LCQ7: Information technology support services in bureaux and government departments
Following is a question by the Hon Charles Peter Mok and a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, in the Legislative Council today (April 15):
As indicated in government papers, with the devolution of information technology (IT) support from the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) to client government departments, various departments are required to take charge of their own IT support services. Some bureaux and government departments (B/Ds) have set up Information Technology Management Units (ITMUs), which are responsible for assisting the B/Ds concerned in the planning, management and co-ordination of IT services, formulation of IT policies, development of IT systems, repair and maintenance of IT systems as well as provision of technical and systems operation support, etc. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the following information on the ITMUs under various B/Ds, and set out the information by B/D in tabulated form:
(2) of the following information on the heads of the ITMUs under various B/Ds, and set out the information by B/D in tabulated form:
(3) of the criteria adopted by various B/Ds for determining the establishment of their ITMUs; whether any mechanism is in place for reviewing the demand for IT application in various B/Ds, as well as the organisational structure, staff establishment and work effectiveness of their ITMUs, and for allocating additional resources and manpower to them when necessary; if so, of the details; and
(4) whether it has any plans to provide additional resources (such as manpower) for individual B/Ds in the coming three years to cope with the IT projects to be implemented shortly; if so, of the details?
The Government's policy on information technology (IT) is to take full advantage of the extensive use of IT to improve the efficiency, service quality and cost-effectiveness of government bureaux and departments (B/Ds) in the delivery of public service, and to enable citizens and businesses to realise the full potential of an information society. Most of the B/Ds have established IT Management Units (ITMUs) to drive the best use of IT in conducting internal business and delivering public services. My reply to the four-part question is as follows:
(1) The composition, size and organisational placement of 61 ITMUs established in the Government vary from one B/D to another depending on the size and complexity of their IT portfolios, their state of IT adoption, the nature of the service needs as well as the extent of IT outsourcing. For those B/Ds that have established an ITMU,
(i) The number of IT professional staff in the ITMU is tabulated in Annex 1.
(ii) The number of civil servants and non-civil service contract staff in the ITMU are tabulated in Annex 1. We do not have the organisation chart of each of the ITMUs.
(iii) The major functions of ITMUs generally include –
(iv) For the Analyst/Programmer Grade and the Computer Operator Grade of which the OGCIO assumes the head of grade duties, except for the posts of the entry rank (i.e. Analyst/Programmer II and Computer Operator II respectively) which are filled by recruitment, all higher rank posts are currently filled by internal promotion. The number of staff of the Analyst/Programmer Grade and the Computer Operator Grade in the ITMUs can be found in Annex 1 and their main responsibilities can be found in Annex 2. The number of directorate officers in the ITMUs is tabulated in Annex 1.
(v) We do not keep record of the payroll expenses and the number of posts in each of the ITMUs in each of the past three years.
(vi) The list of major IT projects currently undertaken by the B/Ds together with the staff deployment for these projects is provided in Annex 3.
(2) Given the substantial interplay between the B/D's business and IT strategies, the head of ITMU is pitched at a sufficiently senior level to steer and drive IT adoption in commensurate with the IT needs of the B/D. For those B/Ds that have established an ITMU,
(i) The rank of the head of ITMU aligns with the IT portfolio and the extent of IT outsourcing in the B/D. Please refer to Annex 1 for details.
(ii) The filling of the heads of ITMUs is arranged by OGCIO or the concerned B/D, depending on whether the ITMU is headed by the Analyst/Programmer Grade or other grades, respectively.
(iii) For the heads of ITMUs, the majority of them are civil servants. Please refer to Annex 1 for details.
(iv) For those heads of ITMUs who are members of the Analyst/Programmer Grade, they normally possess a degree in IT or equivalent, or have substantial experience in the IT field. For those heads of ITMUs who are of other grades, they have extensive knowledge of the business domains of the B/D and are knowledgeable of how IT can be used to help achieve the policy objectives and meet the needs of the B/D concerned.
(v) For the posts of the heads of ITMUs, the majority of them are on permanent establishment. Please refer to Annex 1 for details.
(3) The ITMU of a B/D is responsible for IT planning, management, implementation and operation for the B/D. It has oversight and co-ordination responsibility over all IT activities within the entire IT portfolio of the B/D. The composition and size of the ITMU may vary over time depending on the IT portfolio and the extent of IT outsourcing. B/Ds would consult and where necessary review with the OGCIO on the structure and composition of its ITMU in order to ensure that it has the capability and capacity to accomplish its mission.
(4) In the annual resource allocation exercise, B/Ds may bid resources for expanding the size of its ITMU to cater for upcoming new work. To increase manpower capacity in the ITMU, B/Ds may also consider engaging additional contract IT professionals to meet their IT service needs.