Public Finance Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 2 PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997


To provide for the control and management of the public finances of Hong Kong and for incidental and connected
purposes.


[1 April 1983] L.N. 109 of 1983


(Originally 3 of 1983)

Part: I PRELIMINARY 30/06/1997




Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Public Finance Ordinance.

Section: 2 Interpretation L.N. 362 of 1997;

68 of 1999
01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 68 of 1999 s. 3


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"Appropriation Bill" (撥款條例草案) and "Appropriation Ordinance" (撥款條例) means a Bill or Ordinance, as the

case may be, which provides for appropriation from the general revenue in respect of the approved estimates of
expenditure on the services of the Government for a financial year;

"approved estimates of expenditure" (核准開支預算) means the estimates of expenditure deemed to be approved
under section 6;

"controlling officer" (管制人員) in relation to a head or subhead means the officer designated as controlling officer
of that head or subhead under section 12;

"Director of Audit" (審計署署長) means the Director of Audit appointed under section 3 of the Audit Ordinance
(Cap 122); (Amended L.N. 362 of 1997)

"expenditure" (開支 ) includes expenditure on the services of the Government required to be met under any
enactment;

"Finance Committee" (財務委員會) means the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council established under the
Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; (Amended 68
of 1999 s. 3)

"general revenue" (政府一般收入) means moneys which under this Ordinance or any other enactment are to be paid
into or to form part of the general revenue;

"head" (總目) means a head of expenditure;
"public moneys" (公帑) means-

(a) the general revenue;
(b) any moneys which are accounted for in the books or records of account of the Director of Accounting

Services; and (Replaced 11 of 1990 s. 2)
(c) any other moneys which the Chief Executive may declare in writing to be public moneys for the

purposes of this Ordinance; (Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)
"subhead" (分目) means a subhead of expenditure;
"Supplementary Appropriation Bill" (追加撥款條例草案) and "Supplementary Appropriation Ordinance" (追加撥

款條例) means a Bill or Ordinance, as the case may be, which provides for appropriation from the general
revenue in supplementation of the appropriation already made by an Appropriation Ordinance.



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 2

(Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)

Section: 3 The general revenue 30/06/1997


(1) Except where otherwise provided by or under this Ordinance or any other enactment any moneys raised or
received for the purposes of the Government shall form part of the general revenue.

(2) Any refund or drawback may be made from the general revenue in accordance with regulations made under
section 11. (Replaced 8 of 1984 s. 2)

(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that the reference in subsection (1) to moneys raised or
received for the purposes of the Government does not include moneys held on trust.

Section: 4 Charges on the general revenue 30/06/1997


No expenditure shall be charged on the general revenue except as provided by or under this Ordinance or any
other enactment.

Part: II THE ESTIMATES OF REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE,

AND APPROPRIATION
30/06/1997





Section: 5 Annual estimates 30/06/1997


(1) The Financial Secretary shall cause to be prepared in each financial year estimates of the revenue and
expenditure of the Government for the next following financial year, and shall cause such estimates to be laid before
the Legislative Council before or as soon as practicable after the commencement of the financial year to which they
relate.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the estimates of revenue and expenditure shall be in such form as the Financial
Secretary may from time to time direct.

(3) The estimates of expenditure shall-
(a) classify expenditure under heads and subheads with the ambit of each head described;
(b) in respect of each head show the estimated total expenditure, the provision sought in respect of each

subhead, the establishment of posts (if any), and the limit (if any) to the commitments which may be
entered into in respect of expenditure which is not annually recurrent; and

(c) specify the controlling officer designated in respect of each head and subhead under section 12.
(4) Where there is a requirement under any enactment that expenditure be met from the general revenue,

provision for such expenditure shall be included in the estimates of expenditure for the purposes of this Part, but
without prejudice to the validity or effect of any such requirement.

Section: 6 Approval of estimates of expenditure and appropriation 30/06/1997


(1) The heads contained in the estimates of expenditure for a financial year shall be included in an
Appropriation Bill which shall be introduced into the Legislative Council at the same time as the estimates.

(2) Upon the enactment of the Appropriation Ordinance the estimates of expenditure for the financial year to
which the Ordinance relates shall be deemed to be approved to the extent that they are provided for in the Ordinance
and shall have effect from the first day of such financial year.

(3) Expenditure for the financial year on the services of the Government shall, subject to this Ordinance, be
arranged in accordance with the heads and subheads and be limited by the provision in each subhead shown in the
estimates of expenditure as approved or as may subsequently be changed from time to time in accordance with section
8.

Section: 7 Authorization of expenditure in advance of appropriation 30/06/1997


(1) The Legislative Council may, in advance of an Appropriation Ordinance, by resolution authorize
expenditure for the services of the Government in respect of a financial year to be charged on the general revenue, in



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 3

accordance with this Ordinance and subject to such limitations and conditions as may be specified in the resolution.
(2) Expenditure charged on the general revenue pursuant to a resolution under this section shall be arranged in

accordance with the heads and subheads shown in the estimates of expenditure laid under section 5 and the provisions
of this Ordinance shall, for the purposes of this subsection and subject to such conditions and limitations as may be
specified in the resolution, apply to such estimates as though they were the approved estimates of expenditure.

(3) Expenditure charged on the general revenue pursuant to a resolution under this section shall be set off
against the amounts respectively provided in the Appropriation Ordinance upon the same coming into operation.

Section: 8 Changes to the approved estimates of expenditure 68 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 68 of 1999 s. 3


(1) Subject to this section, no changes shall be made to the approved estimates of expenditure except with the
approval of the Finance Committee upon a proposal of the Financial Secretary.

(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1) such changes may provide for all or any of the following
matters-

(a) the creation of new heads or subheads;
(b) supplementary provision in approved or new subheads;
(c) variations in the establishments of posts;
(d) increases in the limit to the commitments which may be entered into in respect of expenditure which is

not annually recurrent.
(3) The Finance Committee may delegate to the Financial Secretary the power to approve changes subject to

such conditions, exceptions and limitations as are specified in the delegation.
(4) The Financial Secretary, where a delegation by the Finance Committee under subsection (3) so provides,

and subject to such conditions, exceptions and limitations as are specified in the delegation, may further delegate his
power to approve changes to any public officer.

(5) A delegation to any public officer under subsection (4) shall be subject to such further conditions,
exceptions and limitations as the Financial Secretary may specify.

(6) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as limiting or affecting-
(a) the power of the Chief Executive to make any proposal, or allow or direct any proposal to be made, to

the Legislative Council, the object or effect of which is to require a change to the approved estimates
of expenditure; or (Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)

(b) a requirement under any enactment that expenditure be met from the general revenue.
(7) The Financial Secretary shall cause such changes to be made to the approved estimates of expenditure as

are necessary in respect of any-
(a) approval given under subsection (1), (3) or (4);
(b) expenditure pursuant to a proposal referred to in subsection (6)(a); or
(c) requirement referred to in subsection (6)(b) not otherwise provided for by approval under this section.

(8) The Financial Secretary shall at the end of each quarter of the financial year or as soon as practicable
thereafter-

(a) report to the Finance Committee changes made to the approved estimates of expenditure in that quarter
upon approval by him or by any public officer pursuant to a delegation under subsection (3) or (4), as
the case may be; and

(b) table in the Legislative Council a summary of all changes made to the approved estimates of
expenditure in that quarter under this section.

(9) Without prejudice to section 9, expenditure in respect of which a change to the approved estimates is made
under this section shall be charged on the general revenue notwithstanding that there has been no appropriation in
respect thereof by an Appropriation Ordinance.

Section: 9 Supplementary Appropriation 30/06/1997


If at the close of account for any financial year it is found that expenditure charged to any head is in excess of
the sum appropriated for that head by an Appropriation Ordinance, the excess shall be included in a Supplementary
Appropriation Bill which shall be introduced into the Legislative Council as soon as practicable after the close of the



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 4

financial year to which the excess expenditure relates.

Part: III CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT 30/06/1997




Section: 10 General powers and duties of the Financial Secretary 30/06/1997


The Financial Secretary shall, subject to this Ordinance and any other enactment, have the management of the
finances of the Government and the supervision, control and direction of all matters relating to the financial affairs of
the Government.

Section: 11 Power to make regulations and give directions, etc. 68 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 68 of 1999 s. 3


(1) Without prejudice to any other provision of this Ordinance, the Financial Secretary may make such
administrative regulations and give such administrative directions and instructions not inconsistent with this
Ordinance as may appear to him to be necessary or expedient for the better carrying out of the provisions and purposes
of this Ordinance and for the safety, economy and advantage of public moneys and Government property.

(2) Any regulations made or directions and instructions given by the Chief Executive or by any person
authorized by him, for purposes similar to those in respect of which regulations, directions and instructions may be
made or given under subsection (1), and which are in force at the commencement of this Ordinance, shall, in so far as
they are not inconsistent with this Ordinance, remain in force and shall be deemed for all purposes to have been made
or given under this section and to be liable to revocation or amendment hereunder. (Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)

Section: 12 Controlling officers 30/06/1997


(1) Estimates of expenditure laid before the Legislative Council shall designate a controlling officer in respect
of each head and subhead.

(2) Subject to section 14(5), a controlling officer shall be responsible and accountable for all expenditure from
any head or subhead for which he is the controlling officer, and for all public moneys and Government property in
respect of the department or service for which he is responsible.

Section: 13 Controlling officers to obey regulations and directions, etc. 30/06/1997


Every controlling officer shall obey all regulations made and directions or instructions given by the Financial
Secretary under section 11 and shall, if so required, account to the Financial Secretary for the performance of his
duties as controlling officer.

Section: 14 Authority of controlling officers to incur expenditure 30/06/1997


(1) Subject to any regulations made or directions or instructions given by the Financial Secretary under section
11 and to any reservation made by the Financial Secretary under subsection (3), a controlling officer may, in
accordance with this Ordinance, incur expenditure and authorize expenditure to be incurred against any provision
shown in any subhead for which he is the controlling officer.

(2) No expenditure shall be incurred against any provision shown in any subhead except by or under the
authority of the controlling officer.

(3) The Financial Secretary may, in writing, reserve the whole or any part of any provision shown in any
subhead and for so long as such reservation remains in force no expenditure shall be incurred against the provision
reserved.

(4) A controlling officer may, in respect of any subhead for which he is the controlling officer, by allocation
warrant signed by him or by a public officer authorized generally or specially by him, authorize any other controlling
officer to incur expenditure or authorize expenditure to be incurred against any provision shown in that subhead-



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 5

(Amended 8 of 1984 s. 3)
(a) for any purpose within the ambit of that subhead; and
(b) in accordance with the terms of the allocation warrant.

(5) The controlling officer to whom an allocation warrant is issued under subsection (4) shall be responsible
and accountable for any expenditure incurred under the warrant as if he were the controlling officer designated in
respect thereof under section 12.

Section: 15 Further authority of controlling officers in respect of

urgent expenditure
30/06/1997



(1) Where an urgent need has arisen for expenditure to be incurred which-
(a) requires a change to the approved estimates of expenditure in respect of matters referred to in section

8(2)(b) or (d); and
(b) in the opinion of a controlling officer cannot be deferred until the necessary change is made in

accordance with section 8 without serious detriment to the public interest,
the controlling officer may, on his personal responsibility, incur the expenditure in anticipation of such change.

(2) As soon as practicable after incurring expenditure under subsection (1) the controlling officer shall report
the matter to the Financial Secretary for the purpose of having the necessary change made to the approved estimates of
expenditure.

(3) Where the necessary change to the approved estimates of expenditure is not made in accordance with
section 8, the expenditure incurred shall not be charged on the general revenue but shall remain the personal
responsibility of the controlling officer who incurred the expenditure.

Part: IV RECEIPT, PAYMENT AND CUSTODY OF PUBLIC

MONEYS
30/06/1997





Section: 16 Duties of Director of Accounting Services 30/06/1997


(1) The Director of Accounting Services shall be responsible for the compilation and supervision of the
accounts of the Government, for the management of accounting operations and procedures, and for ensuring that all
regulations, directions or instructions made or given under this Ordinance relating thereto and in respect of the safe
custody of public moneys and its accounting are complied with.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of his duties under subsection (1) and the powers conferred on the
Financial Secretary by section 11 the Director of Accounting Services shall-

(a) ensure that adequate arrangements are made for bringing promptly and properly to account all public
moneys received and paid by the Government;

(b) pay such sums from public moneys as he is authorized to pay under this Ordinance or any other
enactment;

(c) ensure, in so far as is practicable, that adequate arrangements are made for the safe custody of public
moneys; and

(d) bring to the notice of the Financial Secretary and the Director of Audit, in writing, any material defect
in departmental control of revenue, expenditure, cash, stamps, securities, stores and other Government
property which may come to his notice and any persistent breaches of regulations, directions or
instructions made or given under this Ordinance.

(3) Subject to the provisions of any enactment, in the exercise of his duties the Director of Accounting Services
shall be entitled to inspect all offices and shall have access to all records, books, vouchers, documents and receipts
relating to public moneys and to all cash, stamps, securities, stores and any other Government property in the
possession of any public officer.

(4) The Director of Accounting Services may, in writing, delegate to any public officer any of the powers
conferred upon him by subsection (3).




Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 6

Section: 17 Prompt collection of moneys 30/06/1997


Any public officer responsible for the collection of moneys due to the Government shall collect such moneys
promptly and in full unless authorized by the Director of Accounting Services or under any enactment to defer
collection or to arrange collection by instalments.

Section: 17A Disposal of fines and penalties 68 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 68 of 1999 s. 3


Any fine or penalty imposed by or under the authority of any Ordinance shall be paid into the general revenue:
Provided that the Chief Executive may direct the payment to any aggrieved person, or to any person whose

information or evidence has led to the conviction of the offender or to the recovery of the fine or penalty, of such
proportion of the fine or penalty as he may think fit.

(Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)
________________________________________________________________________________
Note:
This provision previously appeared in s. 93 of Cap 1. By virtue of 89 of 1993 s. 27, it was re-enacted as s. 17A
of this Ordinance.

Section: 17B Disposal of forfeits 68 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 68 of 1999 s. 3


(1) Where under any Ordinance any movable property is adjudged by any court or other authority to be
forfeited, it shall be forfeited to the Government, and the net proceeds thereof, if it is ordered by a competent authority
to be sold, shall be paid into the general revenue. (Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)

(2) Nothing in this section shall affect any provision in any Ordinance whereby any portion of any forfeit or of
the proceeds of any forfeit is expressed to be recoverable by any person or may be granted by any authority to any
person.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Note:
This provision previously appeared in s. 94 of Cap 1. By virtue of 89 of 1993 s. 27, it was re-enacted as s. 17B
of this Ordinance.

Section: 17C Collection of fees L.N. 320 of 1999 01/01/2000


(1) Where, for the purposes of any Ordinance, the law of a jurisdiction other than Hong Kong or any treaty, the
signature of the Chief Executive or of any public officer is affixed to any certificate, authorization, consent, licence,
permit or exemption, or any alteration, transfer or renewal thereof, addition thereto or endorsement thereon, or any
copy of the same, and no fee for such signature is prescribed by law, there shall be payable for such signature such fee
as the Financial Secretary may prescribe by notice in the Gazette. (Amended 42 of 1983 s. 2; 23 of 1998 s. 2; 68 of
1999 s. 3)

(2) Where any Ordinance requires or authorizes the issue of any document by a public officer, such public
officer may, subject to any directions of the Chief Executive, issue a duplicate of such document, upon payment of
such fee as may be prescribed by law or as the Financial Secretary may prescribe by notice in the Gazette if no fee is
prescribed by law. (Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)

(3) Where any Ordinance requires or authorizes any alteration, transfer, or endorsement of or addition to any
certificate, authorization, consent, licence, permit or exemption by a public officer, such fee shall be payable therefor
as may be prescribed by law or as the Financial Secretary may prescribe by notice in the Gazette if no fee is prescribed
by law.

(4) Where an extract of any document, book, record or instrument may be properly certified by a public officer
as a true extract of such document, book, record or instrument, such fee shall be payable for the certifying of the
extract by such officer as may be prescribed by law or as the Financial Secretary may prescribe by notice in the



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 7

Gazette if no fee is prescribed by law.
(5) (Repealed 78 of 1999 s. 7)

(Amended 69 of 1973 s. 4)
______________________________________________________________________________
Note:
This provision previously appeared in s. 97 of Cap 1. By virtue of 89 of 1993 s. 27, it was re-enacted as s. 17C
of this Ordinance.

Section: 18 Payment of public moneys 30/06/1997


No public officer shall make any payment of public moneys unless he is authorized to do so-
(a) by warrant issued under section 19, 20, 21, 22 or 29 or by regulations, directions or instructions made

or given under this Ordinance; or
(b) by any other enactment.


Section: 18A Award of compensation 68 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 68 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Legislative Council may by resolution award compensation, by way of either a single payment or
periodical payments, from the general revenue to any person injured in the execution of a moral or legal duty to assist
in the prevention of or resistance to crime or any offence, or to the dependants of a person so injured who dies as a
result of such injury. (Amended L.N. 54 of 1989; 68 of 1999 s. 3)

(2) Any award made under this section may be made subject to such conditions as may be specified in such
resolution and may at any time be varied or revoked by the Legislative Council by resolution.

(3) No award made under this section shall be assignable or transferable or liable to be attached, sequestered or
levied upon for or in respect of any debt or claim whatsoever other than a debt due to the Government.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Note:
This provision previously appeared in s. 95 of Cap 1. By virtue of 89 of 1993 s. 27, it was re-enacted as s. 18A
of this Ordinance.

Section: 19 Payment of certain moneys to be authorized by warrant 30/06/1997


(1) Upon the coming into operation of an Appropriation Ordinance, the Financial Secretary shall authorize the
Director of Accounting Services by general warrant under his hand to pay from the general revenue such sums as may
be required to meet expenditure in accordance with that Ordinance.

(2) Upon the making by the Legislative Council of a resolution under section 7, the Financial Secretary shall
authorize the Director of Accounting Services by vote on account warrant under his hand to pay from the general
revenue such sums as may be required to meet expenditure in accordance with the resolution.

(3) Upon the making of a change to the approved estimates of expenditure in accordance with section 8, the
Financial Secretary shall authorize the Director of Accounting Services by supplementary warrant under his hand to
pay from the general revenue, in accordance with the change made, such sums as may be required to meet expenditure
from any head in excess of the sum appropriated by the Appropriation Ordinance for that head.

Section: 20 Recoverable advances 30/06/1997


Subject to the provisions of any enactment, the Financial Secretary may, by advances warrant under his hand,
authorize the Director of Accounting Services to pay from public moneys such sums as may be necessary for the
purpose of making advances which are recoverable and the amount recovered in each case shall be set off against the
sum advanced.




Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 8

Section: 21 Advances to meet urgent need for payment 30/06/1997


(1) Subject to this section, where the Financial Secretary is satisfied that due to exceptional circumstances an
urgent need has arisen for payment-

(a) to meet expenditure-
(i) for which no provision or insufficient provision is shown in the approved estimates of

expenditure, whether or not such expenditure has been improperly incurred; or
(ii) not being expenditure referred to in sub-paragraph (i), which appears to the Financial Secretary

to have been improperly incurred; and
(b) which cannot be deferred without detriment to the public interest,

he may by contingencies warrant under his hand authorize the Director of Accounting Services to pay from public
moneys an advance of moneys to meet that need.

(2) Without prejudice to section 31, a contingencies warrant shall cease to have effect if-
(a) being a warrant issued in respect of expenditure referred to in subsection (1)(a)(i), the necessary

change is made to the approved estimates of expenditure; or
(b) being a warrant issued in respect of expenditure referred to in subsection (1)(a)(ii), such expenditure is

authorized by the Financial Secretary.
(3) Where under subsection (2) a contingencies warrant ceases to have effect the advance to which it relates

shall be deemed to have been made for the purpose of a charge on the general revenue and shall be accounted for
accordingly.

(4) A contingencies warrant shall specify a controlling officer who shall be personally responsible for the
advance to which such warrant relates, unless such advance is charged on the general revenue in accordance with this
Ordinance.

Section: 22 Imprests 30/06/1997


(1) The Financial Secretary may, by imprest warrant under his hand, and subject to such conditions as he may
specify, authorize the Director of Accounting Services to issue imprests from public moneys to public officers.

(2) Any public officer in receipt of an imprest shall be personally liable for such imprest in accordance with
such conditions as the Director of Accounting Services may specify and shall retire the imprest when required to do so
by the Director of Accounting Services.

(3) Where an imprest is not duly retired, the Director of Accounting Services may, notwithstanding the
provisions of any other enactment, deduct the amount or any part thereof from any moneys of any description,
including salary, wages, pension or other emoluments payable, or which may become payable, by the Government to
the officer to whom the imprest was issued.

(4) Nothing in this section shall affect the right of the Government, which is hereby declared, to-
(a) sue the person to whom the imprest was issued for the recovery of the amount of any imprest not duly

retired or any part thereof, as a civil debt due to the Government; or
(b) sue any person for the recovery of any amount as a civil debt notwithstanding that a person may be

personally liable for part or all of the amount under this section.

Section: 23 Deposits 30/06/1997


(1) Except where otherwise provided under any enactment or authorized by the Director of Accounting
Services, any moneys raised or received by the Government, not being moneys raised or received for the purposes of
the Government and not being a donation or grant referred to in section 24, shall be deposited with the Director of
Accounting Services.

(2) Except where otherwise provided under any enactment or authorized by the Director of Accounting
Services, any moneys deposited under subsection (1) (hereinafter in this section referred to as a deposit) shall not form
part of the general revenue and shall not be applied in any way for the purposes of the Government, but shall in all
other respects be received and accounted for and otherwise dealt with as public moneys.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (2), the Financial Secretary in his discretion may authorize the
investment of any deposit in such manner as he may determine, and any interest or dividend received in respect of any
deposit so invested shall form part of the general revenue.

(4) A deposit which is unclaimed for 5 years may be treated as moneys received for the purposes of the



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 9

Government and, if so treated, shall form part of the general revenue.
(5) Where under subsection (4) a deposit forms part of the general revenue any person entitled thereto may,

within 6 years after the date on which the moneys become part of the general revenue, claim for a refund.

Section: 24 Donations and grants 30/06/1997


(1) Without prejudice to the provisions of any other enactment, any donation or grant of moneys received by
any public officer in the course of his duties or by virtue of his being a public officer, not being public moneys and not
being received pursuant to any other enactment, shall be reported to the Financial Secretary.

(2) Every donation or grant referred to in subsection (1) shall be accounted for and expended in accordance
with such instructions as the Financial Secretary may give.

Section: 25 Banking 30/06/1997


Except where otherwise provided under any enactment, no public officer in the course of his duties shall open an
account or otherwise deposit any moneys at any bank or other financial institution without the authority in writing of
the Financial Secretary or an officer authorized by him in writing for the purposes of this section.

Section: 26 Investment of moneys 30/06/1997


(1) Subject to the provisions of any enactment, the Financial Secretary in his discretion may authorize the
investment of moneys forming part of the general revenue in such manner as he may determine.

(2) All investments made under this section together with any interest or other sums received therefrom shall
form part of the general revenue.

(3) Subject to the provisions of any enactment, all investments held by or on behalf of the Government at the
commencement of this Ordinance and forming part of the general revenue shall be deemed to have been made under
this section.

Section: 27 Borrowing powers and loans 68 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 68 of 1999 s. 3


(1) Subject to subsection (2) the Government shall not borrow money except in accordance with an Ordinance.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other enactment, the Financial Secretary may borrow by means of

advances from any bank, by means of a fluctuating overdraft or otherwise, such sums as may be required to meet day
to day payments and any interest or service charges in respect of such sums shall be charged on the general revenue.
(Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)

Section: 28 Guarantees 30/06/1997


(1) No public officer shall give a guarantee involving any financial liability upon the Government unless such
guarantee is given-

(a) for the purposes of and in accordance with the provisions of an Ordinance or a resolution of the
Legislative Council; or

(b) with the prior approval of the Finance Committee.
(2) No guarantee given in contravention of subsection (1) shall be binding on the Government.


Section: 29 Establishment of funds 30/06/1997


(1) The Legislative Council may by resolution provide for the establishment of funds to which moneys
appropriated for the purpose, and such other moneys received for the purposes of the Government as may be specified
in the resolution, may be credited and from which moneys may, under the authority of a funds warrant issued by the
Financial Secretary, be expended for the purposes for which the funds were established subject to such conditions,



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 10

exceptions and limitations as may be specified in the resolution. (Amended 16 of 1985 s. 2)
(1A) Moneys specified in a resolution passed under subsection (1) in respect of any fund shall, if such moneys

have not been appropriated for the purpose of the fund when the resolution is passed, be deemed to be appropriated
thereby for that purpose; and this subsection shall apply in relation to any such resolution whether passed before or
after the commencement of the Public Finance (Amendment) Ordinance 1985 (16 of 1985). (Added 16 of 1985 s. 2)

(2) Unless an Ordinance or a resolution made under subsection (1) otherwise provides, the earnings from
interest or dividends on investments of funds established under this section shall not be retained for the purposes of
such funds, but shall form part of the general revenue.

(3) The funds set out in the First Schedule shall be deemed to have been established in accordance with this
section, and subsection (2) shall apply in respect thereof.

Section: 30 Special suspense accounts 30/06/1997


(1) The Legislative Council may by resolution approve the establishment of a suspense account (in this section
referred to as a special suspense account) for the purposes of any commercial or industrial activity carried on by or on
behalf of the Government and specified in the resolution, subject to such conditions and limitations as may be
specified in the resolution.

(2) Unless a resolution made under subsection (1) otherwise provides, any moneys in a special suspense
account which in the opinion of the Financial Secretary are in excess of the amount reasonably required for the
purposes of the account, shall not be retained therein but shall form part of the general revenue.

(3) The suspense accounts set out in the Second Schedule shall be deemed to be special suspense accounts
established in accordance with this section, and subsection (2) shall apply in respect thereof.

Section: 31 Appropriations and warrants to lapse at close of financial

year
30/06/1997



Every appropriation by the Legislative Council from the general revenue for the service of any financial year
and every warrant issued under the provisions of this Ordinance shall lapse and cease to have effect at the close of that
financial year.

Part: V SURCHARGE 30/06/1997




Section: 32 Power to surcharge 30/06/1997


(1) If, at any time, it appears to the Financial Secretary that any person who is or was employed as a public
officer-

(a) has failed to collect any moneys owing to the Government for the collection of which he is or was at
the time of such employment responsible;

(b) is or was at the time of such employment responsible for any improper payment of public moneys or
for any payment of public moneys which is not duly vouched;

(c) has improperly incurred expenditure at the time of such employment;
(d) is or was at the time of such employment responsible for any deficiency in or loss or destruction of or

damage to any public moneys, stamps, securities, stores or other Government property; or
(e) is or was at the time of such employment responsible for any loss or destruction of or damage to any

property as a result of which the Government is liable for the cost of replacement or repair or for the
payment of compensation,

and, if, within a period specified by the Financial Secretary, an explanation satisfactory to him is not furnished with
regard to such failure to collect, improper payment, payment not duly vouched, expenditure improperly incurred,
deficiency, loss, destruction or damage, as the case may be, the Financial Secretary may, without prejudice to the
provisions of any other enactment relating to the surcharge (however called) of a public officer, but subject to
subsections (2) and (3), surcharge the person such sum as he may determine.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1), the Financial Secretary shall not surcharge a person under
subsection (1) unless he is satisfied, in all the circumstances of the case including, without limiting the generality of



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 11

the foregoing, the nature of any disciplinary proceedings which may have been or may be taken against such person,
that it is fair and reasonable to do so.

(3) In determining the sum to be surcharged under subsection (1)-
(a) the Financial Secretary shall take due account of the ability of the person surcharged to pay the

surcharge without undue financial hardship; and
(b) the sum of the surcharge shall not in any case exceed the amount of the moneys not collected, or of the

improper payment, or payment not duly vouched, or of the expenditure improperly incurred or of the
deficiency, or the value of the loss, destruction or damage, or the cost of replacement, repair or
compensation, as the case may be.


Section: 33 Notification of surcharge and right of appeal 30/06/1997


The Financial Secretary shall cause the person surcharged, the head of his Department, the Director of
Accounting Services and the Director of Audit to be notified in writing of the surcharge made under section 32 and
shall at the same time cause the person surcharged to be notified in writing of his right to appeal under section 34.

Section: 34 Appeal against surcharge 68 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 68 of 1999 s. 3


(1) Any person aggrieved by any surcharge made against him under section 32 shall have the right to appeal to
the Chief Executive within a period of 30 days (or such longer period as the Chief Executive after consultation with
the Financial Secretary may allow) after the date on which he is notified of the surcharge.

(2) The Chief Executive in his discretion, after making or causing to be made such investigation as he may
deem to be necessary, may confirm the surcharge or direct that the person surcharged be released wholly or in part
from the surcharge as may appear to him to be fair and reasonable.

(Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)

Section: 35 Withdrawal of surcharge 30/06/1997


The Financial Secretary may at any time withdraw any surcharge in respect of which a satisfactory explanation
is received or if it otherwise appears to him that no surcharge should have been made and in any such event the
Financial Secretary shall notify in writing the person concerned, the head of his Department, the Director of
Accounting Services and the Director of Audit of such withdrawal.

Section: 36 Collection of surcharge 30/06/1997


(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) the Director of Accounting Services on being notified of a surcharge
made under section 32, shall cause the amount of the surcharge to be collected from the person surcharged in
accordance with such directions as the Financial Secretary may give.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other enactment, where moneys of any description including salary,
wages, pension or other emoluments, are payable or may become payable by the Government to the person
surcharged, the Financial Secretary may require the amount of any surcharge imposed on that person to be deducted
from such moneys in whole or in part as he considers fair and reasonable.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in subsections (1) and (2)-
(a) the total amount of any deduction from the monthly salary, wages or pension of the person surcharged

in any month shall not exceed one half of the gross amount of the salary, wages or pension payable for
that month;

(b) no collection of a surcharge shall be made until after the expiration of the period allowed by section 34
for the lodging of an appeal; and

(c) where the person surcharged appeals under section 34, no collection of the surcharge shall be made
until and unless the amount of the surcharge has been confirmed or otherwise determined in
accordance with the provisions of that section.

(4) Nothing in this section shall affect the right of the Government, which is hereby declared, to-



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 12

(a) sue the person surcharged for the recovery of the amount of any surcharge as a civil debt due to the
Government; or

(b) sue any person for the recovery of any amount as a civil debt notwithstanding that a person may be
subject to a surcharge in respect of part or all of that amount.


Section: 37 Surcharge in respect of deceased persons 30/06/1997


(1) Where a person referred to in section 32 dies at any time before or after he is surcharged under that section,
the Financial Secretary may surcharge the personal representative of such person and the provisions of this Part shall
thereupon apply to the personal representative as respects the estate of the deceased person as they would have applied
to the deceased person if he were alive.

(2) For the purposes of this section "personal representative" (遺產代理人 ) means the executor or
administrator for the time being of a deceased person.

Part: VI MISCELLANEOUS 30/06/1997




Section: 38 Abandonment of claims, etc. and write-off of public
moneys and stores

23 of 2002 19/07/2002



(1) Without prejudice to section 39A, the Financial Secretary may- (Amended 89 of 1993 s. 29; 23 of 2002 s.
122)

(a) abandon, remit or waive any claims by or on behalf of the Government;
(b) write off arrears of revenue;
(c) write off losses or deficiencies of public moneys, stamps, securities or stores; and
(d) write off condemned, unserviceable or obsolete stores or other movable property belonging to or

provided by the Government.
(1A) In any case involving fraud or negligence, the Financial Secretary may only exercise the powers under

subsection (1) subject to any conditions, exceptions or limitations the Finance Committee may specify. (Added 23 of
2002 s. 122)

(2) The Financial Secretary may in writing delegate to any public officer any of the powers conferred upon him
by subsection (1) subject to such conditions, exceptions and limitations as are specified in the delegation.

Section: 39 Disposal of serviceable stores, etc. 30/06/1997


(1) Subject to the provisions of any enactment, and to any conditions, exceptions or limitations specified by the
Finance Committee, the Financial Secretary may authorize the gift of serviceable Government stores or other property
to any institution or organization where it is in the public interest to do so.

(2) The Financial Secretary may in writing delegate to any public officer any power conferred upon him by
subsection (1) subject to such conditions, exceptions and limitations as are specified in the delegation.

Section: 39A Reduction, etc. of fees and charges L.N. 320 of 1999 01/01/2000


Any fee or charge made payable by or under any Ordinance to the Government or to any public body or public
officer, not being a fee or charge which is regulated by rules of court- (Amended 19 of 1973 s. 54; 39 of 1985 s. 60;
78 of 1999 s. 7)

(a) may be reduced or varied by order of the Chief Executive:
Provided that no variation thereof shall cause such fee or charge to exceed the original figure;

(b) may be remitted or refunded, in whole or in part, in any particular case and on any special ground by
the Chief Executive;

(c) subject as aforesaid shall be paid into or from the general revenue.
(Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)

________________________________________________________________________________
Note:



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 13

This provision previously appeared in s. 96 of Cap 1. By virtue of 89 of 1993 s. 27, it was re-enacted as s. 39A
of this Ordinance.

Section: 40 Power of Chief Executive to give directions 68 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 68 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Chief Executive may give to the Financial Secretary and the Director of Accounting Services such
directions as he thinks fit with respect to the exercise or performance of their respective powers, functions and duties
under this Ordinance, either generally or in particular case.

(2) The Financial Secretary and the Director of Accounting Services shall, in the exercise or performance of
their respective powers, functions and duties under this Ordinance, comply with directions given by the Chief
Executive under subsection (1).

(Amended 68 of 1999 s. 3)

Section: 40A Director of Accounting Services may give certain

directions, etc. to public officers in receipt of certain
moneys

30/06/1997



(1) Where moneys other than public moneys are received by a public officer by virtue of a public office held by
him, the Director of Accounting Services may, subject to the provisions of any enactment, direct in writing the public
officer to prepare and maintain accounts and records of those moneys in such form and manner as the Director of
Accounting Services thinks fit, and the public officer shall comply with any such direction.

(2) Subject to the provisions of any enactment, a public officer referred to in subsection (1) shall-
(a) upon request by the Director of Accounting Services, afford to him sufficient facilities for obtaining

information with respect to any accounts and records of moneys referred to in that subsection received
by the public officer, whether or not such accounts and records have been prepared and maintained in
pursuance of a direction under that subsection; and

(b) in such manner and at such times as the Director of Accounting Services requires, furnish him with
returns and other information with respect to such accounts and records and afford to him facilities for
the verification of information furnished.

(Added 11 of 1990 s. 3)

Section: 40B Performance of acts for which payment required 30/06/1997


(1) Where any person, public officer, Government department or public body is required to do anything for
which a fee is to be paid or a charge made under any Ordinance, such person, public officer, Government department
or public body may decline to do that thing until the fee or charge is paid or, which the precise amount of the payment
to be made cannot be ascertained until the thing is done, until there be paid such amount as may be estimated to be the
correct amount by the person, public officer or the responsible officer of the Government department or public body
required to do the thing.

(2) Where a thing has been done for which an estimated amount shall have been paid, such amount shall be
adjusted to the correct amount either by means of a further payment or by a refund of the amount overpaid.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Note:
This provision previously appeared in s. 100 of Cap 1. By virtue of 89 of 1993 s. 27, it was re-enacted as s. 40B
of this Ordinance.

Section: 41 Trusts 30/06/1997


Nothing in this Ordinance shall extend to, abridge or alter the terms of any trust or shall be construed as
authorizing the making of any regulations or the giving of any directions or instructions requiring any person to obey
such regulations, directions or instructions in relation to moneys held on trust which contravene or are inconsistent
with the terms of such trust.



Cap 2 - PUBLIC FINANCE ORDINANCE 14


Section: 42 Transitional 30/06/1997


(1) Any estimates of revenue and expenditure of the Government laid before the Legislative Council prior to
the commencement this Ordinance, which-

(a) relate to the first financial year in respect of which this Ordinance comes into operation; and
(b) could have been laid under section 5,

shall be deemed to have been laid under that section.
(2) Any resolution of the Legislative Council authorizing expenditure for the services of the Government in

advance of an Appropriation Ordinance, which-
(a) relates to the first financial year in respect of which this Ordinance comes into operation;
(b) is, immediately prior to the commencement of this Ordinance, not spent; and
(c) could have been made under section 7,

shall be deemed to have been made under that section.
(3) Nothing in this Ordinance shall affect any investigation, administrative or legal proceeding or remedy in

respect of a surcharge imposed prior to the commencement of this Ordinance and any such investigation,
administrative or legal proceeding may be instituted, continued and enforced as if this Ordinance had not been passed.

Section: 43 Effect of dissolution of Legislative Council 30/06/1997


For the removal of doubt, it is declared that acts of the Finance Committee under this or any other Ordinance,
including any delegation under section 8(3) of this Ordinance, shall not be affected by a dissolution of the Legislative
Council.

(Added 48 of 1988 s. 2)

Schedule: 1 FUNDS 30/06/1997


[section 29]

Lotteries Fund
Capital Works Reserve Fund

(Amended 16 of 1988 s. 12; 13 of 1995 s. 2)

Schedule: 2 SPECIAL SUSPENSE ACCOUNTS 30/06/1997


[section 30]

Financial Secretary Incorporated Suspense Account
Special Coin Suspense Account

(Amended L.N. 79 of 1986)

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