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LCQ1: Information technology units in some government departments/organisations

     Following is a question by the Hon Samson Tam and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, in the Legislative Council today (April 6):


     Regarding the units responsible for the management of information technology (IT units) in the Office of the Telecommunications Authority, the Companies Registry, Hongkong Post and the Land Registry, will the Government inform this Council if it knows:  

(a) the respective estimated expenditures of the IT units in the aforesaid organisations/government departments in 2011-2012; how such expenditures compare with the actual expenditure in the preceding year; and the reasons for the change in such expenditures;

(b) what specific work initiatives are involved in the estimated expenditures in (a); and among them, those which are ongoing and new initiatives; as well as the manpower, cost and implementation timetable involved in each of the new initiatives; and among the manpower involved, the respective numbers of civil servants, non-civil service contract staff and outsourced staff;

(c) whether the aforesaid organisations/government departments have reserved funds for promoting computerised civic participation and access to public information in 2011-2012; if they have, of the specific details, including the titles and particulars of the initiatives, the manpower and cost involved as well as the implementation timetables; if not, the reasons for that and whether such organisations/government departments will consider introducing these initiatives in the future;

(d) the respective permanent establishment and strength of, and the number of vacancies in, the IT units of the aforesaid organisations/government departments at present; whether the manpower concerned is expected to increase in 2012-2013; if so, the expected number of additional posts to be created, the ranks involved, whether they are permanent posts, and whether the staff concerned will be appointed on civil service terms; if the manpower concerned will not be increased, the reasons for that; and

(e) whether the aforesaid organisations/government departments have carried out any comprehensive review of the effectiveness of their IT units; if they have, the outcome of the reviews and the specific improvement measures involved; if not, the reasons for that and whether they will conduct such reviews in the future?



     Regarding the questions raised by Hon Samson Tam on the units responsible for the management of information technology (IT units) in the four government departments (i.e. the Office of the Telecommunications Authority, the Companies Registry, the Hongkong Post and the Land Registry), my reply is as follows:

(a) The respective estimated expenditure of the IT units of the aforesaid four government departments in 2011-12, the rates of change as compared with the actual expenditure in 2010-11 and the reason(s) for the change in expenditure are provided below:

                           Rate of
                           as compared   
               Estimated   with the
               expenditure actual      Reason(s) for   
Government     in 2011-12  expenditure the change in
department     ($M)        in 2010-11  expenditure
-------------  ----------- ----------- -----------
Office         7.75         +11.3%     This is
of the                                 mainly due
Tele-                                  to the
communications                         increase                                                   
Authority                              in salary
                                       arising from
                                       the filling
                                       of vacancies
                                       and salary
Companies      25.01        Comparable -

Hongkong       48.04        +3%        Increase in
Post                                   expenditure
                                       on supporting
Land           65.67        +7.1%      This is
Registry                               mainly due to
                                       the increase
                                       in salary
                                       and material
(b) The estimated expenditure in (a) and the manpower involved in the ongoing initiatives to be carried out by the above government departments in 2011-12 are listed below with a detailed breakdown at Annex A:

            Manpower required in 2011-12

                    Non-civil of          Estimated
            Civil   service   outsourced  expenditure
Ongoing     service contract  service     in 2011-12
initiatives staff   staff     provider    ($M)
----------- ------- --------- ----------  -----------
Office of     0      9.5         0           7.75
the Tele-

Companies    15      0          14          25.01
Hongkong     15     20          36          48.04

Land         27     10          23          65.67

     In addition, the manpower and estimated expenditure involved in the new initiatives in 2011-12 are listed below with a detailed breakdown at Annex B:  

            Manpower required in 2011-12     

                 Non-     of       Estimated Imple-
                 civil    out-     expendi-  ment-
New      Civil   service  sourced  ture in   ation
initia-  service contract service  2011-12   Time-
tives    staff   staff    provider ($M)      table
-------- ------- -------- -------- -------   -----
Office     0       2.5        0      2.74    2011-12
of the

Companies  0       0         18     15.75    2012-14

Hongkong   0       0         11     20.76    2011-13

Land       0       0          1.5    1.24    2011-12

(c) The above government departments have been actively disseminating public information through their websites and existing e-services (e.g. electronic search services). Some of them have also been promoting computerised civic participation via platforms like YouTube and Facebook. The expenses involved have been included in the estimated expenditure for 2011-12. These departments will examine whether and how to further promote computerised civic participation and the opening up of public sector information as well as enhance their e-services to meet customers' needs.

(d) The respective permanent establishment, existing strength and vacancies in the IT units of the above government departments are as follows:

ment     Analyst/       Computer       Other civil
depart-  Programmer     Operator       service grades
ment     Est. Str. Vac. Est. Str. Vac. Est. Str. Vac.
          *    #    ^    *    #    ^     *    #    ^
-------   ---  ---  --- ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---
Office    0    0    0    0    0     0    0   0     0   
of the

Companies 5    5    0    10   10    0    0   0     0

Hongkong  8    8    0     0    0    0    7   7     0

Land     12   11    1    12   12    0    0   0     0

* Est. refers to Establishment
# Str. refers to Strength
^ Vac. refers to Vacancy

     For the above government departments, there is one vacancy in the Analyst/Programmer grade.  The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer is recruiting Analyst/Programmer II to fill the vacancy. Meanwhile, the related tasks will be temporarily carried out by contract staff until the vacancy is filled. The Hongkong Post is planning to create additional permanent Analyst/Programmer post(s) for their IT unit in 2012-13 to cope with their operational needs.

(e) Under the existing governance mechanism, the above government departments have each established a steering committee to review the manpower resources as well as the development plan of the IT unit every year. They also conduct regular reviews on customers' needs and views to ensure their IT unit's effectiveness and enhance the services.

Ends/Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Issued at HKT 18:40


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