DC's future to be considered

The Government will decide on the way forward for district councils after the oath-taking arrangements for all serving council members are completed.   Chief Executive Carrie Lam made the remarks when answering media questions ahead of the Executive Council meeting.   She noted that the Government handles the oath-taking requirements for district councillors strictly according to the law.   "Our position is that we will act in strict accordance with the Basic Law requirement, the National Security Law requirement and the local legislation to decide whether a serving district council member could fulfil the obligations under these legal requirements, and if not, they could no longer serve as a district council member.   "So once all this has been settled - including the third batch of oath-taking by district council members which is now going on and another batch which will shortly be invited to take the oath - then the Government will have an idea of how these 18 district councils will be constituted.   "And then of course we have to decide whether they are still functional in a fair and efficient manner.   "For example, some district councils will be left with only a couple of district council members so they could not even have a chairman, no quorum.   "But at the same time, they do have a lot of influence in allocating district council funds or deciding on which district minor works should be undertaken with public money."   The Chief Executive also responded to rumours that the Government will take away the councils' power of allocating funds, adding that they are advisory bodies as provided for under Article 97 of the Basic Law.   "Unlike the Legislative Council, district councils by themselves, they do not possess power to make decisions, to employ staff or to allocate money. The influence that we have given district councils over the years is out of respect and recognition of the representativeness of these members.   "We have allowed them to have a say on the use of the public money which is controlled by a public official in the name of the Director of Home Affairs.   "So that is the constitutional position. So it does not constitute any taking away of power."
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