proposed that consideration be given to introducing some from of performance-based pay system in the civil service. While recognizing the lack of flexibility in the current civil service pay system which is built on the principle of fair comparison with the private sector (through annual pay trend surveys and periodic pay level reviews), and the growing global trend (as in OECD countries) to link civil service pay to performance, this article argues that the efficacy of performance-based pay in practice is still questionable. It goes on to challenge several claims in favour of performance pay in the public sector: that the civil service can easily follow what private firms do in rewarding performance; that a performance pay system is more objective and fairer than the existing pay system; that public managers welcome performance pay as a preferred tool of management; and even more critically, that performance pay is an important motivator of performance. Copyright © 1999 Hong Kong Public Administration Association: Dept. of Public & Social Administration, City University of Hong Kong.
|Journal||Public Administration and Policy: An Asia-Pacific Journal|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1999|