24 August 2007 - Three Singapore initiatives have made it to the top 20 global innovations being considered for the international "Innovations in Transforming Government Award". The top 20 were selected from more than 100 applications from 30 countries. The winner will be announced on 24 Sep 2007.
Singapore, 24 August 2007 | For Immediate Release
3 Singapore Initiatives Among World's Top 20 Innovations - Government projects nominated for
"Innovations in Transforming Government Award"
Three Singapore initiatives have made it to the top 20 global innovations being considered for the international "Innovations in Transforming Government Award". The top 20 were selected from more than 100 applications from 30 countries. The winner will be announced on 24 Sep 2007.
The three Singapore initiatives, grouped by the award administrator into a single submission, are:
- The CitizenConnect initiative which increases the reach of Government electronic services to Singapore residents, especially for those with difficulties transacting online,
- Mobile Government for citizens to access Government information and services conveniently through mobile devices and
- The Enterprise Challenge which provides funding to test innovative ideas that have potential to improve the delivery of public services
The first two initiatives are part of the Ministry of Finance's effort to bring convenience to citizens and increase the reach and diversity of electronic services available. The Enterprise Challenge (TEC) is an initiative driven by the Prime Minister's Office. Please see Annex A for details of the three initiatives.
On the nomination and the spirit of innovation in the Singapore Public Service, Mr Lim Hup Seng, Deputy Secretary (Performance), Ministry of Finance said "We are very pleased to have made it to the top 20. The Government places great emphasis on innovation in the course of our work. We must constantly strive to innovate, finding new and better ways to deliver public services to citizens, improving efficiency while reducing cost.
"These projects are good examples of innovative and creative solutions which benefit our citizens and help to enhance Singapore's competitive edge. Even as we work to tackle new challenges that arise, the spirit of innovation must stay strong in the public sector. The CitizenConnect and Mobile Government have transformed the delivery of public services and people can now access them anytime, anywhere." he added.
"In seeking ideas to improve the delivery of public service, our fundamental belief is that promising ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. For example, 38 or about 40% of all the TEC projects have been implemented in the Public Service, bringing about some $170 million worth of cost savings for the Public Service," said Mr Chan Heng Kee, Deputy Secretary (Development), Public Service Division, Prime Minister's Office.
Apart from the above initiatives, an entry from the Singapore Institute of Technical Education also made it to the top 20 list.
The "Innovations Award in Transforming Government" is administered by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's John F Kennedy School of Government and sponsored by IBM. The award recognises the world's most transformative government initiatives in operation worldwide. Nominees for the Award must demonstrate exceptional results in five key areas comprising innovation, effectiveness, scope, collaboration and transferability. For more information, please visit www.ashinstitute.harvard.edu/Ash/pr_2007IBMTop20.html
JOINTLY ISSUED BY MINISTRY OF FINANCE, PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE &
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing infocommunications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more news and information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/.
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Brief description of the initiatives:
CitizenConnect is an initiative that aims to increase the reach of government electronic services to Singapore residents, especially for those with difficulties transacting online. 28 CitizenConnect centres were set up at accessible locations where residents live or work, and each was equipped with two personal computers with Internet access and online payment peripherals such as cashcard readers. CitizenConnect officers are around to offer help and guidance so that the user will be better equipped for future transactions. As a result of this programme, many of the citizens who have been helped have expressed greater confidence about using online services and are able to reap the its benefits.
- Mobile Government (m-government)
The m-government programme was initiated to utilise the huge potential of the mobile delivery channel. With over 100% mobile penetration rate in Singapore, citizens today are be able to access a wide variety of government information and services conveniently through mobile devices. Currently, there are more than 150 services offered and the target is to increase to close to 300 mobile government services by 2008.
Some examples of mobile government services include accessing Central Provident Fund (CPF) account balances, checking the latest Certificate of Entitlement (COE) prices and booking of Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) via mobile phones. In addition, the SMS channel is used to reach out to citizens more proactively and to solicit their feedback on government policies and topics of interest.
- The Enterprise Challenge (TEC)
The Enterprise Challenge (TEC) is an initiative that provides funding for testing innovative ideas that have the potential to improve the delivery of public services. It also assists individuals with innovative ideas in identifying and providing suitable test-beds within the Public Service. TEC works closely with innovators to nurture their proposals and bring out the uniqueness and value propositions to the Public Service. Successful trials will pave the way for implementation in public agencies.
Since its inception in March 2000, TEC has received some 1,400 proposals from public sector officers and from the private sector (individuals and companies). These projects cover a broad range of public service areas, including education, healthcare, environment, community, safety and security.
Some $32 million have been invested in some 86 innovative projects, half of which were proposed by private sector innovators. To date, 57 of the 86 projects have completed the trial testing. Of the 57, 38 have been implemented in the Public Service. Without TEC, these projects would not have been given a chance for a trial, much less actual implementation.
Some TEC-funded projects have gone on to win awards. For example, the "Drowning Early Warning System" (DEWS) project, funded by TEC in 2001, received the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards in 2006. DEWS uses an intelligent camera to pick early signals of drowning behaviour of swimmers at swimming pools, thereby averting the loss of lives.
More information on TEC can be found at www.tec.gov.sg.