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Reviewing the Institute's Council election arrangements

Council election is an important governance provision of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs. The current arrangement has been in place since its establishment and there have been discussions about its improvements in the past years. 

The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Christopher Hui, published a blog post on 8 March with regards to enhancing the Institute’s Council election arrangements. In a subsequent speech, the Secretary reiterated that the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau intends for the proposal to revise the election arrangements of the Council to take effect before the 2022-end election. 

On 13 May, the Government published in the Gazette the Professional Accountants (Amendment) Bill 2022 to revise the election arrangements of the Council of the Institute and make other technical changes to enhance the corporate governance and administrative effectiveness of the Institute. 
The Bill was introduced into the Legislative Council (LegCo) for first and second reading on 18 May, and was passed on 13 July to complete the legislation process. The amendments in the Bill include: 


  • Raising the CPA nomination threshold for potential candidates from two to 10 in addition to nominations from two members of the AFRC Advisory Committee who are not from the AFRC management;
  • Aligning the election cycle for the 14 elected Council members from an annual cycle to a biennial cycle; and  
  • To make related and miscellaneous amendments (including amendments to the Professional Accountants By-laws). 

The amended Ordinance will take effect on November 1, 2022. According to the transitional arrangement, the term of office of the 14 incumbent elected members of the HKICPA Council will draw to a close in end-2023. The enhanced election arrangement will commence operation at the Council election to be held then. The Institute will therefore not be holding an election during the annual general meeting in end-2022, allowing it to focus its resources for the implementation of the new regulatory regime and prepare for the elections in 2023.

This page brings together relevant information to help members keep abreast of the developments.



Legislative timeline

Date Activity
13 July 2022 The Second Reading debate of the Bill resumed in the Council meeting, followed immediately by the consideration of the Bill by Committee of the whole Council, and then the Third Reading. The Bill was passed to complete its passage in LegCo. 
20 June 2022 The Bills Committee on Professional Accountants (Amendment) Bill 2022 completed scrutiny of the Bill. A report on their deliberations was made to the House Committee. 
7 June 2022 The first meeting of the Bills Committee on Professional Accountants (Amendment) Bill 2022 took place to scrutinize the Bill. All documents and the webcast of the meeting are available on the LegCo website
20 May 2022  House Committee considered the report by LegCo secretariat and a Bills Committee was formed to study the bill. 
18 May 2022 The Bill was introduced into the LegCo for first and second reading. The Secretary explained the amendments in his speech (Chinese only).
13 May 2022 The Professional Accountants (Amendment) Bill 2022 was gazetted. See the Government’s press release on the gazettal.
4 April 2022 The Panel on Financial Affairs of the Legislative Council was briefed by the Secretary about the proposed enhancements on the Institute's election of Council members. 



The Institute’s actions

Below are links to the Institute’s messages and other actions undertaken since the blog post was published.



Email messages to members

27 April 2022

Updates on the further reform on the regulatory regime of accounting profession and review of the Institute’s Council election

1 April 2022 Complete our survey on the Government's proposals for the election mechanism of the HKICPA Council
28 March 2022 Join the members' forum on reviewing the election arrangements of the Council
8 March 2022 Institute’s views on enhancing its Council election


Members' forum

To provide members with a better understanding of the FSTB’s intentions of the proposed changes to the Council election, the Institute organized a members’ forum on 8 April 2022 where Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Joseph Chan and Legislative Councillor of the Accountancy Functional Constituency, Edmund Wong were invited to discuss the preliminary proposals below,


  • Raising Nomination Threshold
  • Alteration to Election Cycle
  • Changes to Administrative Procedures


The Forum attracted 600 members to attend. The forum was recorded and is linked below.


The Institute launched a survey to collect the views of its members regarding the proposals which was closed on 18 April 2022. The Institute received 434 responses to the online survey questionnaire. There were a total of 5 questions in the survey. Two questions relate to the nomination requirement whereas two questions relate to the election cycle, and the last question allowed for any other comments to the Government’s proposals. The responses to the first four questions are summarized below.


Q1. Do you agree to change the nomination requirement of a Council candidate given the current scale of Institute membership and role of HKICPA under the new regulatory regime?


Q2. Which one of the following enhanced nomination requirement(s) do you prefer?



Appointed members of the AFRC Advisory Committee:

󠆰  1                                           (20.4%)
󠆰  2                                           (67.9%)
󠆰  3 or more                            (11.7%)


Lay / government-appointed Council members:                                 
󠆰  1                                           (42.7%)
󠆰  2                                           (40.2%)
󠆰  3 or more                            (17.1%)


Others, please specify:                                                                       
 - HKICPA members only
 - Nomination from other key stakeholder groups not necessary


Q3. Do you agree that extending the election cycle for elected Council members will reduce costs burden of the Institute?


Q4. Which one of the following retirement requirement of elected Council members do you prefer if Council election is to be conducted biennially?