Advance in technology can bring greater convenience and productivity in service delivery. One of the roles of the Efficiency Unit is to identify opportunities where the application of new technology can offer higher productivity and quality improvement for public services. We often run pilot projects or introduce new technology to help our own services as a means to test out the value of new systems and software so as to be able to demonstrate new systems to other departments and give more informed advice and support when they come to implement new systems themselves.
We have two main areas of focus.
First is applying innovative information and communications technology to improve the productivity and effectiveness of public services. Examples of our work in this area are use of EIMS, GovHRMS and big data analysis by 1823.
PROJECT: Application of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) in the Government
The Government has embarked on an enterprise information management (EIM) programme to help bureaux and departments improve information and knowledge management and to make collaboration between individuals, teams and departments easier. The objective is to improve overall government operational efficiency.
We commenced our EIM programme in December 2009 and completed the system development in seven months. The project comprised a change management programme for information and knowledge sharing, as well as an integrated system for knowledge management collaboration and records management. A wealth of knowledge has been captured for re-use through a systematic process. A platform has been established for collaboration among internal staff and grade members working at departmental units. An electronic recordkeeping system (ERKS) meeting the Government Records Service’s standards was developed for effective and efficient records management. The project has provided us with considerable experience and a live system in daily use for other bureaux and departments to examine.
Drawing on our experience and knowledge, we provide consultancy service to bureaux and departments on knowledge management, change management and business process re-engineering for EIM implementation. In particular, we help bureaux and departments map out the strategy for EIM implementation. We also support the Government Records Service and Office of the Government Chief Information Officer in developing the best practices for ERKS implementation.
PROJECT: Government Human Resources Management Services (GovHRMS) Programme
We are one of four pilot agencies implementing Government Human Resources Management Services (GovHRMS) Programme. The Programme adopts a “shared service” approach and cloud computing to develop an HRM system that can support the whole of Government. It aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of human resources operations and to support strategic decision making, planning and development of people and talent to help deliver the public service’s vision, mission and objectives.
“People” and “process” are two of the critical success factors in technology application. As well as looking at implementation of GovHRMS within our own operations, we have been giving support to other pilot users to obtain staff support and promote usability design. A change management plan was developed to engage and support stakeholders through the process. A user experience design study to establish design guidelines and standards for system development across the project was conducted.
Experience from this pilot project will provide a good foundation for wider roll-out of the shared service across the public service.
Big Data Analysis by 1823
At 1823, we employ big data technology to provide bureaux and departments with insights obtained from complaint and enquiry data to help them improve public service delivery. 1823 conducts data mining on the vast amount of information collected during daily interactions with citizens. These include those unresolved enquiries and complaints which are referred to departments for follow up actions. Unresolved cases are indicators of missing information in the 1823 knowledgebase or may point to the need for department to reallocate resources to tackle a rising number of complaints in a particular area. The findings can provide valuable indications about how to improve the daily operation, and ultimately, improve the value of service delivered to the public.
The second focus of our advocacy of application of technology is improving engagement with citizens and enabling them to access public sector information and services more easily. Examples of our work in this area are 1823 and the Youth Portal.
New Way of Engaging Citizens by 1823
1823 has been exploring new ways to engage citizens and improve access to government information and services. In 2012, the Government launched a lift installation programme, “Making it Easier to Get Around”, to provide an enhanced barrier-free environment. To make it easy for members of the public to make suggestions on where the lifts should be installed, 1823 launched a dedicated website. By using an interactive online map, citizens could easily mark the precise locations with one click and send in their suggestions, saving them the trouble of typing lengthy descriptions about the locations. Another example is a section on frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the 1823 website. A search engine is provided to enable users to find the information they need at any time amidst the 200 FAQs without reverting to the conventional enquiry channels.
Youth Portal (Youth.gov.hk)
Youth.gov.hk, the one-stop portal for youth, is using technological advancement to help engage our target communities.
Beyond the traditional website, the Youth Portal content is progressively being presented on different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and Weibo, to encourage communication with young people.
We apply diverse technologies to enable people to access our information and services where and when they want. We emphasise customer-orientation by applying Responsive Web Design to optimise user experience in different mobile devices; doing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to improve the organic search of our website; using Content Targeting to allow web content adjustment based on user behaviour; and introducing Location-Based Services to match content by detecting the geographic position of the user. For corporate users, we use the online application system (Feedin) which is a tool for data-exchange, to help our 200 and more partner departments and organisations promote their events and activities through our platform. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Agency of Volunteer Service and Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups for example, have developed direct connection with our systems. Through the application of technology, Youth.gov.hk is able to reach and engage young people easily and we are learning about technology and approaches that other departments will need to use to serve new generations of the public.