Press Release



SITB's Speech (English only)


The following is a speech by the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, Mr K C Kwong, at the Grand Opening of the Water Supplies Department Customer Telephone Enquiry Centre today (Thursday):

Mr Phillipson, Mr Wilson, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to attend the Grand Opening of the Water Supplies Department's Customer Telephone Enquiry Centre this morning.

The launch of this Centre represents a major step forward by the Water Supplies Department in the use of technology to improve the quality of its services. The Centre employs advanced computer telephony integration technology to provide prompt, user friendly, reliable and one-stop enquiry service to the public. Information on billing and individual accounts, water suspension, mains bursts, etc, which previously had to be obtained through different information systems, is now consolidated in an integrated system. From now on, members of the public no longer have to call the eight different hotlines of the department to obtain different types of information. Instead, they can simply call the single hotline of the Customer Telephone Enquiry Centre and they will get all the information on matters relating to water supplies. The Centre will aim to the waiting time for calls to below 15 seconds and to achieve a 99% success rate for call connections. The Customer Service Officers at the Centre are trained to cope with the wide range of enquiries and complaints. They will also be able to refer cases that need detailed follow-up to the responsible officers via the computer network directly, thus ensuring prompt responses.

The launch of the Customer Telephone Enquiry Centre is fully in line with Government's commitment to improve the efficiency and quality of public services through the wider use of information technology. In the past 3 years, we had invested over $5.5 billion in Government computer and related projects. We now have 15 mainframe computer systems, 570 mid-range computer systems and over 60,000 workstations within Government. We have built a business and working environment within Government which fosters and promotes the wider use of information technology. We will shortly launch the Electronic Service Delivery Scheme to provide public services through the Internet and other electronic means, round the clock, to the community.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Water Supplies Department, the Efficiency Unit and the Management Service Agency in joining forces to implement this project. The Centre will set an example of best practice for other departments and public agencies to follow.

Thank you.

END/Thursday, January 27, 2000