Acceptance of Advantages and

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Education Bureau 26 Nov 2013

Trading Operations in Schools and

Acceptance of Advantages and

Donations by Schools and their Staff


Trading Operations in Schools


Trading Operations in Schools

When schools in receipt of public funds operate or enter into any trading operations on the school premises, directly or indirectly, with any person for the supply of items exclusively to their students, they should

refer to relevant provisions of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and relevant EDB’s circulars to

ensure compliance with the necessary requirements;

obtain prior permission in writing from the approval authority.


Relevant Rules and Regulations

Prevention of Bribery Ordinance

EDB Circular No. 24/2008 - Trading Operations in Schools

EDB Circular No. 4/2013 – Procurement Procedures in Aided Schools

EDB Circular No. 14/2003 - Acceptance of Advantages and Donations by Schools and their Staff


Obtaining Prior Approval

Schools Approval Authority Managed

by SMC Permanent Secretary for Education Managed

by IMC Incorporated Management Committee

Prior permission is also required for subsequent changes to the approved SMC – School Management Committee

IMC – Incorporated Management Committee


Fundamental Principles

1. Freedom to Choose

No purchase or acceptance of paid services should be compulsory.

Parents or students should be properly informed of prices of the goods/services provided so that they can exercise discretion as to whether to acquire these goods/services elsewhere or not.



•Sale of items for the exclusive use of students in one particular school (e.g. items bearing

school badges)

•Sale of School Uniforms

•Sale of School Magazines

Should be kept at the minimum Free to choose

Free to choose


2. Acceptance of Advantages or Donations from Suppliers/ Contractors

Should not accept advantages or donations from suppliers/contractors in general

Should be considered only in very exceptional circumstances with COMPELLING reasons and Should be approved by SMCs / IMCs



• The textbook publishers offer free teaching aids, supplementary teaching resources, floral baskets, scholarships, etc to schools.

(Ref: EDBC No.42/2013 “Selection of Quality Textbooks and Curriculum Resources for Use in Schools)

• The tuckshop operator provides free drinks for school staff in a sports day.

Should NOT Accept


3. Use of Profits/Net Income

The profits/net income arising from trading operations

should be applied for the purposes of directly benefiting the students of the schools;

should not be transferred to any third parties including Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) or School Sponsoring Bodies (SSBs).



• A PTA was delegated to handle certain trading operation on behalf of school, the profits/net

income arising from such trading operation were credited into the PTA’s bank account and later partly used to sponsor a PTA activity.

NOT Appropriate


4. Quotation/Tendering Exercise

Schools should adopt an open, fair and competitive system to select goods and services provided by suppliers/contractors:

At regular intervals

Preferably not exceeding three years

to maintain the qualities of the paid services and


Points to Note (1)

Trading Operations Arranged/Undertaken by PTAs and SSBs

PTAs and SSBs should –

Obtain prior delegation from SMCs or IMCs;

Observe the principles and arrangements as set out in EDBC No. 24/2008 and EDBC No.



Trading Operations Arranged/Undertaken by PTAs and SSBs (Cont’d)

If PTAs or SSBs wish to undertake trading operations in schools,

they should be treated as one of the bidders ;

the procurement procedures should be conducted by schools; and

EDBC No.4/2013 should be observed.


Points to Note (2) Profit Limit

No profit would be generated from sale of textbooks.

The profit from sale of exercise books, school uniforms, stationery, equipment and other items (other than textbooks) should be limited to 15% of the cost price at which they are purchased from the suppliers.

The profits should be applied for the purposes of directly benefiting the students of the schools.


Points to Note (3)

Monitoring Trading Operations

Schools are recommended to form Monitoring Committee(s) on Trading Operations to:

conduct quotations/tendering exercise in selecting suppliers /contractors according

to the provisions stipulated in the EDB Circular No. 4/2013 or the school-based procurement policy,

review regularly the goods/services provided by the suppliers/contractors;

investigate into complaints about trading


Points to Note (4)

Sexual Conviction Record Check

Schools are advised to

request staff who are deployed by suppliers/contractors to work in schools frequently

/ regularly to undergo Sexual Conviction Record Check and to allow schools to have access to the checking results

Applications for SCRC should be submitted by the staff concerned voluntarily

Website of SCRC:


Selection of Suppliers/ Contractors

Approval of Trading Operations

Monitoring of Services

Key Process


Reference Materials

1.> School Administration and Management>

Financial Management > About Financial Management> Reference Matters on Trading Operations


(i) Best Practice Checklist- Governance and Internal Control in Schools (防貪錦囊-學校管治與內部監控)


Acceptance of Advantages and

Donations by Schools and their Staff


Acceptance of Advantages and Donations

SMCs/IMCs should formulate clear policies for schools and their staff on acceptance of advantages and donations.

SMCs/IMCs never permit schools and their staff to solicit advantages.


Acceptance of Advantages and Donations

By School:

Should not jeopardize the interests of students

Should be approved by SMCs/IMCs

Should be expended on schools and for educational purposes only

Should consider carefully whether donations giving rise to actual or perceived conflict of interest

Should take into consideration any recurrent costs


Acceptance of Advantages and Donations

By School (Cont’d):

Should register details of all donations and record them in the School Report

Proper donation records should be made available at all times for public inquiry and for EDB’s inspections

(Should state in the Register of Donations Received by Schools the COMPELLING reasons for acceptance


Proper Records

Compelling reasons for accepting the donation if the donor is one of the school’s


SMC’s/IMC’s Approval

(School’s reference no. and date)


Acceptance of Advantages and Donations

By Staff:

Individual staff may be allowed to accept gifts from parents, colleagues or students on special occasions (such as graduation ceremony, retirement, resignation, etc) in accordance with the policy endorsed by SMCs/IMCs.

SMCs/IMCs should therefore set maximum cash value for these gifts and make it known to related parties.


SMCs/IMCs formulate clear policies for schools and their staff on acceptance

of advantages and donations

Approval of Acceptance

Records of Donation

Key Process


Conflict of Interest

Guidelines on declaration of conflict of interest are formulated and endorsed by the SMC/IMC so as to avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest.

SMCs/IMCs should require SMC/IMC members and school staff to make declaration of pecuniary or other personal interests annually.

Schools are required to properly record any declarations or disclosures made.


Fund-raising Activities in Schools

Guidelines on fund raising activities are formulated, endorsed by the SMC/IMC and implemented properly.

Parents and students should be properly informed of the objectives of the fund-raising activities and usage of the funds raised.

Participation of students or donations by


Fund-raising Activities in Schools (Cont’d)

PSEd has given schools the permission to conduct the following fund-raising activities:

(i) raise funds for approved charitable institutions or trusts of a public character exempt from taxes under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance,

(ii) raise funds for own schools purposes, and

(iii) allow students to assist in the above fund

raising activities outside school premises.

However, other organizations which intend to raise


Fund-raising Activities in Schools

Approval from other government authorities is also required, depending on the nature and form of activities.

A financial statement of each fund-raising activity should be properly compiled and displayed for a reasonable period of time on the school’s notice board.

Please refer to “Fund-raising Activities in Schools” for more relevant requirements.


Reference Materials on EDB Homepage> School Administration and Management> Financial Management > Notes to School Finance> References on Acceptance of Advantages and Donations by Schools and their Staff


For enquiries, please contact your respective Senior School Development Officers.




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