The Singapore public sector was projected to call for some S$1.1 billion worth of new infocomm tenders in Financial Year 2010. Continued investments in infocomm have helped Singapore cement its position among the leaders in e-Government, retaining its top position in the 2010 Waseda University World e-Government Ranking and emerging second in the Global Information Technology Report published by the World Economic Forum.
“Sweden, Singapore and Denmark’s superior capacity to leverage ICT as an enabler of sustainable, long-term economic growth is built on similar premises, relating with a long-standing focus placed by governments and private sectors alike on education, innovation and ICT access and diffusion. The success of these countries underlines the importance of a joint ICT vision, an implementation, by all the different stakeholders in a society for a country to take full advantage of ICT advances in its daily life and overall competitiveness strategy.”
- Ms Irene Mia, Senior Economist of the Global Competitiveness Network at the World Economic Forum and co-editor of the Global Information Technology Report
One of the areas in which Singapore achieved a strong score in the Waseda University study was in National Portals – the basic entry point interface for citizens and other users to access e-Government services.
Underscoring the importance of presenting an online interface that is integrated and effective in engaging citizens and users, the inaugural Singapore Government Web Excellence Awards was presented this year to three Outstanding Award winners – the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) onemotoring.sg portal, the Central Provident Fund Board’s cpf.gov.sg, and the Housing and Development Board’s hdb.gov.sg.
Several other portal-related initiatives – for example SPRING Singapore’sProductivity@Work portal and LTA’s MyTransport.SG – were also announced in the past year. The Singapore Government also revamped the www.gov.sg portal to give the public access to a suite of services across all government agencies from a single platform. A mobile version of the website has also been set up for mobile users to access the latest government news and information on the go.
iGov Global Forum 2010
Mr Peter Ho delivered the keynote address at the iGov Global Forum 2010.
Over 300 participants from 28 countries attended the two-day iGov Global Forum 2010 which was held on 14-15 June 2010 at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Organised by the Ministry of Finance of Singapore and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the theme of this year’s Forum is “e-Government: The Next Quantum Leap”. The keynote address was delivered by Mr Peter Ho, Head of Civil Service Singapore. The iGov Global Forum provided a preview to the concept of the next e-Government masterplan, which will evolve away from the “Gov-to-You” mindset to a “Gov-with-You” mindset in public service delivery.
“We see a lot of value in the cashless payment arrangements, not only because of the convenience for pupils also because it allows parents to track what their children are buying in school. Pupils and parents seem to take to the cashless payment arrangements well.”
- Mr Francis Foo, Principal, Chua Chu Kang Primary School
Within the education sector, about 120,000 seats catering to 40,000 teachers and administrative staff and 500,000 students will be rolled out over these two years under the S$850 million contract for the Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) for Schools, which was awarded by the Ministry of Education in June 2010. Each seat comprises a computing device, network connectivity and support services for all Government and Government-Aided schools. The SOE for Schools programme supports the third Masterplan for ICT in Education (mp3) in providing schools with an ICT infrastructure that will continually enhance teaching and learning.
“The OneMap portal offers users a practical and critical local map base. Its structure provides consistent reliability and accuracy which enhances ShowNearby Analytics’ capabilities to provide users with push-map accessibility to public amenities and facilities.”
- Mr Douglas Gan, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, ShowNearby
The adoption of the Contactless e-Purse Application (CEPAS) is gaining traction beyond the public transport sector. There are now more than 10,000 acceptance points for the CEPAS card at various retail segments such as food courts, food shops and convenience stores. CEPAS is a nationwide interoperable micro-payment application that enables contactless e-payments in public transport and retail. The initiative is also moving into schools and other public spaces such as community centres and public libraries.
Land and transport management
An intelligent map information system OneMap (www.onemap.sg/home) has been launched to provide reliable, timely and accurate location-based information and services to the public. Four companies which received grants under the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s (IDA) Image of Singapore (i-Singapore) initiative in August 2009 are using OneMap’s geospatial technology to offer business analytics, location-based commerce services, a real-time navigation system and an integrated traffic information application. They are MapKing (Singapore), Quantum Inventions, ShowNearby and Surround Networks.
Manufacturing and logistics
A sector-wide programme called e-freight@Singapore has been launched to help the air cargo and logistics community integrate its supply chain by transmitting data electronically for re-use in downstream activities, promote the adoption of paperless air freight documentation, develop and improve industry capabilities. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) involving the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, IDA, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Singapore Aircargo Agents Association (SAAA), the Singapore National Shippers’ Council (SNSC) and the Singapore Logistics Association (SLA) was established in January to jointly collaborate on the initiative.
Small & Medium Enterprises
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) looking to adopt infocomm can now receive a wider scope of assistance under a new scheme called iSPRINT (Increase SME Productivity with Infocomm Adoption and Transformation). Launched by IDA in collaboration with SPRING Singapore and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore in March 2010, the S$25-million iSPRINT scheme is an expansion of the Infocomm@SME Programme, which aims to help SMEs leverage infocomm to improve productivity, sharpen their competitiveness and expand their market reach. The new scheme, which is expected to benefit more than 4,500 SMEs, makes it easy for SMEs to seek assistance for infocomm adoption through one point of contact at IDA.
Students of CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel attend the Inter-generational IT Boot Camp with their grandparents.
Funding for the Silver Infocomm Initiative (SII) will be increased from S$2.5 million to S$4.2 million to support more senior citizens in embracing a digital lifestyle. Programmes under the SII include Silver Infocomm Day, a series of talks and workshops on infocomm-related topics ranging from blogging to digital photo management; Silver Infocomm Junctions that provide senior citizens with customised IT training at affordable rates; Silver Infocomm Hotspots which provide free access to computers and Internet services; and Inter-generational IT Bootcamps where grandparents attend infocomm workshops together with their grandchildren. The inaugural bootcamp was held at CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel on 6 March 2010.
The inaugural Youth Olympic Games presented Singapore with the opportunity to showcase its innovative use of infocomm technology and world-class infocomm infrastructure. Infocomm highlights of Singapore 2010 included the creation of the Singapore 2010 Odyssey – the first three-dimensional (3D) virtual world to be modelled after a major Games, and the “Digital Concierge for Singapore 2010” application which provided participants and team officials with access to interactive social networking services, personalised schedules on competition events and online maps. IDA also worked with Atos Origin, the Worldwide Olympic Partner for Information Technology, SingTel and many other IT companies to put together a technology infrastructure, which encompassed more than 2,000 computers, 250 servers and 1,200 network devices, provided infocomm support for the 18 competition venues as well as the Culture and Education Programme sites, Main Media Centre, Youth Olympic Village, and Changi Airport, among other locations.