Investigating new technology

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 January, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 January, 1995, 12:00am

I REFER to Mr S.K. Lai's letter headlined, 'Counters on Chinese side more efficient' (South China Morning Post, December 5).

Over the years, passenger traffic at Lowu has grown tremendously. By the end of November, 1994, the volume of traffic had already exceeded 36 million.

To cope with the ever-increasing volume of work at Lowu without any corresponding increase in resources, the Immigration Department is constantly reviewing its procedures with a view to enhancing productivity.

In September, 1994, optical character recognition readers at Lowu were installed to improve our overall efficiency by eight per cent.

We are also conducting a pilot study on the applicability of smart card and biometrics identification technologies in passenger clearance at the control points. The findings are expected to be available by next summer.

We are hopeful that if these new technologies should prove to be feasible for application in Hong Kong, we will be able to achieve a much higher passenger throughput at the control points and hence a much improved service to the travelling public.

ANNA S.C. CHAN for Director of Immigration