LCQ9: Promoting the development of e-Government services
There are views that in the era of data, coordinating and taking forward the development of a data base system, coupled with steering the consolidation and sharing of data resources as well as their development and utilization, are conducive to promoting e-Government services. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) given that there are views that user experience is of significant importance in designing and implementing e-Government services, whether the Government has solicited public views on e-Government services; given that the Guangdong Provincial Government administers an online evaluation system, the "Good and Bad Reviews", where the public can rate the e-government services received and the related service providers and platforms, and any negative feedbacks found to be legitimate require rectification of the relevant services by the administrative units concerned, whether the Government will draw reference from such practices to enhance the quality of e-Government service;
(2) given that at present, the "iAM Smart" mobile app has some 260 functions, whereas a similar app in the Guangdong Province, the "Yue Sheng Shi", has 2 500-plus functions, of the earliest time as projected by the Government for the full implementation of turning all government services online, including its full acceptance of electronic submission of government forms and full connectivity of data and services among various government departments; whether it has formulated any specific implementation plans, timetable and performance indicators for the full implementation of turning all government services online; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) as it has been reported that the Nanshan Affairs Service Centre in Guangzhou has implemented the country's first metaverse affairs service centre in October last year, enabling residents to handle various types of administrative formalities through a one-stop virtual government service portal at home, whether the Government will, with reference drawn from the practice, roll out a "Hong Kong metaverse affairs service centre";
(4) given that according to the report "Global Data Barometer" published last year, the overall score of Hong Kong in "data governance" was just 37.5, whether the Government will explore devising open data policies and mechanisms that are more ambitious, with a view to facilitating the data sharing and application among various policy bureaux and government departments, and playing well its coordinating and steering roles in the course of developing e-Government services; and
(5) as it has been reported that the State Council Institutional Reform Plan proposes to establish a national data bureau, whether the Government will further strengthen the relevant policy initiatives and expedite the development of digital infrastructure in Hong Kong, with a view to dovetailing with the relevant work of the country?
In the past few years, the Government has been proactively implementing a series of policy measures to facilitate the integration, application and sharing of different data, so as to drive smart city development through a data-driven approach. Among them, the Government has constructed a number of important digital infrastructures, including the one-stop personalised digital service platform "iAM Smart", the Next Generation Government Cloud Infrastructure and the Big Data Analytic Platform which were launched in 2020, as well as the Shared Blockchain Platform introduced in 2022. They serve to facilitate bureaux and departments (B/Ds) to adopt technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing and big data analytics in a more efficient and cost-effective manner for implementing more citizen-centric e-government services.
Having consulted the Development Bureau, my reply to Dr the Hon Johnny Ng's questions is as follows:
(1) The Government has all along been encouraging departments to apply design thinking in designing electronic services to enhance user experience, and collect user feedback on electronic services on a regular basis for continuous service improvement. Since 2019, relevant B/Ds have collected public feedbacks on more than 400 commonly used e-government services through the GovHK Portal, and have continued to review and improve their e-government services, with a view to providing e-government services that better meet the needs of the public.
(2) and (3) The Government is committed to driving the adoption of technologies by B/Ds to enhance operational efficiency and continuously improve public services. Currently, the Government has made good progress in the implementation of e-government services. As at end-2022, electronic submission options were made available for over 1 200 licence applications and government services. Nearly 600 payment items and 880 applicable licences and services were equipped with electronic payment of fees and documents pick-up options respectively. Meanwhile, over 3 250 (over 96 per cent) government forms can also be submitted electronically. We will continue to drive B/Ds to expedite e-service implementation and make use of innovation and technology to achieve the target of turning all government services online by 2024.
In addition, the Government is actively driving the comprehensive upgrade of "iAM Smart", with the objective to provide one-stop digital services by "iAM Smart" in 2025 and realise the goal of "single portal for online government services". We will adopt a more systematic organisation and categorisation approach to integrate the existing online services, simplify the access procedures and the overall operation workflow. We will also develop more services that are convenient and beneficial to the public through strengthening the sharing of data among different government services. Citizens can go through one-stop processing or application for various government services with "iAM Smart" anytime, anywhere.
At the same time, the Government has been closely monitoring the latest development in various technology domains including metaverse and the latest situation and application of e-government services in different places. We will timely formulate strategies and implement measures to enhance various e-government services with continuous adoption and introduction of new technologies so as to provide more convenient digital services to the public.
(4) and (5) The Government has been implementing various measures to strengthen data governance of B/Ds. They include formulating a comprehensive government information security incident response mechanism and related measures to protect the security of government systems and data, implementing the Open Data Policy, launching the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure portal and implementing digital infrastructures to promote data interchange within the Government. The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) has set up a data analytics team to provide data analytics advisory services to B/Ds for supporting the implementation of big data analytics projects and to arrange promotion and training. The OGCIO also introduces information technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data analytics through the Smart Government Innovation Lab to improve the skills of government officials on data usage.
In terms of open data, since the Government announced the Open Data Policy and related measures in October 2018, B/Ds and public and private organisations have opened up over 5 160 datasets in the Public Sector Information Portal for free use by the public and various sectors. They include real-time meteorological data, digital maps, real-time arrival data of all franchised bus lines, related MTR lines and all green minibuses. Open data are well received by the public and the industry with 50 billion downloads recorded in 2022. The Government expects to further open up about 180 new datasets in 2023 as support to smart city development.
Regarding spatial data, the Development Bureau launched the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure portal (portal.csdi.gov.hk) in December 2022 for free use by the public. Over 626 spatial datasets from more than 50 government departments have now been made available through the portal. The datasets are wide-ranging, covering different aspects such as planning, lands, buildings, works, population, transport, etc.
Moreover, for facilitating data interchange within the Government, the Next Generation Government Cloud Infrastructure provides the relevant functions to enable regular and real-time data interchange among B/Ds' systems and databases by means of Application Programming Interface (API). During the pandemic, the Government launched a number of online services using APIs to connect the IT systems and databases of different B/Ds to verify citizens' information in real-time in order to shorten the processing time.
To further provide the public with greater convenience and facilitate data sharing among B/Ds, the OGCIO is constructing a Consented Data Exchange Gateway (CDEG). It is targeted to link with the Commercial Data Interchange (CDI) of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) by end-2023. The CDEG will also be rolled out before end-2024 for adoption by B/Ds to facilitate inter-departmental data sharing. The HKMA is now discussing with individual B/Ds such as the Companies Registry on the detailed arrangement for data interchange so that financial institutions, with the authorisation by their clients, can obtain the clients' data stored in government systems and databases for client authentication. The OGCIO and the Efficiency Office are also exploring with individual B/Ds on the pilot arrangement of data interchange. Citizens may opt for the exchange of their personal data among systems of government departments, so that they do not need to submit their information repeatedly during the application of government services.
The Government will continue to do its best in the coordinating and advocacy role. We will strive to improve and expedite the implementation of various digital infrastructures in order to better cope with the national development direction and further support the development of digital economy and smart government in Hong Kong.
Ends/Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Issued at HKT 12:40
Issued at HKT 12:40