數碼21資訊科技策略諮詢委員會會議 Digital 21 Strategy Advisory Committee meeting
We had the first meeting of the new term of the Digital 21 Strategy Advisory Committee today. Among the new members today is Prof Vincent Shen, who is known to most of those in the industry in Hong Kong as a Professor of Computer Science in HKUST, formerly the department head and science advisor to the Hong Kong Government. But the Vincent that I knew from Purdue University 25 years ago was the leader of the Purdue Chinese Christian Fellowship. In fact, I was baptized by Vincent then.
Let's get back to the meeting today. Although the D21SAC is the "highest-level advisory committee" for IT, with only a meeting every three months, how effective is it? This is not easy to answer. But I do believe that participation is the right thing to do, and it helps us understand what policy-makers can or cannot do.
One of the more hotly debated topics this time was again about government IT procurement. Government IT procurement makes up a sizable proportion of Hong Kong's market. But a number of serious problems have been occurring with alarmingly increasing frequency. For instance, many large government IT projects have gone into troubles. Local companies or SMEs find it consistently difficult to get government contracts, and even if they get a job, troubles often still follow when project are mis-managed, leading to cost overruns. It seems that even OGCIO facing these problems are finding it hard to effectively direct all the IT departments in all the government branches.
Even though HKITF has coordinated with many concerned government IT suppliers to successfully get the government to open up the IP rights of delivered government projects, some departments are still found to be not following this new government guideline. Our IT legislator Mr Sin Chung-kai brought this up again in the meeting, and I will also commit to follow up accordingly.