Following is the speech (English only) by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Frederick Ma, at the Companies Registry's Electronic Search Services Launch Reception today (April 8):
Gordon, Mr Kee, ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to be here with you this evening to officiate at the launching ceremony of the Companies Registry's Electronic Search Services which were implemented on 28 February 2005. This system is the first phase of the Companies Registry's Integrated Companies Registry Information System or ICRIS which is a key element in the department's Strategic Change Plan.
Through the ICRIS, the Companies Registry's customers not only in Hong Kong but throughout the world can conduct online searches of the department's database to obtain company information any time, anywhere. This major enhancement of Hong Kong's infrastructure will both facilitate business and reduce the cost of doing business in Hong Kong. Furthermore, by facilitating the public's access to corporate data, it enhances corporate transparency and thereby helps to strengthen overall corporate governance standards, and this is important for strengthening Hong Kong's position as a major financial and business centre.
This project also marks a significant step forward in fostering the Government's e-government programme. It is a remarkable example of using IT to improve operational efficiency and the quality of service delivery, create value for customers and help to drive the wider use of IT in the community.
Since its establishment as a trading fund department on 1 August 1993, the Companies Registry has continually upgraded the level of its facilities and services in order to provide the department's customers with efficient, quality and cost effective services. The Companies Registry is recognised as one of the best government departments in the delivery of customer services and has won a number of civil service and Hong Kong Management Association awards.
To scale new height, the Companies Registry hopes to roll out Phase Two of ICRIS in 2007, which will see the provision of e-filing and e-incorporations. Once this has been completed, the department's public operations will be fully automated and it will be possible for its customers to incorporate companies, file documents and search for constantly updated corporate information online. All these developments will further enhance our infrastructure and fortify Hong Kong's position as one of the most business friendly jurisdictions in the world.
The implementation of Phase One of ICRIS will not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of colleagues in the Companies Registry. In this respect, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Gordon and his colleagues for their very hard work over the past few years. I am confident that they will build on this accomplishment and achieve even greater success as they embark on the implementation of Phase Two of ICRIS. Gordon, I wish you and your colleagues every success for the Phase Two project and hope that all of you here have a very enjoyable evening.
Ends/Friday, April 8, 2005