Date: 3 November 2006
Latest Development of Hongkong Post e-Cert Services - Contract Awarded for Operating the e-Cert Services
|A.||Contract Awarded for Operating the e-Cert Services|
The Government has conducted a business review on HKPCA operations, the e-Cert services and its financial arrangement in mid-2005 and come to the view that the current mode of operation and funding for the HKPCA, which requires substantial funding support through cross-subsidization from its postal services or the Government, is not sustainable in the longer term. The Government decided to issue an open tender to invite private sector to participate in running the e-Cert services and engender a self-financing public CA operation.
An open tender was issued on 16 June 2006 and a total of 3 tender proposals were received when the tender was closed on 2 August 2006.
The Government has identified a successful tenderer after a fair and objective evaluation of the tender proposals received. A contract has been awarded to the selected contractor, E-Mice Solutions (HK) Limited [香港億軟信息技術有限公司], for operating the e-Cert services from 1 April 2007 for four years until 31 March 2011.
The level of e-Cert services provided to the public will remain unchanged (including the existing CA centre operation and e-Cert application processing by HKP staff at post office counters) when the contractor takes up the service by 1 April 2007. The contractor will be responsible for the full operating cost in providing the e-Cert services and is entitled to receive subscription and renewal fees from the e-Cert subscribers.
The Government is responsible for monitoring the performance of the contractor during the contract period.
As regards privacy concerns, it has been clearly stated in the contract that the e-Cert data will still be owned by the Government and the contractor will be allowed to use the personal data of e-Cert holders only in performance of its obligations under the contract for the provision of the e-Cert services. If the contractor is providing any value-added services, the e-Cert holders' consent will need to be sought on whether they wish to receive information about the services.
|B.||Relevant Questions and Answers|
1. The e-Cert service is going to be taken over by the contractor. Would I, being a consumer, still get value from applying the service?
The contractor will operate the e-Cert service on behalf of Hongkong Post. Customer can still use the e-Cert to enjoy the various online services as usual.
2. Would the contractor take over all the personal data of the e-Cert users?
The Government will still own all the personal data of the e-Cert users.
The contractor will only be responsible for operating and maintaining the Hongkong Post CA services.
To protect the personal data of the e-Cert users, the contractor has to follow the stringent data protection procedures and the requirements of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance in processing the personal data.
The contractor will be allowed to use the personal data of e-Cert holders only in performance of its obligations under the contract for the provision of the e-Cert services. If the contractor is providing any value-added services, the e-Cert holders' consent will need to be sought on whether they wish to receive information about the services.
3. Can I still apply for embedding an e-Cert on Smart ID Card?
Yes. Citizens who have not applied for embedding an e-Cert on their smart ID card can still do so at one of our 20 designated post offices.
4. Are citizens still offered free smart ID e-Cert?
Yes. Citizens may still apply for the e-Cert on smart ID card with one-year free use period.
5. When will the free use period of my smart ID e-Cert expire?
If you get your Smart ID e-Cert on or before 31.3.2006, you will still enjoy free use of your e-Cert until end of the 3-year lifespan or 31.3.2007 whichever date is earlier.
If you got your Smart ID e-Cert on or after 1.4.2006, the free use period will be one-year.
We will make announcement if there will be further extension of the free use period of the Smart ID e-Cert.
6. Can I renew my Smart ID Card e-Cert when its 3-year lifespan expires?
Yes. You can do so at one of the 20 designated post offices.
[Note : Each Smart ID e-Cert has a lifespan of 3 years. The first batch of Smart ID Card e-Cert was issued in June 2003, and is becoming invalid when their 3-year lifespan start to expire in June 2006.]
7. Can I remove the e-Cert from my Smart ID Card?
Customers can go to the 20 designated post offices to request for removal of their e-Cert on smart ID cards.
Alternatively, if your personal computer has been installed with a suitable smart card reader, you can make use of the e-Cert Control Manager software to remove the e-Cert in the smart ID card.
[Note : The e-Cert Control Manager software can be downloaded from the e-Cert web site, and bundled with the installation CD of the smart card reader on sale at counters.]
8. Will there be any changes in existing e-Cert services, procedures or service level?
The Contractor will maintain the existing e-Cert services, including the services offered at post office counters for processing e-Cert applications.
We will make announcement if there will be changes to the e-Cert services.
9. Will there be further promotion activities for e-Cert?
At present, Hongkong Post has no plan to carry out further promotion programmes for e-Cert.