Key performance indicators should be created to supervise the performance of politically appointed officials, lawmakers said on Friday.

The suggestion surfaced on Friday as the city’s Legislative Council began discussing the government’s restructuring plan, which includes adding 13 politically appointed officials and 57 civil service posts at an annual cost of HK$95 million ($12.1 million).

The reorganization proposal also suggests increasing the number of bureaus from 13 to 15 and adding three deputy secretaries, one each to assist the city’s chief secretary for administration, financial secretary, and secretary for justice.

The proposal, approved by the Executive Council on Tuesday and subsequently submitted to the city’s legislature for deliberation, also proposes setting up a new Culture, Sports, and Tourism Bureau, and splitting the Transport and Housing Bureau into two separate bureaus.

Daniel Cheng Chung-wai, secretary-general of the Chief Executive-designate’s Office, said chief executive-designate John Lee Ka-chiu has made it clear that the next administration will draw up performance indicators for government work to allow the public to see the progress and goals.

When introducing the restructuring plan to the legislature, Erick Tsang Kwok-wai, secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, said the proposal is important to the city as it will affect the government’s structure and ability to implement policy for the next five years.

In response to some lawmakers’ concerns about the additional expenditures for the restructuring, Tsang said Lee formerly served as chief secretary and he knew how to recalibrate the structure to enhance governance and address the pressing needs of the public.

Tsang explained that the new administration needs to have a capable team of “soldiers”, and opening up new posts is like investing in the future. As in doing business, one has to rent office space and invest money in it with the hope of earning more, Tsang said.

Ronick Chan Chun-ying, a lawmaker from the financial sector, expressed concern about the role that would be given to the financial secretary after the restructuring, as the secretary would be in charge of six bureaus, including the Housing Bureau and Transport and Logistic Bureau. Chan said the expansion of the secretary’s purview might distract his or her attention from finance and the economy.

Cheng said such concerns are exactly why adding deputy secretaries are being proposed —to relieve the burden on secretaries.

Responding to some lawmakers’ suggestions to pass the proposal in phases, Cheng said the government restructuring plan is crucial to implement Lee’s political platform and should not be passed in stages.

Lawmaker Stanley Ng Chau-pei from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions threw his weight behind Lee’s proposal to create the three posts of deputy secretaries, saying they would play important roles in making holistic planning and coordination.

Making the remarks after the union’s meeting with Lee and other lawmakers, the union expressed support for the restructuring plan and said it hopes Lee can find the right candidates for his administration as soon as possible to lead Hong Kong into a new chapter.

Lee, who has been meeting with lawmakers to canvass support and gauge views recently, said he hoped that LegCo members will support the proposals and that the legislative and funding procedures can be completed by mid-June so that the new government structure can take effect on July 1, when Lee will assume office.