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Hong Kong's Electronic Service Delivery Scheme Ready For Launch

Mary Swire, Tax-news.com, Hong Kong

05 December 2000


The Hong Kong government is to launch the Internet version of the Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) scheme next week, which will provide a wide range of public services online. The announcement was made by the Deputy Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, Mr Alan Siu.

From December 9, Hong Kong citizens will be able to access various public services, such as payment of government fees, submission of tax returns, voter registration, renewal of driving and vehicle licences, change of personal address and so forth via the Internet. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At a demonstration of the new scheme last week, Mr Siu stated: 'The ESD Scheme will provide an innovative way of public service delivery which is simple, user-friendly and citizen-centric.'

ESD services will also be available through public information kiosks installed at various locations, including railway stations, supermarkets and shopping centres starting from early next year. Mr Siu said: 'Some ESD applications require digital signatures using digital certificates issued by a recognised certification authority to authenticate the identity of users. The public may apply for digital certificates from the post offices.'

The ESD scheme is a key initiative under the Hong Kong government's Digital 21 Information Technology Strategy and provides an open and common platform for carrying out electronic transactions with the government in a safe and secure environment.

The platform can also be used for conducting private sector e-commerce activities. A statement from the government said: 'This will serve as a catalyst to pump-prime e-commerce development in Hong Kong.'

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