Marrying services in convenient clusters
THE HONG KONG government is among the world leaders in introducing e-services for citizens. It claims that 90 per cent of the public services amenable to electronic delivery (more than 1,200) are now provided with an e-option.
For example, 80 per cent of engaged couples book online to file their marriage notice, 44 per cent of government bills and taxes are paid through electronic means, and 100 per cent of searches for trademarks, patents and designs are conducted online.
One of the government's e-business strategies is to promote closer integration of public and commercial e-services and transactions through an approach called service clustering. Related
e-government services will be grouped into several clusters, each providing e-government services and, where appropriate, related commercial services. For easy access to clusters, the government will consider setting up a public interface comprising a one-stop access portal with links to all service clusters.
The benefits of clustering can be seen on the Electronic Service Delivery Scheme's wedding portal. It provides access to the e-government service of booking appointments for marriage notices, plus value-added e-commerce services such as fung shui advice on auspicious wedding dates, an e-planner for organising a wedding, an interactive inquiry service about banquets, travel information for the honeymoon and an online forum for couples to exchange information and tips.
The government is creating a service-oriented architecture that will interface with government or private sector websites.
Furthermore, an e-payment gateway, or other common services required by e-government services using the infrastructure, will be provided to minimise duplication of resources in providing such services.
The new technology infrastructure strategy will provide various combinations of clustering and interface options for joining up the e-services provided by the government and the private sector.