For discussion EC(97-98)13
on 28 May 1997


Subhead 001 Salaries

    Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent post -

    1 Chief Systems Manager
    (D1) ($ 86,650 - $91,950)


The existing directorate support in the Information Technology Services Department (ITSD) is inadequate to oversee and supervise a dedicated team to be established for the development of an Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure for Government as a whole.


2. We propose to create one permanent Chief Systems Manager (CSM) post in ITSD to head a dedicated team for the development and management of the Government IT Infrastructure.


3. Government’s policy is to take full advantage of modern IT to improve its efficiency, quality of service and cost-effectiveness. We consider that IT is one of the most essential central services in this modern era. Over the past five years, the total annual expenditure on IT systems for all government departments has increased by 143% from about $610 million in 1992/93 to $1, 480 million in 1996/97. The total number of computer systems, including mainframe, mid-range and micro-computers, has increased from approximately 6 000 in 1992/93 to 41 500 in 1996/97. Hitherto, the computer systems and networks in some departments were mainly developed on a project basis to support particular business functions, thus making it difficult for these systems to be connected and integrated to facilitate data sharing across departments.

4. With the fast development of IT, the widespread use of IT in Government, and the continuously increasing demand for computerisation from departments, we have reviewed how Government’s IT needs can best be met. Instead of developing computerisation projects independently, at best with a coordinated approach within the same department, there is a need for a wider Government IT Infrastructure embracing all branches and departments. Such an integrated IT Infrastructure will not only facilitate sharing of information across departments to support management in policy formulation and decision making, but will also accelerate system implementation, ensure optimum use of modern IT, reduce support and training costs, and enable ITSD to cope with increasing computerisation requests on a unified and integrated platform.

5. To gain the full benefits of an integrated IT Infrastructure, we plan to set up a new division in ITSD to be designated as IT Infrastructure Division for this purpose. The division will be responsible for building a government-wide IT Infrastructure with uniform design principles, standard models, common IT facilities and proper measures to safeguard information integrity and security. We propose to create one permanent post of CSM to head this new division. The duties and responsibilities of the CSM post are detailed in the following paragraphs.

Information Systems Architecture

6. The IT Infrastructure Division will develop an architecture comprising a set of design guidelines and principles so that Government’s information system projects and applications can be assembled from standard components and operate on a unified platform. The CSM, as head of the IT Infrastructure Division, requires extensive knowledge and experience of the design and development of IT. He/She will adopt a proactive approach to explore new softwares and recommend common and coherent technology solutions to satisfy emerging needs permissible under the latest technology. He/She will also oversee and supervise the design of in-house standard tools and products for use by project development teams as building blocks for the IT Infrastructure and play an important role in encouraging departments to adopt standard applications for common requirements such as keeping inventory and personnel records.

Network Infrastructure

7. A more coherent environment for various computer projects and applications lays down the foundation for a Government IT Infrastructure. The IT Infrastructure Division has to establish a long term plan for the linking up of diverse data forms and different systems across departments where necessary after consideration of cost-benefit, legal, privacy and other issues. At present, departments can only communicate with each other through electronic mail. There is little linkage of data stored in the computer systems of different departments. The CSM is responsible for formulation of strategic plans and overall planning for a network infrastructure in order to increase the effectiveness and efficiency in the coordination of activities between different departments. He/She also has the overall responsibility for planning and designing the necessary computer network services to satisfy the wider communication needs of various branches and departments, both internally within the government or externally with the public or other organisations .

Security Infrastructure

8. While enhanced data sharing will improve efficiency and facilitate decision making, we have to ensure that adequate measures are in place to safeguard information integrity and security, as access to applications is granted to more and more users as a result of infrastructure development. To prevent tampering with data by inadvertent or unauthorised users as more computer systems are inter-connected on an increasing scale, the IT Infrastructure Division, under the supervision of the CSM, will provide technical advice in the formulation of policy relating to systems security, promote IT security awareness within government, develop methodologies and technology solutions to satisfy security requirements in a rapidly changing environment, perform periodic security reviews on computer systems and networks, and ensure that the IT security policy and guidelines are adhered to by various branches and departments.

Internal and external liaison

9. To develop a government-wide IT Infrastructure, the IT Infrastructure Division will take the lead in promoting among government departments its recommended standard technology solutions, tools, products, and applications. This can be done through the establishment of test beds and show cases and the organisation of exhibitions and seminars. The CSM, as head of the IT Infrastructure Division, needs to be of sufficient seniority in rank to establish rapport with the top management of user departments as well as with the senior management of outside organisations and to co-ordinate action effectively within ITSD. He/She will participate in both local and international forums to exchange views and gain access to latest developments in IT Infrastructure.

10. Given the significant role and functions of the dedicated IT Infrastructure Division, we propose to create a directorate officer at CSM (D1) level. With the significant increase in computerisation projects and requests from departments, it is not possible for any of the existing CSM posts in ITSD to oversee and supervise the IT Infrastructure Division. Moreover, the complexity of the job itself requires a dedicated CSM since a lot of planning, coordination and consultation is required in the establishment and management of the Government IT Infrastructure. With the fast development of IT technology and enhanced pace of computerisation in Government, a permanent post is required to ensure that the IT Infrastructure will render adequate and continuous support to the changing needs of the Government. A detailed job description is at Enclosure 1. An existing and proposed organisation chart is at Enclosure 2.


11. The additional notional annual mid-point salary required for the proposed post is:-

$No. of Post
Chief Systems Manager1,070,400 1

The annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and on-costs, is $1,918,788. The total annual average cost of 16 supporting staff to be established for the IT Infrastructure Division under delegated authority is $12,260,508.

12. We have included sufficient provision in the 1997-98 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal .


13. The Civil Service Branch considers the ranking and grading of the proposed new post appropriate having regard to its duties and level of responsibilities.


14. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposal for the post would be appropriate if the post were to be created.

Finance Branch
May 1997

Enclosure 1 to EC(97-98)13

Job Description of Chief Systems Manager (Technical Services) 3

Responsible to: Assistant Director (Technical Services)

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. To assist in the formulation of policy on a Government Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure;

  2. To plan, monitor, evaluate and review the progress of the development and implementation of the IT Infrastructure;

  3. To head a Division in Technical Services Branch responsible for Information Systems Architecture, Network Infrastructure and Security Infrastructure;

  4. To work closely with directorate staff in the Departmental Services Branch responsible for systems development to ensure that the necessary Infrastructure is built in a timely and efficient manner to support the development and implementation of Government IT programmes;

  5. To promote and promulgate Information Technology standards, methodologies and policies; and

  6. To liaise with external organisations and industry to exchange ideas and gain access to technology trends and direction to assist in formulation of longer term IT policies and plans within the government.

Last Updated on 12 August 1999