Infocomm Investment Remains Vital For National Competitiveness

14 May 2008 - Opening Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, At The Industry Briefing 2008 - Business Opportunities For Infocomm In The Public Sector, At Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre

Opening Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore,
At The Industry Briefing 2008 - Business Opportunities For Infocomm In The Public Sector, 14 May 2008, 9.00am At Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre

Good morning, ladies and gentleman

1. Welcome to the Industry Briefing on business opportunities for infocomm in the public sector. This annual event organised by IDA seeks to bring together key government agencies to share their infocomm procurement plans with industry, with a view to helping industry members better plan their participation in the infocomm development efforts of the Singapore Government.

2. Today, you will hear from IDA as the Government CIO on some key infocomm projects, and also from agencies like Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. We are also pleased to have with us the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, who will share on how the Government manages Intellectual Property in partnership with the industry.

Government Continues to Invest In Infocomm

3. The Government will continue to invest in infocomm to enable our national economic and social development. Our major push to use IT as an enabler for national development, began in the early 80s. Today, the efforts have paid off as we witness the high level of connectivity in Singapore and the efficiency and economic gains brought about by the use of infocomm technology in the various sectors. Moving ahead, recognising that infocomm technology can give that competitive edge in an increasingly globalised economy, the Government will continue to seek innovative infocomm solutions to enable our future growth.

4. Last year, the government projected S$730 million worth of infocomm tenders. At the end of the financial year, S$2.12 billion worth of infocomm contracts were awarded.  The S$1.3 billion Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOEasy) contract for the public sector accounted for a large part of the increase. Other projects included IDA’s Common Enterprise System, MHA’s Supply of Forward Command Post project, National Library Board’s Corporate Resource System, and MINDEF’s Integrated IT Support Services project.

5. In this new financial year 2008, the infocomm industry can look forward to more than 390 new infocomm tenders worth S$1.14 billion. Of these tenders, 42% are worth more than half a million dollars each.

6. The infocomm tenders in this financial year, cover a wide range of public sector projects. At the national level, we have the Next Generation National Broadband Network Operating Company RFP from IDA. There will also be government-wide projects, such as the second Government Data Centre and enhancements to the Singapore Government Online portal that involves multiple government agencies. At the agency level, new infocomm projects include the Data Centre Leasing for Tax Administration System from IRAS, the Singapore Civil Defence Force Command & Control System from MHA, and the Identity Management System from MINDEF.

Industry Collaboration Key to Success

7. Industry collaboration is a key success factor in any government infocomm project. Being able to tap on the expertise and experience of the infocomm industry has helped to inject new and innovative ideas into many of our national projects.

8. There is active industry participation in the government projects. Last year, excluding the SOE tender, more than 290 companies were awarded 653 contracts worth a total value of S$820 million. In terms of contract value, local companies secured 64%, with the rest going to MNCs.

9. I would like to invite members of the infocomm industry to continue participating in the various project tenders, Calls for Collaboration and competitive dialogues. We will also continue to work with industry on technology trials, such as the Government Technology Experiments And Trials Programme (TREATS). It is only through constant dialogue and experimentation that infocomm solutions can be developed and adapted for innovative use.

Increasing Competition in International Scene

10. The ability to leverage infocomm technology is increasingly being recognised internationally as a key factor for a nation’s growth and development. In this regard, Singapore has consistently been ranked among the top nations in the world for its success in innovatively using infocomm technology. For a small nation like Singapore, this is no mean feat, considering that we are being compared against major economies in America, Europe and Asia.

11. Examples of our rankings in major studies include being ranked first in Accenture’s e-Government report, 5th in the WEF Global IT Report 2007-2008 and 6th in the EIU e-Readiness 2007 report. Of course, while these reports which use different indicators highlight areas where we have done well in, they also indicate areas which they felt we could improve in. For example, the recent UN e-Government Survey highlighted Singapore’s strengths in telecom infrastructure and human capital development, which provided the fundamentals to help us leverage infocomm technology for development purposes. However the survey also identified areas where it felt improvements could be made. For example, some of our government websites did not score as well in terms of content richness and user-friendly features customised to meet the needs of different segments of the population. Similarly, while we have a variety of online channels for consultation, these channels could also be customised for different groups, to facilitate better information flow and citizen participation in public policy decision-making.

12. The areas highlighted for improvement are already being addressed through the ongoing iGov2010 masterplan, which seeks to increase the reach and richness of our government e-services as well as our citizen’s mindshare in e-engagement. For example, the revamped government online portal,, will include new-media features that will better engage our citizens and enhance their online experience.


13. As all of us know, the use of infocomm technology is no longer a luxury but a fact of life in every home, every business and every organisation. While investing in infocomm technology is key, the challenge is to effectively harness its power to transform lives, give businesses the competitive edge and enhance the productivity and efficiency of our workplace. We will continue to work with the industry to find new and innovative ways to use infocomm technology to improve our delivery of government services, strengthen our infrastructure as well as encourage citizens and businesses alike to adopt an infocomm-enabled lifestyle.

14. Through the infocomm projects that will be presented this morning, we want to work in close collaboration with industry and bring together the expertise and resources of the public and private sectors to deliver innovative services to the public.

15. I am pleased to see such a good turnout from industry for this event, as this signifies a strong interest from the industry to partner the government in our infocomm development. The presentations this morning by the government agencies will highlight the various opportunities for industry, and we look forward to working with all of you in these various projects.

16. Thank you.

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