on 23 April 1999
ITEM FOR FINANCE COMMITTEE
CAPITAL WORKS RESERVE FUND
HEAD 710 - COMPUTERISATION
Registration and Electoral Office
New Subhead "Enhancement to the Electoral and Registration System for the 1999 District Councils election and the 2000 Legislative Council election"
Members are invited to approve a new commitment of $25,521,000 for enhancing the existing Electoral and Registration System to provide adequate support for the first District Councils election and the second Legislative Council election.
The existing Electoral and Registration System (EARS) of the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) cannot provide adequate support for conducting efficiently the first District Councils (DC) election to be held in November 1999 and the second Legislative Council (LegCo) election to be held in September 2000.
2. The Chief Electoral Officer, with the support of the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs and on the advice of the Director of Information Technology Services, proposes a non-recurrent commitment of $25,521,000 to enhance REO's EARS to cope with the electoral arrangements for the first DC election and the second LegCo election.
3. The existing design and configuration of the EARS were mainly drawn up on the basis of the electoral arrangements for the first LegCo election held in May 1998. The EARS is administered by the REO with the following major functions -
- storing and updating the electoral records of registered electors;
- printing poll cards, labels, notifications and registers of voters;
- providing electronic and hard copies of the relevant part of the final register of voters to candidates to facilitate their electioneering activities; and
- providing on-line enquiry service to voters on the election day.
4. We need to enhance the EARS to ensure that the above functions can be implemented smoothly and efficiently in support of the 1999 DC election and the 2000 LegCo election. The enhancement is necessary because -
- for the first DC election, we will need to allocate registered electors to the new District Council Constituency Areas (DCCAs) to be delineated by mid-1999 according to the statutory criteria. We will also need to compile new sets of registers and publish them in September 1999;
- the existing capacity of the EARS has to be enhanced in order to cope with additional workload in data input and transactions as a result of a major voter registration drive to be conducted in early 2000 for the second LegCo election;
- in the light of the experience in the previous voter registration drive for the last LegCo election, we consider it necessary to make improvements to a number of registration-related functions of the EARS to enhance the efficiency in registering electors.
These enhanced functions will increase the storage capacity of our elector's record, such as the language preference of electors;
- we will improve District Offices' access to voter information. At present, if a District Office wishes to check certain information in the voter register (e.g. whether a nomination is subscribed by a sufficient number of registered electors), it has to seek REO's assistance. With a direct access to the EARS, District Offices can handle these matters more efficiently; and
- for the second LegCo election, it is necessary to provide computer facilities to be linked to the EARS for the following -
- the pilot scheme of advance polling; and
- the Election Committee Subsector elections and the Election Committee election.
5. The estimated total non-recurrent cost for enhancing the existing EARS is $37,051,000, broken down as follows -
|(a) Hardware and software
|(b) Site preparation
|(c) Professional services
|(d) Contract staff services
|(e) Contingency (10% of items (a) to (d) above)
|Non-recurrent staff cost
|(f) Information Technology Services Department (ITSD)
We are seeking approval of the non-recurrent commitment of $25,521,000 for items (a) to (e).
6. As regards paragraph 5(a) above, the expenditure of $3.652 million is for the acquisition of computers, printers, network equipment and software.
7. As regards paragraph 5(b) above, the expenditure of $0.911 million is for the installation of power points, trunking and cabling.
8. As regards paragraph 5(c) above, the expenditure of $6.306 million is for the acquisition of professional services such as technical support services for the enhancement of the EARS.
9. As regards paragraph 5(d) above, the expenditure of $12.332 million is for the hiring of contract staff to carry out system implementation. In view of the importance of the project, ITSD may need to engage contract staff funded from this commitment for other assignments so as to release some in-house staff for implementing the enhancement measures to the EARS.
10. As regards paragraph 5(f) above, the amount of $9.712 million represents the ITSD staff cost for implementing the project. It is calculated on the basis of ten man-months of a Senior Systems Manager (SSM), 18 man-months of a Systems Manager (SM), 28 man-months of an Analyst/Programmer I (API), 12 man-months of an Analyst/Programmer II, five man-months of a Senior Data Preparation Supervisor, 16 man-months of a Data Preparation Supervisor, 16 man-months of an Assistant Data Preparation Supervisor, 151 man-months of a Data Processor. This involves the creation of three additional posts, namely one SSM, one SM and one API provision for which has been included in the 1999-2000 Estimates. The other requirements will be absorbed by the existing establishment of ITSD.
11. As regards paragraph 5(g) above, the amount of $1.818 million represents the notional staff cost of the REO project team responsible for implementing the project. It is calculated on the basis of four man-months of a Senior Executive Officer, 12 man-months of an Executive Officer I, four man-months of a Senior Clerical Officer and 20 man-months of an Assistant Clerical Officer. These requirements will be absorbed by the existing establishment of REO.
Annually recurrent cost
12. The additional annually recurrent cost for maintaining the enhanced EARS is $1,559,000 from 2002-03 onwards. The breakdown is as follows -
|(a) Hardware and software maintenance
|(b) Contract staff services
13. The proposed implementation timetable is as follows -
|Target completion date for all functions|
provided by each activity
||DC election (a)
||LegCo election (b)
|System design and procurement
|System development and implementation
|Site preparation and cabling
|Live run of computer systems
(a) Including the allocation of registered electors to DCCAs.
(b) Including the voter registration exercise to be conducted in early 2000.
14. The REO is the executive arm of the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) which is an independent statutory body. The REO is responsible for providing the EAC with administrative support in the effective discharge of its statutory functions under the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance, which include -
- reviewing the constituency boundaries for the purpose of making recommendations on the demarcation of constituency boundaries;
- conducting and supervising elections, including the supervision of the registration of electors and promotional activity relating to such registration, regulating the procedure for an election, making other electoral arrangements, and taking such steps as it considers appropriate for the purpose of ensuring that an election is conducted openly, honestly and fairly;
- keeping the matters referred to in paragraph (b) under review; and
- reporting to the Chief Executive on any matter relating to an election.
15. Under the District Councils Ordinance, there are 18 Districts in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and a DC will be established for each of these Districts with effect from 1 January 2000. DC election will be held at the end of November 1999 to return a member for each of the 390 new DCCAs that will have to be delineated by mid-1999 according to the statutory criteria.
The Second HKSAR LegCo Election
16. The first term of office of the HKSAR LegCo will expire on 30 June 2000. The second LegCo election will be held in September 2000. In preparation for the second LegCo election, a major voter registration drive will be conducted in early 2000.
Constitutional Affairs Bureau