by Elaine Ng, ZDNetAsia
Singapore, 5 June 2000 -- Harnessing infocomm technology to create new business opportunities for telecommunications and info-communications players is how the Singapore government is leading the nation in the digital economy.
Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan announced the eGovernment Action Plan, at the opening ceremony of CommunicAsia2000.
"The power of 3G will enable individuals and businesses to obtain government information and utilize government services on the move," said DPM Tan. As a result, greater business opportunities will be created, along with more convenient, innovative and cost-effective services for the public, he added.
To achieve the eGovernment vision, the Singapore Government has got the strategy planned.
First, electronic service delivery will be emphasized. According to DPM Tony Tan, greater value would be created if electronic services are integrated and customer-oriented.
The second is through the building of new capability and new capacity to improve productivity and efficiency. "The Singapore Government network will be broadband-enabled over the next nine months. A new network architecture and security framework will be implemented to enable the 30,000 public servants to access systems and information anytime, anywhere," said DPM Tan.
To improve the quality of public online services, the third strategic thrust is to innovate with infocomm technologies. Examples to date include the Land Transport Authority, Meteorological Services and the Ministry of Defence, who already provide some services accessible by WAP devices.
Being proactive in sensing and responding to change would be the fourth approach for the government sector. Lastly, there will emphasis on developing thought leadership on eGovernment. About $1.5 billion will be spent on programs in the eGovernment Action Plan over the next three years.
"More important than the funding for the Action Plan is the mindset change that is needed to propel Singapore forward in the new economy," said DPM Tan.
According to Ms Wu Choy Peng, Asst Chief Executive, (Government Services), of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), there is a need to look at projections in a more holistic manner rather than as a cost & benefit analysis". Intangible business values, the readiness of Singaporeans, not just technology are issues that should also be considered, she added.
Ms Wu highlighted the need to focus on more investment in terms of infrastructure and tools for services rather than just providing services.
The eGovernment Action Plan will see changes in the way things are being done by the Singapore Government. "We are prepared to challenge our usual evaluation criteria for funds approval of infocomm projects, our traditional methods of system procurement and implementation, and our assumptions about delivering public services on private sector infrastructure and public-private sector collaboration," said DPM Tan.