In her 2017 Policy Address, the Chief Executive (“CE”) announced that she would revamp the then Central Policy Unit as a new office responsible for policy research and innovation, co-ordination across bureaux and departments, enhancing public participation in policy formulation as well as rendering assistance in co-ordination work for cross-bureaux policies selected by the senior leadership of the Government.
The Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office (“PICO”) was formed in this context. It has commenced operation since 1 April 2018 and performs the following key functions –
- providing secretariat support to the CE’s Council of Advisers on Innovation and Strategic Development, including conducting policy research in support of the Council’s steer, preparing papers to facilitate its deliberations and following up on its recommendations;
- co-ordinating major cross-bureaux policies selected by the CE and the Secretaries of Departments to help achieve policy objectives;
- providing “first-stop and one-stop” consultation and co-ordination services for innovative development projects that would bring broader public benefits;
- administering two public policy research funding schemes;
- promoting evidence-based policy research and fostering a closer network with local and external academia and think tanks to encourage policy discussions; and
- providing more opportunities for direct participation of young people in public policy formulation.