S'pore to spend US$482M on infocomm

Government announces new projects for fiscal 2007 and opens the tender for the Standard ICT Operating Environment project.

SINGAPORE--The government has announced it will call for S$730 million (US$482 million) worth of new infocomm tenders in financial year 2007.

In a statement Thursday, the government said the additional spending is over and above the S$1.5 billion (US$918 million) Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) tender that opens today.

More than 340 tenders will be called by government agencies including the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Home Affairs, National Environment Agency and the Singapore Land Authority.

Chan Yeng Kit, CEO of Singapore's infocomm industry regulator IDA, said the government has consistently maintained its level of investment in infocomm. During financial year 2006, S$850 million (US$561 million) worth of infocomm tenders was awarded, 37 percent more than what was initially projected.

Last year, local companies were awarded 63 percent of total infocomm contracts, while multinational companies (MNC) garnered 37 percent, IDA said. For contracts worth S$500,000 (US$330,250) and less, Singapore companies took the lion's share of 115 contracts, with 65 awarded to MNCs.

Among the infocomm projects slated for financial year 2007 is IDA's Distributed Computer Forensic Investigation Infrastructure, which will allow government agencies to quickly investigate and manage potentially compromised systems from a central location within the government's network.

Another key project to be initiated this year is the Defense Ministry's Tri-Service Mobile Equipping project, which will harness mobile services to support the Singapore Armed Forces' logistics operations.

In addition, the Singapore Civil Defense Force will track the location of its responders and transmit vital information from incident sites to command posts, to speed up response to public emergencies. At immigration checkpoints, the government will also implement an automated facial recognition system to enhance the immigration clearance process for travelers.

SOE project
IDA said the four consortia, which were pre-qualified in the pre-tender qualification stage for the SOE project last year, can submit their bid proposals from today.

New companies or consortia that missed the first pre-qualification stage will have a second chance at bidding for the project in the second pre-qualification stage which closes on May 21, 2007. Companies applying for pre-qualification will be evaluated based on criteria such as financial capability, proven delivery track record and expertise to deliver the SOE specifications.

Singapore's closely-watched SOE project aims to standardize the desktop, messaging and network environment for the public sector. When implemented, it will establish a common government infocomm infrastructure with enhanced operational efficiency.

One Team, the pre-qualified consortium led by IBM and Singapore-based systems integrator NCS, said it will involve small and midsized companies, if it wins the bid.