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Singapore Accelerating Digital Transformation

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According to a GovTech Singapore media release, the Singaporean government, in a move to accelerate its digital transformation journey, has earmarked an estimated SG$ 3.3 billion for information and communications technology (ICT) procurement in the fiscal year 2024.

With an increased focus on modernising digital infrastructure and streamlining collaboration between the public and private sectors, these investments aim to meet evolving cybersecurity challenges while enhancing digital services for citizens.

A significant portion, over 60%, of the allocated budget – amounting to SG$2.1 billion – will be dedicated to upgrading digital infrastructure. This substantial increase from the previous fiscal year underscores the government’s commitment to fortifying digital resilience and ensuring uninterrupted service delivery to the public. As reliance on digital services grows, maintaining robust infrastructure becomes paramount to uphold public trust and minimise disruptions.

To achieve this, existing infrastructure will undergo re-engineering to simplify ICT systems, modernise outdated components, and strengthen defences against emerging cybersecurity threats. Additionally, the government encourages the adoption of reusable development tools, such as the Singapore Government Tech Stack and Software-as-a-Service solutions, to reduce costs, streamline security compliance, and promote interoperability.

In response to industry feedback, the government is rolling out simplified compliance and procurement frameworks aimed at enhancing delivery quality while reducing bureaucratic hurdles. This includes reviewing security requirements for low-risk government systems to facilitate more agile and cost-effective collaboration with vendors, without compromising critical system standards.

Furthermore, the introduction of perpetual and dynamic contracting for selected bulk tenders will allow for ongoing vendor inclusion and ensure continued competitiveness. The implementation of Tender Lite, a tender category removing certain contract clauses to improve ease of transaction, is also underway, with plans for expansion based on industry feedback.

To foster closer collaboration with industry stakeholders, GovTech has revamped its annual industry event, now named ‘Industry Engagement.’ This year’s event includes closed-door discussions covering topics such as compliance and procurement regulations, and the government’s broader digital government strategy. Such engagement initiatives aim to leverage the strengths of both the public and private sectors, ensuring a smooth transition towards Singapore’s Smart Nation vision.

Mr. Goh Wei Boon, Chief Executive of GovTech, highlighted the importance of agile government-industry partnerships in navigating the dynamic technological landscape, “The dynamic nature of today’s technological and social landscape requires the Government to be more agile. Engaging our industry partners allows us to tap the complementary strengths of the public and private sectors, and I hope this close partnership will ensure a smooth journey together on the next bound of Smart Nation.”

Singapore is committed to creating an environment conducive to digital innovation, fostering collaboration to capitalise on opportunities in the digital age for sustainable economic growth.

OpenGov Asia reported that Minister Josephine Teo elaborated on Singapore’s digital journey and AI strategy, emphasising collaboration between government and industry to drive economic growth and societal progress. The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) has been renamed the Ministry of Digital Development and Information (MDDI), reflecting its expanded role in leading the national digital agenda.

AI is prioritised as a catalyst for productivity enhancement and economic competitiveness, with initiatives like AI Verify ensuring reliability and safety. Public-private partnerships are emphasised for AI innovation and adoption, aiming to maintain Singapore’s position as a global leader in AI innovation and technology.

Singapore’s substantial investment in ICT procurement reflects its commitment to leveraging technology to drive economic growth, enhance public services, and strengthen cybersecurity.

By modernising digital infrastructure, streamlining compliance and procurement processes, and fostering closer collaboration with industry partners, the government aims to position Singapore as a global leader in the digital economy and ensure a prosperous future for its citizens.

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