Don't let blunders affect digitalisation: Sun Dong - RTHK
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Don't let blunders affect digitalisation: Sun Dong

2024-04-19 HKT 15:58
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  • Don't let blunders affect digitalisation: Sun Dong
Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Sun Dong, on Friday said he hoped government departments and public bodies would keep rolling out digital services, despite various hiccups over the past year.

At a special finance committee meeting in Legco discussing this year's budget, Roundtable lawmaker Michael Tien asked about accountability issues, after seeing problems with apps to do with sports venue booking, tunnel tolls and public exams.

Tien noted these tech hiccups made it seem as if “Murphy's law” was coming true — "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and has gone wrong," he said.

In response, Sun said in recent months, the government had required new services to go through third party stress tests vetted by its top IT office, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO).

He said the latest problems had made officials think about extending stringent tests to public bodies.

The minister said there are hundreds of government departments and public bodies, so it's impossible for the office to cast an eye on everything, adding the IT teams of some government departments were actually bigger those at the OGCIO.

As authorities continue building a digital government and a smart city, Sun said the system must change, and the future Digital Policy Office to be formed will steer policies, besides offering technical support.

The IT chief said despite the shortcomings, he hopes officials won't "shrink back" and would continue to play their part in the city’s ongoing digitalisation.

"All good policies are drawn up on the basis of blunders, painful lessons learned. So we need to look forward, we must not be hesitant because of the blunders and problems," Sun told lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the minister said the government's planned artificial intelligence supercomputer centre at Cyberport would operate under a market-driven model, with clear pricing policies.

He said while the government has yet to seek public funding for the centre, Cyberport has raised funds for the project with help from the administration, because of its urgency and what he called abrupt changes to the international situation last year.

The goal remains for the centre to open this year, Sun said.

Don't let blunders affect digitalisation: Sun Dong