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Most popular OpenGov Asia stories in 2017

Most popular OpenGov Asia stories in 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, we look back at yet another year,
when the pace of digital transformation seemed to increase even further.

Singapore pushed ahead in its Smart Nation journey, with
significant developments in the areas of e-payments,
Smart Nation Sensor Platform (SNSP),
Urban Mobility
, and National Digital Identity (NID)

Many research and innovation initiatives were launched
brining together different public sector agencies, academia and research institutions
and the private sector, including large corporates, SMEs and startups.

The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management
Planning Unit (MAMPU) is working
towards citizen-centric services
, through the development of a Government
Online Services Gateway (GOSG).

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is driving
the growth of Malaysia’s digital
through many different initiatives, such as the Malaysia
Digital Hub and Tech Entrepreneur Programmes
and the ASEAN
Data Analytics Exchange Hub
(ADAX). In November, Malaysia’s Digital Free
Trade Zone (DFTZ) became
which aims to double the growth rate of SME’s goods exports to
reach US$38 Billion and facilitate US$ 65 Billion of goods movement by 2025.

In Philippines, the Department of Information and
Communications Technology (DICT) announced
the adoption of ‘cloud-first’ approach
for the Philippine government. It
unveiled the National
Broadband Plan
and a National
Cybersecurity Plan
. DICT also launched
the National Government Portal,, to
serve as a single website for all government information, transactions and

The Philippines Department of Finance is leading the
Government’s anti-red tape program (ARTA) to improve the ease of doing business
in the country. It is developing the TradeNet platform, which will
also serve
as the Philippines’ link to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Single Window
 gateway and it launched the Philippine
Business Data Bank
, so that Government agencies can easily verify the
existence of a business.

In August 2017, the President of Indonesia signed the
country’s e-commerce
 which will be a guide for the central and regional governments
to establish policy and create action plans for the acceleration of
e-commerce.  It assigns responsibilities and sets key targets to be
achieved by government institutions over the next two years. KOMINFO has been working to
bring Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) into the digital economy stimulate
business growth and boost employment. 

The Indonesian Government expects
to complete the installation
of fibre-optic network under the Palapa Ring
Project by 2019. It is one of the national strategic projects stipulated in
Presidential Decree No. 3 of 2016, aiming to develop a nationwide fibre-optic
network, which will provide the backbone for a national information

Australia announced that it will legislate
a national Consumer Data Right
, allowing customers open access
to their banking, energy, phone and internet transactions. The Government also
released a draft
of the Trusted Digital Identity Framework
 and is seeking
public comment
. The framework sits alongside the Digital Transformation
Agency’s (DTA) Govpass
technology platform. Together they are expected to transform the Australian citizens
interact with their Government and how they share their information with the public
as well as private sectors.

The DTA has set out clear priority
and is working towards achieving objectives. This includes the
delivery of whole-of-government digital platforms such as “Tell us once”, “Notifications”,
“Payments” and a “Federated Data Exchange”. 
The DTA has also been working on a secure cloud strategy since
April 2017. The agency is transforming how government manages its ICT
procurement, and it aims to increase small-to-medium enterprises’ share of the
government’s annual ICT contract spend by 10
per cent

The New Zealand Government is aiming to reach a level where people
to be able to curate their own experience (even if government is actually not
directly visible). Mr. Tim Occleshaw, Government Chief Technology Officer,
Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), described
it like this: “Imagine a world where I can go to my favourite airline website,
or travel app, or whatever future interface, and I can book my travel and
authorise that system to check my passport expiry, my travel visa, check for
outstanding parking fines (so I’m not stopped at the border), apply for what I
need or make payments, and maybe note my health record that I’ll be out of the

We reported on all this and more, providing a 360-degree
coverage of ICT in the context of the public sector, looking at service
delivery, regulations, culture and the technology itself.

Some of our most popular stories in 2017 (in no specific order)
are as below:

drive towards cashless society in Singapore – A snapshot of recent initiatives

Above image: PM Lee Hsien Loong delivering the National Day Rally speech on 20 August 2017 at the Institute of Technical Education College Central/ Credit: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

We looked at the multiple related initiatives launched in
Singapore, as the city-state went into overdrive to realise the vision of a cashless
economy. Read more.

New Zealand Government’s Lab+ experiment – Testing a fundamental change in the
service delivery model

Image: Ms. Pia Waugh on the big screen at the Inspire Centre, University of Canberra during GovHack event (cropped from photo by Gavin Tapp)

The Service Innovation Team in the Department of Internal Affairs(DIA) in New
Zealand government embarked on an exciting three-month experiment, called Lab+, for testing a new model of
government services based on the concept of “government as a platform.” We
spoke to Ms. Pia Waugh who is leading Lab+, before and after the experiment. Read more.

ICT-based healthcare solutions at the National Telehealth Center, Philippines

Above photo: Dr. Portia Grace Fernandez-Marcelo (Image credit: NTHC )

OpenGov spoke to Dr. Portia Grace Fernandez-Marcelo,
Director of the UP (University of Philippines) Manila-National Telehealth
Center (NTHC) about using ICT to provide equitable access to quality healthcare
for all, specially in isolated and disadvantaged communities. Read more.

and informed-decision making through high quality open data on

Above: Lin Zhaowei, Consultant, Data Science Division, Government Technology Agency of Singapore; Photo courtesy: Data Science Division, Government Technology Agency of Singapore

OpenGov met with Lin Zhaowei, Consultant, Data Science
Division, Government Technology Agency of Singapore to learn more about how the
objectives of are being achieved. He talked about ensuring the
quality, usability and usefulness of data, privacy concerns, Open Data Licence
and API terms, and increasing awareness about the availability and potential of
open data. Read more.

A related story on how citizens can use the data to make a
real difference was also widely read: Team
Goji– From hackathon winning prototype to valuable real-world application

on Smart Nation Sensor Platform- Connecting all 110,000 lampposts in the city;
video analytics pilot in 2nd half of 2017

developing scalable middleware for Smart Nation Sensor Platform in the form of
Sensor Data Exchange

These are two related stories on Singapore’s Smart Nation
Sensor Platform, which proved to be quite popular with our readers. The first
one provides details of what exactly is involved in the Smart Nation Sensor
Platform (SNSP) and what are its objectives. The second talks about the design
principles behind the SNSP and it provided a brief summary of the ongoing work
as of May 2017. Read more here and here.

in-depth look at GovTech’s new common hosting platform for Singapore Government

To support the government agencies in improving the digital
shopfront and the user experience, the Government Technology Agency of
Singapore (GovTech) introduced a common hosting platform for government
websites, called the Content Websites Platform (CWP), in October2016. Read more.

intelligence in government, education and healthcare – Current landscape and
future potential

In-house coverage of OpenGov Breakfast Insight session, as senior
executives from a wide range of key public sector agencies in Singapore and
institutes of higher learning gathered for a vibrant, insightful discussion on
the next stage of artificial intelligence.Read more.


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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


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