Hong Kong, China — E-government has drawn significant interest in Hong Kong with the disclosure last week that the SAR’s residents conducted more than 1 million transactions with government agencies last year.
Hong Kong’s national electronic service delivery (ESD) scheme was launched officially by the government at the end of 2000. ESD is a long-term program to provide a wide range of public services electronically and via the Net.
Between launch and November last year, the ESD site processed more than 1 million electronic transactions and was accessed by 19 million citizens, according to a government statement last week. Services include voter registration, tax return submission, applications for drivers’ licenses, payment of traffic penalties and a government bookstore. Access is over the Internet, or from public computer facilities at post offices and libraries, or from kiosks installed in public transport stations and shopping malls.
Joyce Tam, Hong Kong’s principal assistant secretary for information technology and broadcasting, last week said the ESD scheme now provides more than 110 types of online public services from 40 government departments and public agencies. Last November, the government said it was aiming for 90 percent of all suitable public services to be available online by the end of 2003. This target only applies to services the government believes are suitable for electronic delivery.
The ESD system was developed for the Hong Kong government by a joint venture between Hutchison Global Crossing and Compaq Computer. The ESD Web site is at https://www.esd.gov.hk.