on 16 September 1998
ITEM FOR ESTABLISHMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 47 - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Subhead 001 Salaries
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee -
- the creation of a new rank and permanent directorate post -
Deputy Director of Information Technology Services
(D3)($127,900 - $135,550);
- the creation of the following permanent directorate posts -
2 Chief Systems Managers
(D1)($98,250 - $104,250);
- the deletion of one permanent post of Chief Systems Manager (D1)($98,250 - $104,250); and
- an increase in the ceiling placed on the total notional annual mid-point salary value of all non-directorate posts in the establishment of the Information Technology Services Department (ITSD) in 1998-99 from $447,048,540 by $11,834,160 to $458,882,700 to permit the creation of 18 non-directorate posts.
ITSD does not have sufficient staffing support to enable it to take on new roles and projects for the promotion and development of information technology (IT) in Hong Kong.
2. To strengthen the staffing support of ITSD, the Director of Information Technology Services (DITS), with the support of the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting (SITB), proposes -
- to create one permanent post of Deputy Director of Information Technology Services (DDITS) (D3) (a new rank);
- to create two additional permanent posts of Chief Systems Manager (CSM) (D1);
- to delete one permanent post of CSM (D1); and
- to increase the ceiling placed on the total notional annual mid-point salary (NAMS) value of all non-directorate posts in the establishment of ITSD in 1998-99 from $447,048,540 by $11,834,160 to $458,882,700 for the creation of 18 non-directorate posts.
Creation of a DDITS post
The Present Position of ITSD
3. ITSD now has six branches : the Administration Branch, the Technical Services Branch, the Infrastructure Branch, the Management Consultancy Services Branch and two Departmental Services Branches. The Management Consultancy Services Branch is headed by an Assistant Director of Management Services (ADMS) (D2) and the other Branches are each headed by an Assistant Director of Information Technology Services (ADITS) (D2). All work directly to DITS. An organisation chart of ITSD showing the responsibilities of each of the Assistant Directors is at Enclosure 1.
New Roles and Projects
4. To implement the pledge of the Chief Executive in his 1997 Policy Address to make Hong Kong a leader in the information world of tomorrow, ITSD will, under the guidance of the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau (ITBB), take on the following major new roles and projects -
- promotion of wider use of IT in the community;
- implementation of the Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) scheme; and
- development of IT standards and participation in industry standards bodies.
Promotion of IT in the community
5. ITSD's role is currently limited to the application of IT within Government. To better prepare Hong Kong for the advent of the information age and to maintain Hong Kong's position as a leading business and financial centre, ITSD will expand its current role from the application of IT within Government to the promotion of IT across the community. The objective is to promote IT awareness, skills and competence throughout Government, business and the community at large. In this connection, ITSD will have to keep under constant review Hong Kong's comparative position in IT usage, penetration, promotion and development; to keep track of technological development and market trends; to liaise with industry and business sectors, academia and providers of IT products and services in Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas; and to seek opportunities for collaboration between the local IT industry and academia, and to create competitive advantage for Hong Kong business where Government action and participation would encourage and stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship. The objective is to increase the beneficial use of IT by businesses, individuals and Government, and stimulate the availability of people with appropriate IT skills to support these developments.
Implementation of the ESD scheme
6. To promote the wider use of IT in the community and to facilitate the development of electronic commerce in Hong Kong, ITSD will provide support to ITBB to implement the initiative of providing public services on-line to the community through the launching of the ESD scheme. With ESD, the public will be able to transact business with Government through a diversity of access devices on a seamless basis via an information infrastructure with an open common interface. Government departments will be able to improve the quality and efficiency in the delivery of public services to the community. The open common interface of ESD will also serve as a platform which the private sector can use for carrying out electronic transactions at a later stage. The ESD scheme will therefore serve as a catalyst to pump-prime the development of electronic commerce in Hong Kong, which will in turn help to keep our business community competitive in the international arena.
Development of IT standards and participation in industry standards bodies
7. ITSD will need to increase its participation in industry standard-setting bodies. This is because, in our effort to develop Hong Kong into the Internet hub for Asia and in order to promote electronic government and commerce, we need to resolve issues relating to interconnectivity, interoperability, security, privacy, etc., not just within Hong Kong, but internationally. Also, resolution of such issues will be vital for public acceptance of electronic business as the norm. Accordingly, we need to participate actively in standards bodies such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Cryptography Policy Council to ensure that we have an input to the standard-setting process, and that the standards we adopt in Hong Kong are market-based and internationally accepted.
8. Another important area concerning standards is the coding for Chinese characters. ITSD will co-ordinate with government departments, academia and the industry to consolidate and maintain the Chinese characters requirement of Hong Kong. Also, ITSD will represent the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the work of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) forum on the development of an enhanced version of the international standard (ISO10646) on Chinese characters. In addition to the standard set of commonly used characters, this enhanced version will cover the additional Chinese characters used in the Mainland of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other territories. This will facilitate and foster the use of Chinese language in computer applications, the development of Chinese application software and tools, and the sharing of electronic information in Chinese.
The Need for a Deputy to DITS
9. With the above new roles and projects, DITS considers it essential to create a permanent professional deputy post (DDITS) of D3 rank to provide senior directorate support to him to take forward the tasks involved. Broadly, the intention is that the DDITS will assume the leadership role in the provision of the established services to government clients, the oversight of the main resource management, administrative and support functions of ITSD, and the direct responsibility for the cultural and organisational development in the department. This will enable DITS to take the lead in the new roles assumed by the department, in particular the ESD scheme and the IT in the community work, in the formulation of associated policies and standards, in establishing a strong information base for the department, and in communications with the public and private sectors.
10. When ITSD was established in 1990, there were 12 directorate officers under DITS. This number has now increased to 17. ITSD's establishment has also grown by over 80% from 515 as at 1 September 1990 to 945 as at 1 September 1998. The span of control has increased significantly, and DITS is over-burdened by the existing and new service commitments. For other professional government departments with a similar size of establishment, their Heads of Department are all supported by a deputy of D3 rank.
11. In order to sustain effective and efficient delivery of services to government clients and to expand IT services to the community, DITS considers it essential to create a DDITS post to assist him in managing the wide span of services rendered by the department.
12. DITS proposes that the holder of the DDITS post be responsible for overseeing the following four Branches of ITSD -
- The Administration Branch which is responsible for departmental administration, grade management, financial management, human resources management, quality assurance, and contract facilitation for human resources and services.
- The Management Consultancy Services Branch which provides consultancy services related to the use of IT as well as oversees and manages the Block Allocation under Head 710 of the Capital Works Reserve Fund.
- The two Departmental Services Branches which co-ordinate the promotion of the use of IT in the client departments/bureaux through overseeing the implementation of policies and providing advice to clients in the exploitation of IT and in the formulation of project proposals; and which manage the IT systems development cycle comprising information systems strategic studies, feasibility studies, applications development, support/maintenance, and on-going enhancements for IT projects.
13. The proposed job description of the DDITS post is at Enclosure 2.
14. In addition to supervising DDITS, DITS will directly supervise the following two Branches of ITSD -
- The Infrastructure Branch which develops and maintains the internal information infrastructure for implementing government computer applications. The Branch ensures that measures safeguarding the compatibility, information integrity and security of computer facilities and networks are put in place, properly maintained and supported. It also assumes additional responsibilities in relation to the implementation of the ESD scheme, participation in industry standards bodies and the promotion of IT in the community.
- The Technical Services Branch which devises guidelines and internal standards for the use of software and hardware products in government computer applications. It manages common facilities for the development and operation of computer applications in the two production computer centres and a disaster recovery centre, and arranges procurement of hardware and software in bulk. The Branch provides advice and assistance to project development teams and government departments on the use of the above products and facilities, including the operation of help desks and special interest groups. In the run-up to 2000, it also supports Government's Year 2000 rectification programme and the publicity efforts in promoting awareness of the problem.
Creation of two CSM posts
15. To implement the ESD scheme and related projects and to promote the development of electronic commerce in Hong Kong, the ITSD has to carry out a number of new and specific tasks -
- Government has issued an open invitation to all concerned seeking expressions of interest from the private sector to build and operate the ESD system for Government. ITSD is now in the process of identifying public services to be included in the ESD scheme. Possible types of services and transactions which can be covered under the scheme are set out in Enclosure 3. Government's plan is to implement the ESD scheme in phases and the first phase will be launched within the year 2000. ITSD needs additional staffing support at junior directorate level to assist in the tender process and in the phased implementation and on-going management of the ESD scheme. Additional support is also required to promote the scheme and to encourage the private sector to make use of it for conducting electronic commence at a later stage.
- Government will encourage the private sector to participate in electronic transactions. We shall establish a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to provide for security, data protection and privacy, etc. in conducting electronic transactions through the setting up of Certification Authorities (CAs). ITSD needs additional staffing support at junior directorate level to help establish and maintain the PKI in relation to Government's internal as well as external requirements. The department also has to engage in the deliberation of the subject in various international fora to keep Hong Kong in close touch with world development in this area.
- To facilitate the development of electronic commerce in Hong Kong, Government will consider the need for, and if so the form of, a legal framework to address issues like legal recognition of data messages and digital signatures. ITSD will provide technical support to ITBB in this respect. The department will also engage in deliberations about regulatory framework for electronic commence in various international fora to keep Hong Kong in close touch with world development.
- Government will build secure central gateways for communication between government departments and the community, information dissemination and service delivery through the Internet. This will provide government departments with common facilities for secure and seamless connections of their networks to the Internet at reduced operational support and costs. ITSD needs additional staffing support at junior directorate level to build, maintain and manage the secure central gateways.
- Government will establish and maintain common standards and facilities for the use of Chinese language in electronic communications and data exchange through common communications network. ITSD needs additional staffing support at junior directorate level to provide technical assistance to ITBB on policy and strategy issues relating to the use of Chinese in electronic commerce and transactions, establish an architectural framework and guidelines for the use of Chinese in electronic communications and delivery of services, and liaise with the industry, the public and industry standards bodies on the development of a broad range of standards affecting the IT industry in Hong Kong.
- ITSD also needs additional staffing support at junior directorate level to assist in the promotion of IT in the community.
16. DITS proposes to create two CSM posts to strengthen the junior directorate support in the Infrastructure Branch of the department. The proposed job descriptions of the two CSM posts, i.e. CSM (ESD and Community Liaison) and CSM (Infrastructure) are at Enclosures 4 and 5.
17. DITS also proposes to create 18 non-directorate posts to strengthen the staffing support of the department in order to cope with the various new roles and projects described above. These include -
- Three new posts in the Analyst/Programmer grade to support the establishment of the Public Key Infrastructure, and to build and support secure central gateways for government Internet connections and applications.
- Thirteen new posts in the Analyst/Programmer grade to assist in the promotion of IT in the community, the implementation of the ESD scheme, participation in industry standards bodies and the establishment and maintenance of common standards and facilities for the use of Chinese language in computer applications.
- One Personal Secretary I post and one Personal Secretary II post to provide secretarial support to the new DDITS and the two CSM posts.
18. Details of the 18 new non-directorate posts are set out in Enclosure 6 and an organisation chart showing the proposed structure of ITSD is at Enclosure 7.
Deletion of a CSM under Education Department's Information Systems Strategy (ISS)
19. Finance Committee approved in May 1994 the creation of a CSM post in ITSD under Education Department's ISS to implement the various ISS projects from 1993-94 to 1997-98. This post has been left vacant since November 1997 upon completion of related projects. To regularise the establishment of ITSD, we now propose its deletion.
20. The total notional annual salary cost of the proposal at MID-POINT is -
New Permanent Posts
No. of posts
The full annual staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and staff on-costs, is $23,833,800.
21. Sufficient provision has been included in the 1998-99 estimates to meet the cost of the proposal.
22. In his 1997 Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced his vision to make Hong Kong a leader in the information world of tomorrow by bringing together four things -
- the hardware of high capacity communications systems;
- a common software interface mounted on established communications networks, through which individuals, business and Government can interact easily and securely using their own systems;
- people who know how to use IT; and
- a cultural environment that stimulates creativity and welcomes advances in the use of IT.
23. The establishment of ITBB is the first step in realising the Chief Executive's IT vision. To keep Hong Kong in the forefront of IT development in the world, ITSD, guided by ITBB, will carry out the various tasks as set out in this paper.
CIVIL SERVICE BUREAU COMMENTS
24. Civil Service Bureau considers the ranking and grading of the proposed new posts appropriate having regard to their duties and level of responsibilities.
ADVICE OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON DIRECTORATE SALARIES AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
25. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposed for the permanent posts would be appropriate if the posts were to be created.
Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau
Enclosure 2 to EC(98-99)5
Proposed Job Description of the DDITS Post
Post : Deputy Director of Information Technology Services
Rank : DDITS, a new rank (D3)
Responsible to : Director of Information Technology Services
Duties and Responsibilities -
- To deputise for the Director of Information Technology Services;
- to direct, co-ordinate and supervise the work of the Administration Branch, the Management Consultancy Services Branch and the two Departmental Services Branches;
- to provide overall resource planning in the implementation of major IT initiatives;
- to manage the preparation and regular up-dating of ITSD's departmental operating plan;
- to direct the development of contractual relationships and related procedures and standards for outsourcing and entrusting the private sector in assisting ITSD to achieve targets of timely, quality and cost-effective IT service delivery;
- to oversee the cultural and organisational development of the department in response to Change Programme initiatives and an ever changing environment; and
- to forecast, allocate and manage resources to meet the department's overall commitments and agreed priorities.
Enclosure 3 to EC(98-99)5
Types of Services and Transactions to be
Covered under Electronic Service Delivery Scheme
Seven types of services and transactions would initially be covered under the Electronic Service Delivery scheme -
- changing clients' particulars, e.g. address;
- booking services and appointments;
- acquiring documents and services;
- making payments;
- obtaining information;
- submitting applications and returns, providing feedback, e.g.
complaints, suggestions, etc. ; and
- monitoring progress, e.g. the status of an application, etc.
Enclosure 4 to EC(98-99)5
Proposed Job Description of the Chief Systems Manager (D1) Post
(ESD and Community Liaison)
Post : Chief Systems Manager (ESD and Community Liaison)
Responsible to : Assistant Director of Information Technology Services (Infrastructure)
Duties and Responsibilities -
- To assist in the formulation of policy on the provision of efficient and effective one-stop electronic government services to the public;
- to establish and manage a programme for implementing the ESD scheme, including its tendering and subsequent contract management;
- to advise and co-ordinate with government departments and other relevant parties on matters relating to the ESD scheme to ensure its timely implementation;
- to help encourage the private sector to make use of the ESD platform for the conduct of electronic commence.
- to co-ordinate, support and participate in activities and events for enhancing IT awareness and competence of the Hong Kong community and for encouraging better and more intensive use of IT; and
- to assist in determining measures and data to be maintained for use in assessing Hong Kong's comparative position in IT use, penetration, promotion and development.
Enclosure 5 to EC(98-99)5
Proposed Job Description of the Chief Systems Manager (D1) Post
Post : Chief Systems Manager (Infrastructure)
Responsible to : Assistant Director of Information Technology Services (Infrastructure)
Duties and Responsibilities -
- To assist in the formulation and promulgation of policies, standards and guidelines on building and maintaining the information technology (IT) infrastructure for the Government and Hong Kong;
- to oversee and co-ordinate the establishment of a secure environment for electronic commerce and transactions conducted over common communications networks and operation of government computer applications;
- to oversee and co-ordinate the implementation of and provide support to the maintenance of a common interface for a secure and open interconnection of government and external networks and liaise with the academia, industry, business and overseas bodies on the development of the common interface and the related standards;
- to provide advice to government bureaux and departments on matters relating to the IT infrastructure;
- to provide support to application development teams on their use of the IT infrastructure; and
- to assist the Assistant Director in the administration of the Branch.
Enclosure 6 to EC(98-99)5
List of Non-directorate Posts Proposed to be Created
|Rank||No.||NAMS for Rank|
|Senior Systems Manager||6||929,220 ||5,575,320
|Personal Secretary I||1||275,880
|Personal Secretary II||1||171,960