NEC to power Hong Kong ID service

NEC has won a massive contract from Hong Kong's Immigration Department to make its records digital

NEC Hong Kong has won an imaging outsourcing contract from Hong Kong's Immigration Department to digitise the records of 12 million people -- including deceased and migrated individuals.

"We will convert all data stored at the Immigration Department since its inception (in 1961)," an NEC spokesperson told CNET Asia.

According to the Census and Statistic Department, Hong Kong has about 6.7 million people.

The project, which is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete, is said to be worth HK$97.1m (£8.6m) and will involve the transfer of records from microfilm and paper to CD-ROMs, the Singapore-based spokesperson said.

Hong Kong's new identification cards are expected to be issued in 2003.

Additionally, NEC said that it will build a local area network (LAN) for the department which includes the integration of over 100 servers and workstations; software for electronic data conversion; scanners for microfilm and paper, as well as security systems and technical support.

The company added that it will collaborate with third-party vendors and system integrators to handle the security system and certain aspects of the project. "NEC Hong Kong is the prime contractor. It plays a role as a systems integrator for the data conversion service and will be using some systems from other companies," the spokesperson added, declining to elaborate. The contract is the company's first in the government sector.

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