For discussion
on 30 March 1998


Independent Commission Against Corruption
New Subhead "Office automation for Independent Commission Against Corruption"

    Members are invited to approve a new commitment of $18,706,000 for providing office automation facilities to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.


The absence of an office automation (OA) network system in the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has inhibited effective and efficient communication both within the Commission as well as with other policy bureaux and departments.


2. The Commissioner of ICAC, on the advice of the Director of Information Technology Services (DITS), proposes to provide OA facilities for ICAC.


3. The existing mode of office communication in ICAC is confined to conventional paper flow and direct person-to-person contact. The benefits of one-to-many and interactive mode of communication under an OA network system are not available. It is Government's policy to take full advantage of information technology to improve the efficiency, quality of service and cost-effectiveness of bureaux and departments. Since 1993, Government has increasingly used OA network systems in day-to-day business and at present all bureaux in the Government Secretariat and many departments have access to central OA network facilities through the Government Communication Network (GCN). Such OA facilities are, however, not yet available to ICAC. Thus, ICAC officers have to continue to rely on the conventional mode of communication with policy bureaux and departments and within the Commission.

Proposed OA facilities

4. To bring the communication mode up to the modern standard, the Commissioner of ICAC proposes the implementation of an OA system in ICAC. The proposed OA package includes -

  1. a local area network (LAN) in ICAC for all senior professional or equivalent officers at Master Pay Scale Point 45 and above, their personal secretaries and heads of functional units;

  2. access to the GCN through the LAN for electronic mail communication and information exchange/sharing with other policy bureaux and departments; and

  3. access to the Government Common Application System (GCAS) for sharing of data management and retrieval of commonly used information and documents.

The proposed LAN with standard OA facilities will connect the workstations of 256 users of ICAC to the OA network infrastructure. Users will have common access to software for electronic mail communication, meeting scheduling, graphics presentation, word processing, spreadsheet and database management.

Benefits of the proposed OA system

5. The offices of ICAC are accommodated in different locations. The Headquarters of ICAC, including the Commissioner's Office, Corruption Prevention Department, Community Relations Department Headquarters, Administration Branch and part of Operations Department are accommodated in Fairmont House. The bulk of Operations Department is in Murray Road Carpark Building. ICAC also has two outstations and eight Regional Offices spread out in various regions. The provision of OA facilities will help enhance the communication process among the scattered offices through electronic transfer of data. The major benefits of the proposed LAN are as follows -

  1. enable the efficient sharing and exchange of information among offices in the ICAC Headquarters, the Operations Department, the Regional Offices and the outstations. This will facilitate the management in the process of decision-making;

  2. improve communication between ICAC and other policy government bureaux/departments through connection to the GCN;

  3. enhance data management and retrieval of commonly used information and documents, such as Government Circulars and Regulations, Government Telephone Directory, etc., through GCAS; and

  4. increase the operational efficiency of ICAC through eliminating duplicating effort in updating data by individual users, reducing paper consumption and improving the turn-around time in document production and delivery.

Cost-benefit analysis

6. Electronic data transfer has become the present-day mode of office communication. While it has generally been accepted that an OA system will improve office efficiency and productivity, it is often not possible to quantify precisely the productivity gain or savings arising directly from such a system. The normal cost-benefit analysis with an estimated pay-back period is therefore not entirely applicable in this case. However, this proposal to equip the Commission with the necessary OA facilities will enable ICAC staff to communicate more efficiently among themselves and with other policy bureaux and departments and result in benefits to the Commission's operations. A notional 1% saving in staffadministrative costs arising from improved efficiency and productivity would amount to about $3.07 million a year.


Non-recurrent costs

7. The Commissioner of ICAC, with the advice of DITS and the Director of Architectural Services, estimates that implementation of the OA system will require a non-recurrent cost of $21,273,000. This comprises $18,706,000 for the purchase of computer hardware and software, site preparation, implementation services, etc. for which we are seeking Members' approval of a new commitment; and $2,567,000 for in-house development staff of ICAC and Information Technology Services Department (ITSD). Details of the non-recurrent cost are as follows -


(a) Computer hardware, software and consumable, data communication equipment, and cabling 8,168
(b) Implementation services/contract staff 3,307
(c) Site preparation 5,011
(d) Training to users and system administrators 519
(e) Contingency 1,701
Sub-total 18,706
Other non-recurrent costs
(f) ICAC staff costs
(including on cost)
(g) ITSD staff costs
(including on cost)
Sub-total 2,567
Total 21,273

8. As regards paragraph 7(a), the estimate of $8,168,000 is for the acquisition of computer hardware including 256 workstations, peripherals, software and consumable, data communication equipment, and cabling work.

9. As regards paragraph 7(b), the estimate of $3,307,000 is for system development and implementation services. These include customisation of the common applications, provision of electronic mail facilities, installation of equipment and software, and testing activities.

10. As regards paragraph 7(c), the estimate of $5,011,000 is for site preparation works required for setting up the network.

11. As regards paragraph 7(d), the estimate of $519,000 is for providing training services to departmental staff of ICAC in using the facilities installed and in administering the network on a day-to-day basis.

12. As regards paragraph 7(e), the estimate of $1,701,000 represents a 10% contingency on the cost items set out in paragraph 8(a) to (d).

13. As regards paragraph 7(f), the ICAC will incur non-recurrent staff cost of $161,000. This comprises five man-months of an Executive Officer II (EO II) required for the overall project management and providing necessary support for the implementation of the system.

14. As regards paragraph 7(g), ITSD will incur non-recurrent staff cost of $2,406,000 to provide necessary support in project development and management and overseeing the implementation of the system in ICAC. This comprises the efforts of two man-months of Senior Systems Manager, ten man-months of Systems Manager (SM), 20 man-months of Analyst/Programmer I (A/PI) and 3.3 man-months of Senior Computer Operator (SCO). In terms of the posts required, this involves a total of three additional posts, including one SM and two A/PI.

Recurrent costs

15. The estimated recurrent expenditure for maintaining and supporting the OA system is $490,000 in 1998-99, rising to $3,088,000 in 1999-2000 and to $3,556,000 from 2000-01 onwards. Details are as follows -

(a) System maintenance 49 762 1,230

(b) Data lines rental

69 173 173

(c) Consumables

Sub-total 156

(d) Maintenance and support staff

(i) ICAC staff costs 155 927 927
(ii) ITSD staff costs 179
Sub-total 334
Total 490

16. As regards paragraph 15(a), the cost of $1,230,000 is for hardware and software maintenance, employment of contract staff or engagement of support services in providing on-going system maintenance and operation support services.

17. As regards paragraph 15(b), the estimate of $173,000 is for payment of rental charges for data communication lines.

18. As regards paragraph 15(c), the estimate of $150,000 is for the acquisition of consumables such as tape cartridges for system backup at the ICAC.

19. As regards paragraph 15(d)(i), the ICAC annual staff costs of $927,000 are for one EO II and two Assistant Clerical Officers in performing on-going system administration work and user support activities.

20. As regards paragraph 15(d)(ii), the annual ITSD staff costs of $1,076,000 are for five man-months of SM, nine man-months of A/PI, one man-month of SCO and three man-months of Computer Operator I in providing on-going maintenance support and technical services.

Implementation Plan

21. The implementation timetable for the proposal is as follows -

Activity Planned completion date
(a) Team formation April 1998
(b) Installation of OA network system for Regional Offices and outstations August 1998
(c) Installation of OA network system for Headquarters Units December 1998
(d) System testing January 1999
(e) System operation February 1999


22. Since late 1993, Government has started implementing OA network systems on a project-by-project basis to improve the productivity of government offices and the efficiency of communication among policy bureaux and
departments. These office networks are linked to a GCN enabling them to exchange information electronically with one another. We have over the years identified refinements in user requirements and established opportunities for service-wide adoption. To facilitate electronic communication with bureaux and departments, the Commissioner of ICAC considers it opportune to implement the same OA network system in the Commission.


Independent Commission Against Corruption
March 1998