For discussion
on 20 March 1998


Independent Commission Against Corruption
New Subhead Replacement of Commission Against Corruption Information System"
Subhead 001 Salaries
Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to approve -

  1. a new commitment of $43,710,000 for replacing the existing computerised information system in the Independent Commission Against Corruption;

  2. an increase in the ceiling placed on the total notional annual mid-point salary value of all non-directorate posts in the permanent establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption in 1998-99 from $523,365,000 by $4,329,900 to $527,694,900 for creating 16 non-directorate posts to provide logistical and development support during the implementation of the new system; and

  3. an increase in the ceiling placed on the total notional annual mid-point salary value of all non-directorate posts in the permanent establishment of the Information Technology Services Department in 1998-99 from $445,005,000 by $681,180 to $445,686,180 for creating one non-directorate post to provide support during the implementation of the new system.


The existing Commission Against Corruption Information System (CACIS) has been in use for over eight years and maintenance of the system has become increasingly difficult. In addition, it cannot meet the present-day operational requirements of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).


2. On the advice of the Director of Information Technology Services (DITS) and following the completion of a feasibility study, the Commissioner, ICAC, proposes to replace the existing CACIS with a new system to enhance the provision of support to the Operations Department's complaints logging, investigation management and intelligence analysis functions.


Existing CACIS and related systems

3. CACIS is the main operating system of the Operations Department. It stores information on individuals, companies, establishments, vehicles and other entities which the Operations Department considers relevant to its investigations. The system also provides details of completed investigations and results.

4. The CACIS also has a casebook function which can record specified information relating to a case, such as the nature of an allegation, types of people involved, the names of employers and the locations or districts where the corruption has allegedly occurred.

5. We have also developed two separate systems, which are used by Report Centre officers, to supplement the CACIS. The First Information Report System (FIRS) is primarily an information retrieval system. Report Centre officers make use of this system to prepare daily First Information Reports for the directorate officers to decide whether or not an allegation should be investigated.

6. The Report Centre System (RCS) is a database which stores records of the complainants, alleged suspects and involved parties. Report Centre officers search both the CACIS and RCS to check if the department has kept record of an individual who may be a wanted person. The existing CACIS runs on a six-day basis per week and supports only 20 concurrent users. This has limited the efficiency of the Operations Department vis-à-vis a significant increase in cases.

Need for replacement of existing CACIS

7.The Commission started developing the CACIS in 1987 which commenced operation in 1990. The business requirement of the ICAC has undergone significant changes since the project development, particularly the substantial increase in corruption reports. In view of the increasing complexity of corruption activities, the Commission has to enhance the CACIS extensively over the years. In addition, the Commission has adopted a proactive approach to fight corruption and it requires the support of an advanced computer system to back up investigation. However, the existing system has reached its limits for further enhancement and cannot meet the present-day needs. The major problems of the existing CACIS are as follows -

  1. unsatisfactory data selection capability - the system does not have precise data selection capability. This has caused difficulties to investigating officers in retrieving specific information for investigation. The analysis of information based on the limited data selection capability is also difficult and laborious;

  2. system limitations - the system prohibits name search in Chinese. This affects the accuracy and the efficiency in verifying the targets in Chinese name;

  3. limited access to CACIS - due to limited capabilities, the existing system can only allow access of 20 users concurrently. This has affected the efficiency of front-line investigations; and

  4. maintenance problem - the existing hardware is over eight years old and key components are no longer easily available due to obsolescence. The system has become increasingly difficult to maintain given the ageing hardware and software.

Proposed computer system

8. The Commissioner, ICAC proposes to develop a replacement system and has completed a feasibility study for the purpose. In addition to the existing functions of CACIS, the new system will incorporate the following enhanced functions -

  1. complaints logging - this function will enable Report Centre officers to directly input details of initial complaint/case information into the database;

  2. investigation management - this function can enhance and update case records with relevant information collected during the course of investigation; and

  3. intelligence analysis - this function will enable investigating officers to retrieve information systematically from the Operations Department databases within a specified data structure. It will allow ICAC officers to undertake basic analysis, such as location, pattern, trend and other related intelligence activities.

Benefits of the proposed computer system

9. The new system will improve system response and provide 24-hour on-line service. Moreover, its enhanced functions to handle Chinese characters will significantly improve data accuracy and provide additional scope to meet future operational requirements. Upon full implementation of the new system, it will bring about the following major benefits -

  1. more timely information - the new system will incorporate the functionality of both FIRS and RCS and streamline the process of information management. Complaints/case information will be immediately available on the database as soon as Report Centre or investigating officers enter the data;

  2. improved data quality and accuracy - direct input of data by Report Centre and investigating officers will improve efficiency and help ensure data quality as it obviates the need for inputting data into different computer systems. Appropriate training and systems-assisted help screens will be used to support and direct data entry;

  3. improved database searching - the installation of enhanced searching facilities and improvements in the structure of the database of the new system can shorten the processing time for searching the data for details of suspects, complainants and other entities by 89%;

  4. accuracy in searching data in Chinese - as the new system will allow the use of Chinese in name search, retrieval and input, it will enhance the accuracy of the data and save retrieval time;

  5. unified system operation - with a unified system, staff can readily operate the new system after initial training irrespective of transfer of duties. At present, staff have to be trained in the use of separate systems when transfer between different divisions of the department takes place;

  6. improved access - investigating officers will have improved access to the system as more terminals are available round the clock. Moreover, the new system can support 200 concurrent users in the first instance. The new system is also capable for further expansion to accommodate additional concurrent users by increasing processing power without the need for a fundamental redesign of the system; and

  7. improved intelligence analysis - the intelligence analysis workbench of the new system will provide a more sophisticated and advanced analytical tool to assist intelligence analysts and investigators. Users will be able to project crime pattern and have a quick overall view of sophisticated crimes.

Cost-benefit analysis

10. The proposed new system will give rise to realisable savings of $3,963,000 annually, of which $2,519,000 is the annual maintenance cost of the hardware of the existing system and $1,444,000 is Information Technology Services Department (ITSD) recurrent staff savings of one Analyst Programmer I (API) and two Analyst Programmer II (APII) supporting the existing system. In addition, the new system will achieve notional savings of $14,479,000 annually, arising from improvement in efficiency of the Commission. Although the notional savings are not realisable in financial terms, the Commissioner, ICAC will put the additional staff resources in supporting front-line operations and enhancing intelligence gathering. A detailed cost-benefit analysis is at Enclosure 1.


Non-recurrent costs

11. The Commissioner of ICAC, with the advice of DITS, estimates that implementation of the proposed system will require a non-recurrent cost of $56,589,000. This comprises $43,710,000 for the purchase of computer hardware and software, system development and implementation services, etc. for which we are seeking Members' approval of a new commitment; and $12,879,000 for in-house development staff of ICAC and ITSD. Details of the non-recurrent cost are as follows -







(a) Computer hardware




(b) Computer software




(c) System development and implementation services




(d) Client support




(e) Data conversion




(f) Disaster recovery




(g) Consumable




(h) Training




(i) Contingency











Other non-recurrent costs

(j) ICAC staff costs (including on cost)




(k) ITSD staff costs (including on cost)















12. As regards paragraph 11(a), the estimate of $12,174,000 is for the acquisition of computer hardware, security devices and workstations including about 132 personal computers.

13. As regards paragraph 11(b), the estimate of $8,323,000 is for the acquisition of system software, database management software, intelligence workbench software and system development tools.

14. As regards paragraph 11(c), the estimate of $10,410,000 is for system development and implementation services. These include package customisation service and site preparation works required for the setting up of the system.

15. As regards paragraph 11(d), the estimate of $5,007,000 is for client support service on activities, such as procurement, project and change management.

16. As regards paragraph 11(e), the estimate of $2 million is for the acquisition of data conversion services from supplier.

17. As regards paragraph 11(f), the estimate of $1 million is for the purchase of additional disaster recovery hardware in the event that the machine selected for the future system is not supported by the Development and Disaster Recovery Bureau of ITSD.

18. As regards paragraph 11(g), the estimate of $73,000 is for the acquisition of miscellaneous items and other consumables, such as magnetic tapes, printer cartridges, etc.

19. As regards paragraph 11(h), the estimate of $750,000 is for providing training for the departmental staff of ICAC in using the new system on such areas as standard enquiry/report generation, Chinese input method, basic intelligence analysis and system administration.

20. As regards paragraph 11(i), the estimate of $3,973,000 is for contingency on the cost items set out in paragraph 11(a) to (h).

21. As regards paragraph 11(j), ICAC will incur non-recurrent staff cost of $11,603,000 to provide support in project planning, design and monitoring, system support, liaison with end-users and other Government departments, procurement, implementation, data conversion, user acceptance testing and initial end-user training. This comprises the efforts of 24 man-months of Commission Against Corruption Officer (Upper) (CACO(U)), 54 man-months of Commission Against Corruption Officer (Middle/Lower) (CACO(M/L)), 30 man-months of Assistant Commission Against Corruption Officer (ACACO), 12 man-months of Computer Operator I (COI) and 120 man-months of Clerical Assistant (CA). In terms of posts required, this involves a maximum of 17 additional posts, including one CACO(U), three CACO(M/L), two ACACO, one COI and ten CA of a total notional annual mid-point salary (NAMS) value of $4,592,700. These posts are required at different stages of the project development and Enclosure 2 sets out a detailed breakdown of the additional posts by financial years. To enable the creation of the 16 posts required in 1998-99, the Commissioner, ICAC proposes to increase the establishment ceiling of Head 72 ICAC in 1998-99 from $523,365,000 by $4,329,900 to $527,694,900.

22. As regards paragraph 11(k), ITSD will incur non-recurrent staff cost of $1,276,000 to provide necessary support for the selection of the Project Manager, provide technical input and government information technology standard to ICAC during the implementation of the project and conversion and assist ICAC in the acceptance of the final system from the Project Manager. This comprises the efforts of three man-months of Senior Systems Manager and ten man-months of Systems Manager (SM). In terms of posts required, this involves one additional SM post of NAMS value of $681,180 and the details are in Enclosure 2. DITS proposes to increase the establishment ceiling of Head 47 ITSD in 1998-99 from $445,005,000 by $681,180 to $445,686,180 to enable the creation of the post in 1998-99.

Recurrent costs

23. The estimated additional recurrent cost of maintaining and supporting the new system is $969,000 in 1999-2000, rising to $2,994,000 in 2000-01 and reducing to $2,473,000 from 2001-02 onwards. Details are as follows -






and annually thereafter


(a) Computer hardware




(b) Computer software




(c) System enhancement




(d) Consumable




(e) ICAC maintenance

and support staff costs





(f) Savings on maintenance costs of existing system




(g) Savings on ITSD

system maintenance

staff costs








24. As regards paragraph 23(a), the estimate of $2,070,000 is for hardware maintenance on expiry of the free warranty period in 1999-2000.

25. As regards paragraph 23(b), the estimate of $1,248,000 is for the maintenance of the software, on-going support and licence fees. Recurrent cost is required for the provision of maintenance service upon expiry of the free maintenance period in 1999-2000.

26. As regards paragraph 23(c), the estimate of $624,000 is for minor system enhancement.

27. As regards paragraph 23(d), the estimate of $48,000 is for purchasing consumables.

28. As regards paragraph 23(e), the expenses of $2,446,000 are for staff costs of six new posts, including one CACO(M/L), two ACACOs, one COI and two Computer Operators II. We require the three CACOs to perform audit checking to ensure data accuracy and integrity and other responsibilities such as help desk and on-going support. The three Computer Operators will provide system maintenance service to meet additional workload arising from round the clock seven-days system operation. We will no longer require the three posts of one API and two APII of ITSD who are supporting the existing system and will delete them upon the implementation of the new system. Paragraph 23(g) reflects the ITSD staff savings.

29. As regards paragraph 23(f), the sum is the savings from maintenance of the existing system which will be used to offset part of the additional recurrent costs.

Implementation Plan

30. The Commissioner, ICAC plans to implement the proposed system according to the following schedule -


Planned completion date

(a) Team formation

June 1998

(b) Implementation/customisation/
acceptance tests

April 2000

(c) Implementation of analysis workbench

June 2000

(d) System operation

June 2000


31. As the ICAC's investigative caseload has increased substantially by 36% since 1991 and the investigations have become more complicated, there is an increased dependence on information systems to support the delivery of its policy objectives and performance pledges. Despite extensive system enhancement from time to time, the existing CACIS, now in its eighth year of operation, is no longer able to cope with the growing needs of the Operations Department.

32. To overcome the system limitations, we have engaged consultants to undertake a feasibility study to look into the viability of a replacement CACIS system. The study concluded that the existing system was unable to meet the current business requirements of ICAC as it had reached its design capacity and could not be further enhanced. The Commissioner, ICAC envisages an urgent need to replace the existing system and hence proposes a new CACIS to meet her operational requirements to fight corruption.

33. We have informed the Panel on Security of the Provisional Legislative Council of the proposed project at its meeting on 19 February 1998.

Independent Commission Against Corruption
March 1998

Enclosure 2 to FCR(97-98)107

Breakdown of the Non-Recurrent Staff Required

Independent Commission Against Corruption




Commission Against Corruption Officer (Upper)

1 (12 months)

1 (12 months)

Commission Against Corruption Officer (Middle/Lower)

3 (10 months)

3 (8 months)

Assistant Commission Against Corruption Officer

2 (10 months)

2 (5 months)

Computer Operator I


1 (12 months)

Clerical Assistant

10 (9 months)

10 (3 months)




Information Technology Services Department




Systems Manager

1 (5 months)

1 (5 months)