Information Technology

Information technology (IT) is a crucial facilitator in the delivery of LCSD services to the public. Eighteen computerisation projects and other support activities with a total cost of $41.8 million were commissioned in 2008-09 to enhance service quality and operational efficiency.

Computerisation of Public Libraries

The Library Automation System (LAS) provides automated library services, including acquisition and cataloguing support for internal library operations and library materials circulation and the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) for the public, and has been in place for around eight years. A tender notice was issued in January 2008 for the replacement of the system with a view to providing new and better services to the public. Contractors will be engaged for this purpose and to launch the new system in late 2010. A pilot scheme to install Radio Frequency Identification technology in a number of branch libraries is to be implemented to enhance operational efficiency.

The Multimedia Information System (MMIS) is a digital library system that allows patrons to search for and gain instant access to digitised documents and to audio and video materials in both digital and analogue formats in the Hong Kong Central Library and 26 branch libraries. The system has been in place for seven years now, and a feasibility study to ascertain the public's needs and propose feasible solutions for a system upgrade was carried out in July 2008. The Department sought funding approval from the Legislative Council in early 2009 for a major system upgrade, and tendering activities have commenced.

Computer Information Centres/Areas (CICs/CIAs) at our branch libraries provide computer workstations and commonly used software and facilities to allow the public to surf the Internet. One additional CIC with a total of 11 computer workstations was set up in 2008-09. As of March 2009, there were 25 CICs/CIAs providing a total of 465 computer workstations at branch libraries.

The new Computer Information Centre at the Quarry Bay Public Library is equipped with computer workstations, commonly used software and facilities, allowing users to surf the Internet.

In addition, about 150 existing multimedia workstations for junior patrons were upgraded to add Internet access. Under this initiative, children under the age of 12 can use the service to access information on the Internet at public libraries.

Leisure Link System

The Leisure Link System (LLS) enables the public to book leisure facilities and enrol in recreational and sports activities through different channels, including counters, the Internet, self-service kiosks and by telephone. The LLS was enhanced in 2008-09 to support a Free Admission Scheme that granted the public the free use of most LCSD sports and recreational facilities from July to September 2008. The enhancement of all booking channels was achieved in just four months, and the Free Admission Scheme was well received by the public. The total number of bookings made during the free-use period increased by 92 per cent over the previous financial year.

In addition, to allow more convenient and faster booking, the Leisure Link Self-service Kiosks were enhanced in December 2008 to streamline screen flows and support personalised booking profiles.

Government Wi-Fi Programme

The Government Wi-Fi programme, GovWiFi, was officially launched on March 27, 2008. As of the end of March 2009, the public was able to enjoy GovWiFi services at 149 LCSD sites, including all 66 static public libraries and some civic centres, sports centres and major parks. With the gradual rollout of GovWiFi, it is expected that the free service will be available at 204 LCSD sites by the end of March 2010.

A visitor accessing the free wireless Internet service at the Hong Kong Park, one of the Wi-Fi-friendly parks under the purview of the LCSD.

Culture, Leisure and Sports Cluster of GovHK

GovHK is the one-stop portal of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. It organises links to information and services by user group and subject. The LCSD took ownership of the Culture, Leisure and Sports (CLS) Cluster of GovHK in early 2008 and has collaborated with other Government agencies, including the Home Affairs Bureau, the Environmental Protection Department, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the Hong Kong Observatory, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and the Tourism Commission, to enhance the Cluster by providing more information and e-services. In this financial year, we added information on the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the Hong Kong 2009 EAG, as well as the MMIS e-service and the Register of Old and Valuable Trees, to the CLS Cluster. The public can now make convenient use of this Cluster to search for information and services under the subject 'Culture, Leisure and Sports'.

The Culture, Leisure and Sports Cluster of GovHK is a user-friendly, integrated portal to a wide range of leisure and cultural activities and related information.

Human Resources Management Information System (HRMIS)

An integrated HRMIS has been developed to facilitate the Department's human resources management functions, including staff appointments, postings and performance appraisals. The system streamlines operational procedures and business operations related to human resources management with the objective of improving operational efficiency. An interface with the Civil Service Bureau's Human Resource Management Information System is also to be established to allow the automatic transfer of regular statistical data. This project was at the data conversion stage in March 2009. The system was partially launched to personnel sections in the Leisure and Cultural Services Headquarters in June 2009.

Supplies Management System

To streamline procurement operations and facilitate contract management, the Department launched an integrated Supplies Management System in March 2009. This system not only serves as a portal to handle all procurement-related operations, but also provides online registration functions to allow suppliers to register with the LCSD over the Internet.

Projects under Development

Other projects that are currently in progress include the following.

  • A Civic Centre Management System is being developed to support the operation of venue hiring, accounting and other hiring related functions for all the civic centres managed by the LCSD.
  • The Urban Ticketing System (URBTIX) is being enhanced with a throttle function to handle an unexpected surge in demand and to obtain customers' consent for event presenters to send promotional emails to them.
  • A Hong Kong Archaeological Archives System is being developed to digitise data on collections discovered at archaeological sites within the Hong Kong region. Photos, drawings and interactive 3D models of select collection items will be made accessible to the public via the Internet for research and education purposes.
  • A Management Information System (Phase II) that will establish an enterprise-wide data warehouse is in the works. This system will support faster decision-making and the formulation of public service, resource allocation and planning policies.
  • A Direct Purchase Authority Management System (Phase II) that will enhance the existing system in terms of functionality and user friendliness is currently underway. It will meet the latest business requirements and streamline daily operations.
  • A feasibility study on the replacement of the LLS backend legacy system was commissioned in March 2009 and is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of the 2009-10 financial year.
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