英文

下一篇

Editorial:HK Productivity Council not quite productive

【明報專訊】THE Hong Kong Productivity Council has a responsibility to help manufacturers perfect their management performance and enhance their productivity. However, the latest Director of Audit's Report shows that the Council has to remedy its own problems such as disorganisation and a perfunctory culture. The Council has to enhance its own productivity.

The Council was created more than half a century ago. Some of its expenses are subsidised by the government, while the others are covered by fees it receives for its services, such as management consultancy for corporations, manpower training and product testing. The responsibility of the Council is to support corporations' development of high-value-added products and services to enhance their international competitiveness. In 2015, the government proposed the idea of ''reindustrialisation'' in the hope of making use of innovation and technology to facilitate Hong Kong's development of advanced manufacturing and help corporations upgrade and transform themselves. One direction was to encourage existing corporations to add elements of innovation and technology to enhance quality and efficiency. In recent years, the Council has often talked loftily about supporting the ''digital transformation'' of local corporations and their ''smart development'' and helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make use of artificial intelligence and big data to enhance their productivity.

The Council is supposed to commit itself to enhancing productivity. However, judging from the Director of Audit's Report, the Council should put its own house in order first. It should make a serious effort to enhance management within itself, pay more attention to cost efficiency and remedy the undesirable situation of haphazardness. According to the report, the Council has completed 4,299 consultancy projects over the past five years. However, in 25% of these projects, the full cost was not recovered, resulting in a total loss of $33 million. The law stipulates that the Council has to ensure that it can recover all the cost before it takes on projects outside Hong Kong. However, the report finds that, over the past five years, in nearly 40% of the Council's overseas projects the full cost was not recovered.

It is necessary for Hong Kong to promote the development of innovation and technology. ''Reindustrialisation'' is also a step in the right direction. The government has to speed up the development. But at the same time, it should pay attention to the problem of a bloated bureaucracy. The development of innovation and technology is closely related to reindustrialisation, but they have different emphases. The development of innovation and technology is primarily about promoting scientific research and is high up on the industry chain. Reindustrialisation is mainly about merchandising and mass-producing the outcomes of research and development, and this belongs to the middle and lower parts of the chain. Theoretically, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp is focused on the former, while the Council's attention is more on the latter. But in practice an overlap of roles is very likely. Furthermore, some of the Council's work (such as organising visits by representatives of SMEs to Southeast Asia in exploration of business opportunities, helping with the training of teachers and helping secondary schools implement STEM programmes) seems to overlap with the duties of other departments.

Both the development of innovation and technology and reindustrialisation emphasise the ''integration of commerce and academia''. Whether the best way to achieve this goal is to let different organisations work on their own is a question that deserves review itself. The government should conduct a comprehensive and in-depth review of the role played by the Council in promoting reindustrialisation, its performance and the need for reform. All options — from strengthening its roles, streamlining and integration, and even keeping or discarding anything — should be on the table.

明報社評 2019.11.28:生產力局要先改善自身生產力

香港生產力促進局的職責,是協助廠商完善管治並提高生產力,然而最新審計報告卻顯示,生產力局有必要好好糾正局內管治紊亂苟且文化、改善自身的「生產力」。

生產力局成立超過半世紀,部分經費由政府資助,其餘則來自服務收費,包括向企業提供管理顧問、人力培訓和產品檢測服務等。生產力局的責任,是支援企業發展高增值產品服務,提升國際競爭力。2015 年,政府提出「再工業化」,希望運用創新科技,帶動香港發展先進製造業、協助企業升級轉型,方向之一是鼓勵現有產業加入創新科技元素,提高品質和效率,近年生產力局也經常大談支援本港企業實現「數碼轉型」、推動「智能發展」、協助中小企應用人工智能和大數據提升生產力。

生產力局以促進生產力為己任,惟觀乎審計報告內容,局方有必要先做好自己,認真改善局內管理、多講成本效益,糾正苟且亂象。報告指出,過去5個年度,局方共完成4299個顧問項目,當中有25%未能收回全部成本,總虧損達3300萬元。法例規定,生產力局要確保能收回所有成本,才可承擔香港以外的項目,惟報告發現,近5年局方接近40%海外項目未能收回全部成本。

香港需要推動創科發展,「再工業化」本身亦是正確方向,政府需要加快發展步伐,同時亦要留意架牀疊屋問題。創科發展與「再工業化」關係密切,惟兩者各有側重,創科發展強調推動科研,屬於產業鏈上游;再工業化要旨是將研發成果商品化和量產,屬中下游部分。理論上,科技園傾向以前者為着眼點,生產力局則較多放眼後者,可是實際操作起來,有時很容易出現角色功能重疊情况。另外,生產力局一些工作,諸如組織中小企代表到東南亞考察營商機會,又或協助培訓教師、協助中學推行STEM課程等,似乎又與其他部門有所重疊。

創科發展與再工業化講求「商學合一」,由多個不同機構各自為政推動,做法是否上算,本身便值得檢討。生產力局在推動再工業化方面,角色作用如何、表現是否理想、是否需要改革,當局亦應全面深入檢視,由強化功能、精簡合併乃至存廢問題,任何選項都不必一早排除。

■Glossary

put your own house in order:to organise your own business or improve your own behaviour before you try to criticise sb else

bloated:if you describe an organisation as bloated, you mean that it is too big and does not work effectively

on the table:if you put something on the table, you present it at a meeting for it to be discussed

上 / 下一篇新聞