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LCQ7: E-engagement and e-government

     Following is a question by the Hon Samson Tam and a reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the Legislative Council meeting today (February 8):


     Regarding e-citizen engagement and e-government, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that "politics on the Internet" has become a trend, how the authorities, through information and communication technology, make use of tools on the Internet such as social media web sites, etc. to enhance communication with members of the public, in particular young people;

(b) whether it has made reference to the advance experience of overseas or neighbouring cities (e.g. increasing the transparency of governance by means of technologies such as Web 2.0, etc.) to build a more open e-government and e-community which allow more citizen engagement;

(c) given that the Government launched an 18-month pilot scheme in March last year to make available geo-referenced public facilities data and real time traffic data of major routes at the "Data.One" portal, of the utilisation of the service at present; when it will conduct a review; whether it will consider opening up more public sector information for development and use by the market; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(d) how the authorities will enhance the use of mobile telecommunication channels to improve service quality; of the government services for which mobile versions are available at present, and whether they will consider offering mobile versions for more government services?



     The reply to the four-part question is as follows:

(a) The Administration communicates with the public through various channels and tools, including traditional media and the Internet. In view of the growing popularity of online social media, Government departments are actively making use of electronic platforms to communicate with the public. At present, 12 Government departments and 14 Government officials are using social media (including Facebook, Twitter, microblog, Youtube, and blog) to connect with the public. Last year, the Chief Executive's Office conducted five live online question-and-answer sessions through its Facebook Page, enabling dialogue between politically appointed officials and the public on topical issues.

     During 2010 and 2011, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) organised a number of seminars and workshops for different levels of Government staff to equip them with the skills as well as knowledge on overseas experience for designing and using online platforms to communicate with the public and listen to their views. OGCIO has also developed three Facebook applications, namely, a live video-streaming application, a questionnaire tool and an application for e-leaflet promotions.

(b) In late 2010, OGCIO commissioned a study on the e-engagement initiatives adopted by overseas governments. The report highlighted the key success factors, challenges, and means of measuring the effectiveness of e-engagement initiatives adopted by the governments of USA, UK, Australia and Singapore. We provided the report to the Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting of the Legislative Council in September 2011, and have circulated it to Government departments for reference.

(c) Response to the public sector information pilot scheme has been encouraging. The number of downloads of real-time traffic data of main roads has been increasing significantly, with the daily average downloads of traffic snapshot images increasing from 1 900 in April 2011 to 387 000 in December 2011. The daily downloads of the traffic speed map, journey time indicator and special traffic news also each averaged from 8 000 to 16 000. Besides, at least nine mobile applications using these real-time traffic data are now available, most of which can be downloaded free of charge. As geo-referenced public facilities data are static information, frequent downloading is unnecessary. There are on average over 300 downloads every month. The pilot scheme will be completed in September this year. We are now reviewing the effectiveness of the scheme, and will consider the way forward in the light of its outcome.

(d) Riding on the rising popularity of mobile devices, Government departments are making wider use of this channel to deliver public services. Up to early February 2012, Government departments have launched a total of 26 mobile applications and 28 mobile websites (details at Annex). The Government will continue to develop more mobile services to enhance access to public services and information in line with technology advancement and the public's aspirations and needs.

Ends/Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Issued at HKT 13:15


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