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LCQ13: Development of “Smart Government”

Following is a question by the Hon Wilson Or and a written reply by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, in the Legislative Council today (August 18):


In the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0 (Blueprint 2.0) released in December last year, the Government put forth 130 initiatives to further enhance and expand existing city management work and services. On promoting the development of "Smart Government", will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the following information on the "iAM Smart" platform launched by the Government in December 2020: (i) the current numbers of persons who have registered respectively as "iAM Smart" and "iAM Smart+" users, with a breakdown by age group (each group covering 10 years of age), and (ii) the up-to-date number of person-times using government services through that platform and the percentage of such number in the total number of user-times of government services in the same period, with a breakdown by government department; if the relevant statistics are unavailable, of the reasons for that;

(2) as the Blueprint 2.0 has put forth the use of a new big data analytics platform to enable government departments to transmit and share real-time data among themselves as well as the adoption of public cloud services to enable government departments to deliver efficient and agile e-services, of the details of the relevant plans; and

(3) as some members of the public have criticised that some government departments' current practice of still receiving and sending documents mainly by fax is outdated and error-prone, and fax images have low resolutions, whether the Government will require the relevant departments to gradually switch to receiving and sending documents by paperless means such as email, with a view to enhancing the work efficiency of government departments and dovetailing with the objective of promoting the development of Smart Government?



Regarding the Hon Wilson Or's question, our reply is as follows:

(1) The "iAM Smart" mobile app was available for download starting from December 30, 2020. As of August 15, 2021, there were about 804 000 registrants. Details of the number of registrants (with breakdown by age groups) are tabulated below:

Age Group (Note) Number of "iAM Smart" Registrants Number of "iAM Smart+" Registrants Total Number of Registrants
11 to 20 17 000 6 300 23 300
21 to 30 79 800 19 900 99 700
31 to 40 124 200 48 200 172 400
41 to 50 140 200 69 500 209 700
51 to 60 114 300 65 000 179 300
61 to 70 56 900 39 300 96 200
71 or above 13 600 9 500 23 100
Total 546 000 257 700 803 700

Note: "iAM Smart" registrant has to be aged 11 or above

As of August 15, 2021, there were about 6.26 million authentication requests made via the "iAM Smart" platform to conduct online services, where the usages of the "e‑ME" auto form filling function and the digital signing function provided by the "iAM Smart" platform were about 125 000 and 48 000 respectively. As we do not have the usage data of each government service, we are unable to advise the percentage of online services conducted through the "iAM Smart" platform.

(2) The "Next Generation Government Cloud Infrastructure and Big Data Analytics Platform" (the Platform) came into operation in September 2020. The Platform facilitates bureaux/departments (B/Ds) in adopting cloud and big data analytics technologies to implement digital government services in a more agile, secure and cost-effective way, as well as to improve public services with big data analytics. The Platform is equipped with an "Application Programming Interface Gateway" to strengthen the information exchanges between B/Ds and system connectivity. The "Big Data Analytics Platform" is also equipped with the "Digital Highway", which supports high-speed data transmission that allows data interchange and sharing of real-time data among B/Ds.

Since its launch, the Platform has, within a short period of time, supported the Government's implementation of a number of systems related to the anti-epidemic work and restarting the economy, including the online booking system for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme and the registration system for the electronic consumption vouchers, etc. Through the Platform and with the use of application programming interfaces, these systems can verify quickly and in real time with the Immigration Department the identities of people who made appointments or registrations, and send the required information to relevant departments (such as the Department of Health, the Treasury) for further processing as necessary.

(3) We are stepping up our efforts in promoting the development of "Smart Government", so that citizens and enterprises can use various government services through electronic means conveniently. At present, more than 200 licence applications and more than 500 government service applications can be submitted electronically under the "Be the Smart Regulator" Programme and the "Streamlining of Government Services" Programme coordinated by the Efficiency Office. The Government's target is to accept all 400 or so licence applications and about 900 government service applications (unless there are legal or operational constraints) be submitted electronically by mid-2022 to save citizens' time in filling in paper forms, arranging paper documents and visiting government departments in person for processing applications.

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