SINGAPORE, 21 NOVEMBER 2011 - The Hong Kong government has appointed decorated industry veteran Daniel Lai as government chief information officer (GCIO) in an announcement last Friday.
The GCIO heads the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) leading technology initiatives for the Hong Kong government.
Lai will be the fourth GCIO, taking over deputy chief information officer (consulting & operations) Stephen Mak, who has been standing in for the GCIO post, since Jeremy Godfrey left earlier this year.
Lai has been the head of information technology for Hong Kong's MTR, one of the few transport operators based in Asia that can truly be considered as "world-class". The government revealed that Lai will take up the appointment on 3 January next year.
Under his leadership, the information technology division is one of Asia's most innovative IT houses, clinching numerous industry awards. Lai has led MTR to a hat trick at CIO Asia's CIO Awards, winning in 2003, 2005 and 2008, while winning MIS Asia's IT Excellence Awards in 2005 and 2011.
One of his most significant projects was overseeing the integration of IT services and infrastructure when MTR merged with Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation in 2007. The initiative led to his win at the CIO Awards in 2008.
The work necessary included the alignment of the two software application portfolio and architectures, eliminate duplicate systems, and standardise and convert business-critical enterprise data. When he received his award, he told CIO Asia that the project was the most challenging one he had experienced in his career.
At MTR, Lai has been responsible for setting strategic directions on IT, developing and implementing IT governance, programme planning and project management, and managing outsourcing arrangements.
Lai served in Hong Kong Electric Company Limited between 1968 and 1978. From 1978 to 1998, he worked for the Hong Kong Jockey Club (the former Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club) and held various senior IT managerial positions in Hong Kong and Australia. During his tenure, he was responsible for steering the direction of IT development, formulating IT strategy, exploring new technologies and overseeing systems engineering for his employer.
In welcoming Lai's appointment, the secretary for the civil service, Denise Yue, said: "Lai possesses extensive knowledge and experience in the information and communications technology (ICT) field as well as proven management skills. I have every confidence that he will be able to lead the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) to meet the challenges ahead and serve the community with dedication in his new position. I am also confident that the staff of the OGCIO will continue to give their best under his leadership."
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