Following is the speech by the Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Frederick W H Ho, at the Hong Kong Statistical Society's Prize-presentation Ceremony of the Statistical Project Competition for Secondary School Students today (April 26):
Last December, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) commemorated its 35th Anniversary. Over these years, we have carried out a lot of work in various areas and have established a robust and stable foundation in such aspects as corporate culture, work systems and manpower capital. These efforts have brought about a reputable statistical system for Hong Kong, thereby contributing indirectly in no small way to the furthering of Hong Kong's economic and social developments.
With the assistance of people from all walks of life, the C&SD has been making continuous effort in promoting the proper use of statistics in the community. The application of statistics has indeed become very popular. Be it the Government, investors, social organisations or the general public, they all make substantial use of statistical data in strategy formulation, daily decision making and socio-economic studies. This approach enables objective analysis and judgment, which eventually leads to wise decisions.
I am very grateful to the Hong Kong Statistical Society for organising the Statistical Project Competition for Secondary School Students during these years. This effort has contributed positively to the promotion of wide-spread and proper use of statistics among Hong Kong people. With students already getting to know the uses of statistics and to learn about statistical skills when they attend school, they will get to use statistics regularly in daily work or life later on and derive benefits therefrom.
Naturally, statistical data must possess very good quality and a high degree of credibility for them to be able to measure the social and economic situations accurately and be accepted and used generally. Thus, as a professional department, the C&SD has always been working with impartiality, integrity and objectivity and in compliance with scientific principles when carrying out its duties of compiling and disseminating official statistics.
Hong Kong's official statistics system is now quite comprehensive and has gained good recognition generally after many years of development. Having said that, we will still strive for progress. We will continue to work hard to raise our professional standard and to ensure our statistical systems can track society's changes closely and can move ahead with the times.
In recent years, Hong Kong is evolving into a knowledge-based economy. As such, organisations have to master and utilise myriads of information, which include statistical information. Only by good knowledge management can we effectively turn information into knowledge and make good use of it. Hence, the provision of official statistical information should dovetail with the needs of all users in terms of both type and format. In particular, it should be easily linkable to knowledge management approaches adopted by others.
As regards C&SD's own management, the department has long joined other advanced official statistical authorities in incorporating the principles of knowledge management into its management philosophy. In so doing, the department can improve consistency in its decision making, enhance its ability to respond to novel situations and strengthen its readiness in anticipating challenges.
Basically, knowledge management is the collection of processes that govern the creation, dissemination and utilisation of knowledge. In fact, knowledge management relates not just to the storage and dissemination of knowledge, but also about the initiatives and drive of staff in creating and sharing knowledge for productive application in the organisation. Therefore, it must be practised by all staff both at the individual level and in work groups in order to achieve the best results.
Meanwhile, we have also been making much efforts in acquiring and using knowledge outside the organization. The Internet is an important driving force in this respect. Everyone will agree that Internet is becoming an indispensable part of the daily life of many people. Living in a dynamic city like Hong Kong, we always need timely information as a basis for action. Proper and efficient processing of information contributes much to the improvement of the quality of life.
Effective knowledge management, whether at the individual level or the community level, is very important. It has a key role in enhancing wisdom and development. I wish that everybody will exert their efforts in this aspect.
Before I finish my speech, I would like to express my hearty thanks once more to the Hong Kong Statistical Society. This competition, which is the result of painstaking efforts, contributes to the promotion of statistical literacy and the enhancement of knowledge management ability among students. Let me also congratulate all winners of the Competition and wish them further progress in their endeavours.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity in reminding you all that, although we are currently faced with extremely difficult times, let us not forget that life is interwoven with ups and downs. Stay calm and be objective; and adopt a positive attitude in facing with the challenges.
Thank you very much.
End/Saturday, April 26, 2003