For discussion
on 12 March 1999


CAPITAL WORKS RESERVE FUND HEAD 710 - COMPUTERISATION Hong Kong Police Force New Subhead "Office Automation for Hong Kong Police Force"

    Members are invited to approve a new commitment of $179,174,000 for providing office automation facilities to the Hong Kong Police Force.


The absence of an office automation (OA) network system in the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) inhibits effective and efficient communication both within the Force as well as with policy Bureaux, other departments and overseas counterparts.


2. The Commissioner of Police (CP), with the support of the Secretary for Security and the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting and on the advice of the Director of Information Technology Services, proposes to install an OA system in HKPF with a commitment of $179,174,000.


3. The existing mode of office communication in HKPF is largely confined to conventional paper flow and direct person-to-person contact. The benefit of one-to-many and interactive mode of communication with policy Bureaux and other departments under an OA network system is not available. The present use of Internet service within the Force is very limited and is only provided to around 50 officers. This has restricted effective communication with the public and efficient information exchange with overseas counterparts.

4. It is Government's policy to take full advantage of modern information technology to improve efficiency, quality of service and cost-effectiveness of policy Bureaux and departments. Since 1993, the Government has been increasingly using OA network systems in day-to-day business and at present all policy 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 HKPF. Thus, officers of HKPF have to continue to rely on the conventional mode of communication with policy Bureaux and other departments.

Proposed OA facilities

5. To bring the communication mode up to the modern standard, CP proposes to implement an OA system in HKPF, which includes -

  1. installation of Local Area Networks (LANs) in 136 locations covering the Police Headquarters, regions, districts, divisions and offices;

  2. upgrading of 294 existing personal computers and installation of 1 346 additional personal computers and 123 additional servers to provide a total of 1 640 workstations for all senior officers at Police Pay Scale Point 48 and above or at Master Pay Scale Point 45 and above, their personal secretaries and heads of functional units such as the general registry, the personnel registry, the accounts section, etc.;

  3. access to the GCN through the LANs for electronic mail communication and information exchange/sharing with other policy Bureaux and departments; and

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

6.The proposed LANs with standard OA facilities will connect 1 640 workstations to the OA network infrastructure. The network will provide users with software for electronic mail communication, word processing, spreadsheet, database management, graphics presentation, and Internet browsing.

Benefits of the proposed OA system

7. The provision of OA facilities will help enhance communication among officers working in scattered Police buildings, formations and offices through electronic transfer of data. The proposed system will bring about the following major benefits -

  1. enabling more efficient communication and exchange of information both locally and with overseas, thus facilitating the process of decision making;
  2. improving communication between all Police units and policy Bureaux/departments through connection to the GCN;
  3. enhancing data management and retrieval of commonly used information and documents, such as Government Regulations and circulars, Government Telephone Directory through GCAS;
  4. increasing the operational efficiency of the Force through sharing of data, eliminating duplication of effort in updating data by individual users, and improving the turn-around time in document production and delivery; and
  5. facilitating the delivery of information and service to the public.

Cost and benefit analysis

8. 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 and benefit analysis with an estimated pay-back period is therefore not entirely applicable in this case. However, this proposal will enable staff of the Police Force to communicate more efficiently among themselves and with other policy Bureaux and departments, thus bringing benefits to the department's operations. A notional 1% saving in staff costs of those with direct access to the OA system arising from improved efficiency and productivity gain would amount to about $19.5 million a year. In addition, there will be annual savings of about $229,000 in the consumption of paper in the department. Greater use of information technology will also help the department to attain productivity targets under the Enhanced Productivity Programme despite increases in workload arising from the implementation of new Police-related initiatives.


Non-recurrent cost

9. The estimated total non-recurrent cost of the OA system is $202,601,000, broken down as follows -

(a) Computer hardware and software and network equipment 41,755 41,754 - 83,509
(b) Implementation services 1,190 1,189 - 2,379
(c) Contract staff 13,453 9,171 - 22,624
(d) Site preparation, air conditioning, and power points 23,553 23,552 - 47,105
(e) Data communication lines and cabling 3,300 3,299 - 6,599
(f) Consumables (initial supply) 2,016 2,015 - 4,031
(g) Training to users and system administrators 2,198 2,197 - 4,395
(h) Contingency(5% of items (a) to (g) above) 4,373 4,159 - 8,532
Sub-total 91,838 87,336 - 179,174
Other non-recurrent costs
(i) HKPF staff costs(including on-costs) 6,486 9,714 339 16,539
(j) Information Technology Services Department (ITSD) staff costs(including on-costs) 4,366 2,463 59 6,888
Sub-total 10,852 12,177 398 23,427
Total 102,690 99,513 398 202,601

We are seeking approval of a commitment of $179,174,000 to cover items (a) to (h).

10. As regards paragraph 9(a), the estimate of $83,509,000 is for the acquisition of hardware for setting up 1 346 additional workstations and upgrading of 294 existing personal computers, 123 additional servers, network equipment, peripherals and software. The cost has taken into account the sharing of the network equipment which was provided as part of the existing Police Data Network.

11. As regards paragraph 9(b), the estimate of $2,379,000 is for the installation and customisation of the common applications on the server and workstation levels, detailed network design and integration of the OA facilities with the existing networks.

12. As regards paragraph 9(c), the estimate of $22,624,000 is for the hiring of 19 contract staff (including three Project Managers (PM), nine System Analysts (SA) and four System Programmers (SP) in HKPF, and three SAs in ITSD providing a total effort of 62, 263 and 72 man-months at the level of PM, SA and SP respectively) to supplement the in-house staff in the co-ordination, implementation and support of the OA programme.

13. As regards paragraph 9(d), the estimate of $47,105,000 is for site preparation works required for setting up the LANs. These include additional air conditioning and power points, equipment racks, and trunking.

14. As regards paragraph 9(e), the estimate of $6,599,000 is for the installation, cabling, and testing of the data communication lines.

15. As regards paragraph 9(f), the estimate of $4,031,000 is for the acquisition of initial supply of consumables like tape cartridges for system backup, printer toners, etc. for the implementation period.

16. As regards paragraph 9(g), the estimate of $4,395,000 is for the provision of training services to system users and administration of the network in the initial period.

17. As regards paragraph 9(i), the HKPF will incur non-recurrent staff cost of $16,539,000 for overall project management, user and vendor co-ordination, quality audit for system and equipment implementation, and technical support during the implementation period. This comprises the efforts of 18 man-months of Senior Systems Manager (SSM), 63 man-months of Systems Manager (SM), 109 man-months of Analyst/Programmer I (AP I) and 48 man-months of Analyst/Programmer II (AP II). In terms of the posts required, this involves seven posts, i.e. one SSM, two SMs, three AP Is and one AP II, for 1999-2000; 13 posts, i.e. one SSM, three SMs, six AP Is and three AP IIs, for 2000-01; and two posts, i.e. one SM and one AP I, for 2001-02. We have included sufficient resources in the Police's 1999-2000 draft Estimates for this purpose.

18. As regards paragraph 9(j), ITSD will incur non-recurrent staff cost of $6,888,000 for co-ordinating the implementation of the departmental backbone network infrastructure (in supporting HKPF OA system connection to GCN), implementation support for GCAS, and providing assistance in quality audit for HKPF during the implementation period. This comprises the efforts of 39 man-months of SM and 55 man-months of AP I. In terms of the posts required, this involves five posts, i.e. two SMs and three AP Is, for 1999-2000; four posts, i.e. two SMs and two AP Is, for 2000-01; and one AP I post for 2001-02. We have included sufficient resources in ITSD's 1999-2000 draft Estimates for this purpose.

Annually recurrent cost

19. The estimated recurrent expenditure for maintaining and supporting the OA facilities is $3,959,000 in 2000-01, rising to $24,624,000 from 2001-02 onwards, broken down as follows -

and annually
(a) System maintenance 3,959 7,918
(b) Data lines rental - 1,799
(c) Consumables - 3,234
(d) HKPF maintenance staff - 11,673

_______ _______
Total 3,959 24,624

_______ _______

20. As regards paragraph 19(a), the cost of $7,918,000 is for hardware and software maintenance, and on-site support services.

21. As regards paragraph 19(b), the cost of $1,799,000 is for the rental of data communication lines for the OA system.

22. As regards paragraph 19(c), the cost of $3,234,000 is for the acquisition of consumables such as tape cartridges for system backup and printer toners, etc.

23. As regards paragraph 19(d), the cost of $11,673,000 is for maintenance staff costs, which consist of both contract staff and in-house staff. Hiring of contract staff will be the main source for system maintenance. The staff costs are mainly for the hiring of ten contract staff (including 11 man-months of PM, five SAs and two SPs in HKPF, and one PM and two man-months of Computer Operator I in ITSD). In respect of in-house staff, CP will require seven additional posts (including one SSM, one SM, one AP I, three AP IIs and one Senior Computer Operator) at an annual staff cost, including on-costs, of $5,369,000. CP will keep the number of in-house staff to the minimum and will make wider use of contract staff whenever opportunities arise.

Implementation Plan

24. CP intends to implement the project according to the following schedule -

Activity Duration/Target
completion date
(a) Funding approval and availability Month 0
(b) Hardware and software procurement
(basic OA LAN and Secure E-mail)
Month 2 - 12
(c) Data-lines installation Month 5 - 15
(d) Site preparation and cable installation Month 3 - 16
(e) Hardware and software installation
(basic OA LAN only)
Month 5 - 19
(f) 1st production batch roll out Month 11
(g) 2nd production batch roll out Month 14
(h) 3rd production batch roll out Month 17
(i) 4th production batch roll out Month 20
(j) Hardware and software installation
(Secure E-mail only)
Month 20 - 22
(k) Secure E-mail roll out Month 24

25. As regards paragraph 24(i), the 4th production batch roll out in Month 20 refers to the complete roll out of the basic OA LAN. Assuming that funds are available in March 1999, the basic OA system will be completed by end December 2000.


26. Since late 1993, the 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 the GCN enabling them to exchange information electronically with one another. To date, all policy Bureaux and many departments have been connected. As these systems have proved helpful in improving efficiency, they are being extended to other departments.

27. The Police presently have a Police E-mail Network (PEN), which was developed under their Information Technology Strategy (ITS), to replace the previously obsolete internal telex facilities for internal messages and crime information transfer. Since implementation of PEN, the Force has gradually extended the access of this internal e-mail facility from the original 233 ITS common terminals to about 1 600 for front-line operational officers. Despite this, the majority of managerial level officers at Superintendent of Police rank and above are still without any support of e-mail facility. Besides, PEN itself can hardly accomplish the functions of the OA network implemented Government-wide as it is not connected to the GCN nor provided with any of the GCAS applications. To facilitate electronic communication with policy Bureaux and other departments and delivery of better services to the public, CP considers it opportune to implement the proposed OA system in the Force.


Security Bureau
March 1999