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Speech by GCIO at Central Computer Centre outsourcing contract award ceremony (English only)

    Following is a speech by the Government Chief Information Officer, Mr Howard Dickson, at the Central Computer Centre outsourcing contract award ceremony today (January 25) (English only):

Mr Flinois, Mr Chua, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     Good morning. First of all, I would like to extend my warm welcome to you all for attending the event today. Today¡¦s event signifies a major milestone by which the Government commences its first outsourcing of data centre operation to the industry.

     Outsourcing is one of our major initiatives under the Digital 21 Strategy for IT development and service delivery. Through outsourcing, we aim to enlarge our delivery capacity of IT services; accelerate our speed of delivery; and generate more business opportunities for our IT industry. Over the years, we have been outsourcing different types of IT activities, including one-off application development, on-going system maintenance, and even some non-core IT related business functions. In the last financial year, we have outsourced close to 90% of our new IT projects. In terms of contract value, it amounts to even 95%.

     We are however not complacent with these achievements. We strive to identify new outsourcing opportunities for bringing cost-effective solutions to the Government and better services to the community. In the 2004 version of our Digital 21 Strategy, we set a goal to outsource the hosting services of our Central Computer Centre (CCC). This data centre outsourcing initiative is the first of its kind in the Hong Kong Government.

     Through this outsourcing initiative, we aim to leverage on the private sector¡¦s expertise and best practices for providing more cost-effective data center management services to the Government. We also intend to foster the development of the IT industry in the area of providing data centre services. Hong Kong prides itself in having an excellent information and communications infrastructure, and the requisite management, technical and operational expertise to meet the very high service expectations of the business needs of the community.

     You will no doubt realise that this outsourcing initiative has a major bearing on the Government¡¦s strategy of data centre outsourcing. The success of this initiative will definitely be a role model for other government departments to follow or make reference to in formulating their own data centre outsourcing strategies in the future.

     To ensure the success of this initiative, the ¡§People¡¨ factor is one that we have placed particular emphasis on. To enable smooth transition, the contractor has undertaken to engage suitable numbers of staff with relevant government experience.  To facilitate computer operator colleagues who wish to pursue their careers in the private sector, we shall launch a Targeted Voluntary Retirement Scheme (TVRS) through which certain ranks of computer operator grade staff colleagues may apply to leave the civil service on a purely voluntary basis. We believe this arrangement will have triple-win effects for the staff concerned, the industry and the Government.

     As we take forward our E-government initiatives beyond IT to service transformation, we need to progressively align and redesign our IT infrastructure.  Our vision is set on having processing centre clusters, networks and personal access facilities that are functional, making prudent use of current technology and bringing maximum value to the business users. This also means that we need architected applications and information access, while moving relevant paper-based information on-line. The outsourcing initiative that we see today is certainly only the beginning of a major step of maximising private sector provisioning of services while keeping a strategic IT nucleus in Government. In this regard, we welcome input and participation from the industry in our deliberations on our future outsourcing, facilities management and public-private-partnership arrangements.
     To conclude, I wish to congratulate our contractor - Sema Group Limited and its parent company Atos Origin. You have prepared a convincing and cost-effective proposal to enable your winning of this deal. I look forward to a successful partnership with you to deliver quality services to our client departments and the community at large.

     I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our consultants, PA Consulting and Minter Ellison, who have helped us a lot in proposing some innovative contract terms and conditions and offering very professional legal advice.  Last but not least, I would like to thank my team who has been working very hard in bringing this first data centre outsourcing project to fruition.

Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Issued at HKT 12:06


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