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e-Government strategy – IT management

Notwithstanding the effect of the e-government strategy on all aspects of the work of EOs, the fundamental impact is on IT management. While managers engaged in all types of duties will eventually be involved in the application of IT, there are specific changes on the use of the technology in tandem with the e-government strategy that we should take note of. They affect the mode of delivery of services and the configuration of hardware and software of all networks and systems.

The booklet mentions infrastructure and networking government. To this end, OCGIO is setting up common platforms and standards to facilitate exchange of information. Colleagues involved in IT projects will have to make use of these platforms and follow these standards. You may wish to refer to the recent circulars issued by ITSD/OCGIO on the mandatory requirements. We should quickly acquaint ourselves with the basic knowledge on such IT protocol in use in government in order to stay ahead.

Interoperability framework – There is a cross-department co-ordination group led by OCGIO for the establishment of standards so that various systems on similar subjects are interoperable. There are many sub-groups and task forces on various subjects. I represented HPLB previously on two of them and met many EO colleagues there.

SCOPES (Shared Common Platform for Electronic Services) and SPICA (Shared Platform for Internet Content and Applications) – OCGIO is establishing these common services and platforms centrally so that departments could simplify their effort in the implementation of e-services as well as maintaining a standard and smooth mode of operation for the exchange of data between different systems. The setting up cost of the platforms is high and OCGIO is having high hope on the utilization of these platforms to make them cost effective. Departments will soon be asked, persuaded and probably forced to migrate their systems to the platforms.

Accessibility programme and departmental portal – These are government-wide effort to establish an IT-able environment for G2E and G2G applications. With them in place, all government officers will be able to communicate, exchange information, transact business in a fast, convenient and secure manner. With such enabling environment, we will fast track to e-government.

I have mentioned earlier the role of EOs in IT management, i.e. office network amd LAN administration, IT projects of EO work and other IT projects. We cannot escape the first two. If we can demonstrate our sharp edge of management skill, we can also contribute to the third. In fact, many colleagues are already involved in many departmental operations IT projects. In my last job, I co-ordinated an IT project on the alignment of geospatial data involving 13 departments. All that needed is our expertise in resource and system management, plus an understanding of the IT aspect of the project in hand, which could be acquired or strengthened on-the-job.