Red-tape busters

Have your projects ever been delayed by requisite approvals and other bureaucratic procedures? In the IT business, you're not alone. When all an IT executive wants is to do their job and do it well, but ends up spending more time dealing with bureaucracy and 'red tape,' it's frustrating.

Like many chief information officers (CIOs), Howard Dickson, Hong Kong's government CIO (GCIO) deals with these same challenges, but on a much larger scale. As Hong Kong's first government CIO reaches the first anniversary of his three-year term, Computerworld Hong Kong takes a look at his first year in office. How adept was the OGCIO (Office of the GCIO) at dealing with Hong Kong's most complicated organization: the HKSAR Government?

Under an established structure like the government, getting any IT projects approved and completed is naturally a complicated process. To fight with layers of red tape, the government began streamlining its own IT operation in July 2004, when OGCIO was formed.

Government structure streamlining

With the merger of the Information Technology Service Department (ITSD) and the IT-related divisions of the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau (CITB), the OGCIO aims to provide a streamlined government structure to deliver IT (CITB still exists, while ITSD was scrapped).

Under the previous structure, CITB was a policy-establishment body. It developed the Digital 21 strategy and created the ESDlife model. Meanwhile, ITSD was an execution department that implemented these strategies.