To better serve and protect communities, maintain data security at scale, and perform essential tasks, all government agencies must establish a strong, contemporary data infrastructure that supports data innovation.
Government and the public sector stand to gain considerably by adopting AI into every element of their job. Government AI must consider privacy and security, compatibility with old systems, and changing workloads.
Artificial intelligence is already being used to help run the government, with cognitive applications doing everything from reducing backlogs and cutting costs to handling tasks that humans cannot easily do, such as predicting fraudulent transactions and identifying criminal suspects using facial recognition.
While AI-based technology may fundamentally transform how public-sector employees do their jobs in the coming years — such as eliminating some jobs, redesigning countless others, and even creating entirely new professions — it is already changing the nature of many jobs and revolutionising aspects of government operations.
AI in government services is centred on machine learning and deep learning, computer vision, speech recognition, and robotics. When used correctly, these techniques yield real, measurable results.
Cyber anomaly detection, on the other hand, has the potential to transform cybersecurity strategies in government systems. The possibilities are endless, but they are only now taking shape.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 4 August 2022 offered the most cutting-edge innovative method for enabling large-scale analytics in the public sector.
Public Sector Services Powered by Data and AI
Kicking off the session, Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia acknowledges that data and artificial intelligence will drive the future of government services. “With a unified data platform, the public sector will be able to better serve citizens and protect their communities.”
Governments, in general, are one of the world’s largest employers, with numerous ministries, agencies and departments. The vast network of offices and services introduces significant complexity, operational inefficiencies and, frequently, a lack of transparency.
Agencies must deal with massive amounts of data in various structured and unstructured formats, which will only increase over time. Moreover, they are unable to recognise nor take advantage of the full potential of data, analytics and data due to legacy systems and traditional data warehouses. These are, more often than not, classified by agencies and departments, sabotaging their efforts to undergo digital transformation.
To generate real-time actionable insights and make data-driven decisions, data must be securely shared and exchanged at a scale. Giving government organisations and policymakers access to deeper, more relevant insights into decision-making is only possible through data modernisation.
It is given that much of the information that government agencies oversee is extremely sensitive, including information about the nation’s infrastructure, energy and education as well as information about personal health and financial matters. Data protection at every level of the platform must be ensured through tight interaction with granular cloud provider access control methods.
The fact is that citizens stand to gain through more individualised and effective services, enhanced national security, and wiser resource management that a robust data strategy can give.
Government agencies may adapt to readily access all their data for downstream advanced analytics capabilities to support complicated security use cases by integrating data with analytics and AI.
With such a platform, government security operations teams can quickly identify sophisticated threats, minimising the need for human resources by analytical automation and collaboration and speeding up investigations from days to minutes.
Data stored by public sector bodies can be extremely valuable when shared with other departments and used to elevate data-driven decision-making. The time has come to leverage the cloud’s scale and democratise secure data access to enable downstream BI and AI use cases, allowing government agencies to accelerate innovation.
Governments can improve citizen services while implementing smarter and more transparent governance by leveraging data, analytics and AI for actionable insights at scale. It eliminates data silos and improves communication and collaboration across agencies to achieve the best results for all citizens, delivering personalised citizen services while achieving data security and cyber resilience for a satisfied population.
Building a Scalable Data, Analytics and AI Strategy with Lakehouse Platform
Data infrastructure is an essential aspect of data processing and analysis, according to Chris D’Agostino, Global Field CTO, Databricks.
The complete backend computing support system needed to process, store, transfer and preserve data is referred to as the “data infrastructure.” Without the appropriate data infrastructures, businesses and organisations cannot extract value from their data.
“If there’s one thing that many of us all have in common, it’s that we believe in the impact that data and AI can and will have on the world,” says Chris. “Today, data and AI are transforming every major industry.”
On the other hand, with the ongoing globalisation of artificial intelligence and machine learning, there is an increasing need to rethink an organisation’s whole leadership and thought process, from product strategy and customer experience to strategies to increase the efficiency of human resources.
Rules, models and policies that specify how data is gathered stored, used and managed in the cloud within a company or organisation are contained in cloud data architectures. It controls the data flow, processing, and distribution of that data across stakeholders and other applications for reporting, analytics and other purposes.
Every year, data collection by businesses and organisations increases thanks to IoT and new digital streams. In this climate, cloud data architecture-based data platforms are displacing more conventional data platforms, which are unable to handle the growing data quantities and increasingly demanding end-user applications like machine learning and AI.
Companies are using all available data to expedite, automate and improve decision-making to increase resilience and obtain a competitive edge in the market. These methods for digital transformation are supported by AI and data literacy.
To fully realise the benefit of data and AI, change management is necessary, just like with any change in working practices. It is essential to create a cohesive and evolving plan. This can be based on three pillars: business strategy, operationalisation and architecture (after the technology barriers have been recognised).
Whether it’s a business strategy, data management, or organisational knowledge, it’s critical to assess the organisation’s level of maturity and data literacy.
Databricks Lakehouse Platform combines the best elements of data lakes and data warehouses to deliver the dependability, strong governance, and performance of data warehouses while also allowing for the openness, flexibility and machine learning support of data lakes.
By removing the data silos that normally segregate and complicate data engineering, analytics, BI, data science and machine learning, this unified approach streamlines the current data stack. To increase flexibility, it is created using open standards and open-source software.
Additionally, its shared approach to data management, security and governance works more productively and develops more quickly.
In a global research effort in collaboration with an institution, Databricks polled 117 data leaders and the survey’s findings were illuminating and instructive.
An analytics leader’s biggest regret and issue was not embracing an open standards-based data architecture. “This didn’t surprise us. We are seeing many of our clients adopting the best open-source technologies,” Chris reveals.
In addition, the poll showed that only a small group can be successful with their AI projects, while the multi-cloud is a growing reality.
Most executives say they are currently evaluating or implementing a new data platform to address their current data challenges. During these challenging times, cloud technologies allow businesses to respond and scale rapidly.
With scalable data, analytics and AI strategy, organisations can create significant value. They can implement real-time monitoring, create tailored customer experiences, deploy predictive analytics, and much more. Databricks offers tools that are specifically designed to address the challenges described.
In Conversation With: The Future of Government Services and Shared Data
All the government agencies’ data must be protected and every component must be safeguarded. Unified data with analytics and AI makes it simpler to provide quick access for the organisation’s teams and complete support for security use cases.
Joseph Tan, Deputy Director (Capability Development), Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Division, Government Technology Agency emphasised the importance of data modernisation with a holistic approach. A policy-driven industry that would entrust the organisations’ data will lead to better customer service.
Joseph is convinced that “As technology advances, most businesses are confronted with issues caused by an existing legacy system. Instead of providing companies with cutting-edge capabilities and services such as cloud computing and improved data integration, a legacy system keeps a business constrained.”
A legacy system is computer software or hardware that is no longer in use. The system still meets the needs for which it was originally designed, but it does not allow for expansion. Because a legacy system can only do what it does now for the company, it will never be able to interact with newer systems
“A business might keep using an old system for more than one reason. In the world of investments, for example, upgrading to a new system requires an initial investment of money and people, while keeping an old system running costs money over time,” Joseph explains.
On the other hand, when a whole company moves to a new system, there can be some internal resistance and worries about how hard it will be and what might go wrong. For example, legacy software might have been made with an old programming language, which makes it hard to find staff with the right skills to do the migration.
Additionally, there might not be much information about the system, and the people who made it might have left the company. It can be hard to just plan how to move data from an old system to a new one and figure out what needs the new system will have.
Increased security risk, instability and inefficiency, incompatibility with new technology, company perception and new hire training, single point of failure and lack of information are a few issues that older systems run against.
At best, outdated legacy systems are a pain, and at worst, they can seriously jeopardise an organisation’s overall IT security strategy. Furthermore, the longer a business waits to update a legacy system, the more challenging the transition will be.
System modernisation is almost always a must before digital transformation can occur. Most businesses won’t be able to fully profit from contemporary technologies and solutions without it. “With this, finding the right talent would be very beneficial for the organisation to manage their modern technologies,” says Chris.
Some advantages of updating legacy systems such as enterprises can enhance their IT security and sustain it by taking advantage of vendor upgrades and fixes in the future by updating legacy systems. Modern systems and solutions, including retrofitted legacy systems, are built to deliver optimal performance without consuming excessive amounts of computational power.
Even a legacy system may be modernised to include new features, giving the business users additional capability and a better user experience. The truth is that updated legacy systems require less input from IT staff, freeing them up to focus on activities that really benefit a company.
Similarly, governments all over the world will undergo a fundamental upheaval because of big data and artificial intelligence. Even though the public sector has long used data, the potential and actual use of big data applications have an impact on some theoretical and practical aspects of decision-making. This is fuelled by both the data revolution and the concurrent advancement of advanced analytics.
The availability of data that may be employed in the computer learning process is a major aspect of the maturing of AI technology and the practicality of AI applications to public policy and administration.
However, without the underlying analytical technologies, the data revolution can be seen as only a change in the size of the data that is currently available rather than a fundamental change. As predictive analytics, innovative data and artificial intelligence gain prominence, it is critical to understand their roles in the public sector.
At the start of their data journey, organisations require data capture systems to discover information embedded in all levels of business operations. Following that, the data must be validated for informational accuracy and integrated to reduce the risk of drawing incorrect conclusions and to create a unified view of the business.
The final step is analysis, in which businesses collaborate with data analysts who use cutting-edge analytics tools to peel back layers of proprietary data in search of insights to power change.
Larger companies with more complex data integration and analytics processes can add predictive analytics as the fourth step.
When analysing enormous datasets (often referred to as “big data”), predictive data analytics, also referred to as advanced analytics, uses autonomous or semi-autonomous algorithms to make predictions based on information patterns. Data analysts may provide clients with greater service, which can result in more meaningful transformations, by delivering deeper insights into company data more quickly.
Think about how AI and machine learning might be used in the context of the data processing flow. Analytics tools assist data analysts in identifying areas for improvement in the business after private data has been collected, analysed and combined into a single view.
AI excels at discovering data patterns that humans cannot perceive. This is quickly scalable based on the amount of the dataset. To make data analytics frictionless, machine learning algorithms can also adapt to data pipeline input and human behaviour patterns. This can be accomplished by utilising natural language processing to recode communications between individuals within an organisation so that algorithms can comprehend and act on them.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have become the “next big thing” in the government sector, while advanced analytics, also known as predictive data analytics, utilises autonomous or semi-autonomous algorithms to evaluate enormous datasets and generate predictions based on information patterns.
By developing deeper insights into company data more quickly, data analysts can provide better service to clients, which can result in more profound transformations. Consider the application of AI and machine learning to the data handling process. After unique data has been collected, analysed and consolidated into a single view, analytics tools assist data analysts in identifying areas for business development.
Smart solutions enable advances that are self-sustaining and AI and ML are at the heart of these. Executives and practitioners agree that AI and ML are catalysts and drivers across both the public and private sectors. As an AI system has a deeper understanding of data platforms and processes, it can continue to enhance its efficacy and capacity to provide personalised insights from massive data silos.
In closing, Chris shared that Databricks was established in 2013 to assist data teams in resolving the most challenging issues facing the globe, and they have been investing in the Asia Pacific region to help this objective forward. “While there are countless possibilities, there are several challenges as well.”
It is insufficient to merely fund and use AI technologies. Businesses and organisations need a talent pool of experts that can use these AI tools in a way that can guarantee the greatest outcomes.
Currently, customers from a wide spectrum of businesses are collaborating with Databricks to tailor their clients’ experiences to improve their capacity to react to market dynamics and safeguard both their own and all stakeholders’ interests. This is most evident in real-time for financial services organisations to help deal with fraud.
“My particular favourite is Databricks’ assistance in Mitsubishi Tanabe’s efforts to quicken drug clinical trials in Japan. The possibilities for our collaboration are virtually endless,” Chris reflects.
Mohit recognises that digital transformation is vital in today’s VUCA environment. What is essential is that industry and government collaborate and work together. For long-term success and sustainability, there have to be partnerships between the public and private sectors.
Strategic alliances gave businesses and government agencies a competitive edge. Partnerships are mutually beneficial, helping each other grow and get better. When people genuinely try to help each other, “it can help to get over certain weaknesses and be first movers in their field.”
The Philippines has begun issuing individual electronic land titles (e-titles) to 1,839 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the Eastern Visayas region. The Department of Agrarian Reform will give the ARBs their personalised e-titles (DAR).
DAR stated that 2,591 electronic titles (e-titles) totalling 3,922 hectares of the agricultural property would be given on Jan. 26 as part of the Support to Parcelisation of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT Project). The first batch of individual titles developed by the SPLIT Project will be distributed in the Visayas State University-Tolosa Campus auditorium.
According to DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III, this is per President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s direction to hasten the issuance of land titles to ARBs this year and to provide support services to help them better their living conditions.
“We will issue individual e-titles to preserve and affirm our ARBs’ property rights,” he explained.
The SPLIT initiative proposes fast-tracking the subdivision of national collective certificates of land ownership award (CCLOAs) of around 1.3 million hectares of land. The World Bank supported the SPLIT initiative to partition CCLOAs and tribute individual titles to ARBs.
According to DAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu, the SPLIT project includes approximately 17,496 CCLOAs encompassing a total of 220,473 hectares of agricultural properties throughout the region. Yu stated that the area has verified around 67,601 hectares, while 3,922 hectares have been granted with e-titles.
The SPLIT project seeks to fully implement the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Programme by allowing farmer-beneficiaries to have clear and defined ownership of the parcels of land they are tilling. The e-titling aim to stimulate farmers to grow their crops and make long-term progress on their ground. The award to ARBs was also established to stabilise requests, tenure ship, govern lands, and generate short-term economic opportunities for project workers who will be employed in the project.
Estrella stated in an earlier interview that farmers could not successfully use the land to make income because they needed to know the metes and bounds of the land assigned to each of them. Estrella believes that by granting farmers individual rights, more ARBs will be inspired to enhance their landholdings, resulting in higher agricultural output and household income.
The Philippines pushed land management digitalisation. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Land Management Bureau (LMB) has fully integrated the Land Administration Management System (LAMS) databases of 16 local and community environment and natural resource bureaus in the Philippines into their respective regional offices.
LAMS is a computer-based information system consolidating the country’s land data and records. It is geared for quick and straightforward land information processing, tracking, and retrieval. As a result, the DENR-NCR and DENR-Calabarzon Regional LAMS datasets were combined to create LMB-LAMS.
LMB also pooled and assessed 19 towns undergoing Digital Cadastral Database Cleansing through different DENR regional offices. LMB Director Emelyne Talabis adds that the agency is happy with its accomplishments this year on critical programmes, which resulted in improved delivery of land-related services to Filipinos.
The Philippines generally attempted to improve its digital competencies after falling behind. The Philippines placed last among Southeast Asian countries in the 2022 World Digital Competitiveness Ranking. Furthermore, it is the 13th largest economy in Asia, trailing only Mongolia.
The Senate has rolled out an act to push the complete e-governance implementation in the Philippines. All government agencies, offices, and instrumentalities, including local government entities, are required under the bill to disclose all necessary information in both traditional and online formats. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will be the principal agency in enforcing the provisions of the Act.
A partner company of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) unveiled “ARIA-diabetes risks”, a retinal imaging tool for non-invasive pre-screening of diabetes. This solution aims to tackle the problem of millions of undiagnosed diabetes patients worldwide.
The International Diabetes Federation reports that in 2021, nearly half of all adults with diabetes were unaware of their condition, amounting to 239.7 million individuals worldwide. In Hong Kong alone, at least 600,000 individuals have diabetes and more than 110 million in mainland China. This is a significant issue that has both local and global implications, as people with diabetes are at an increased risk for serious and potentially life-threatening complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, and vision loss.
The Automatic Retinal Image Analysis (ARIA) technology uses artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques to detect various health issues. The solution provides a non-invasive pre-screening tool for diabetes that delivers results within minutes and has an accuracy rate of over 90%. It does not require a blood test and offers a faster and more accessible way for early diabetes diagnosis.
The partner company formed a joint venture called “Oneness Health” with an HKSTP incubatee to capitalise on the potential for remote healthcare offered by the ARIA-diabetes risks solution.
The joint venture combines the partner company’s retinal analysis technology with the incubatee’s network of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners, as well as their software and hardware development capabilities. This creates a one-stop service platform under the name “Oneness Health” that provides high-risk patients seeking TCM treatment with added convenience and flexibility, with the goal of “disease prevention”.
The Oneness Health platform will offer features such as online appointments, mobile assessments, diagnosis, and personal health management in the first quarter of 2023.
In the near future, it will also provide prescriptions for traditional Chinese medicines that can be dispensed through auto-dispensing machines at over 100 convenient locations in 18 districts of Hong Kong or collected at various NGO centres. Additionally, door-to-door courier service will be available for single elderly individuals or needy families.
The CEO of HKSTP stated that the Park is dedicated to promoting innovation by providing a comprehensive support system for translational research, product development, and commercialization. The ARIA-diabetes risks solution from the two firms which is now being offered under the Oneness Health platform is a prime example of how innovative solutions can be developed in Hong Kong and at the Science Park.
The combination of breakthrough science, world-first technology, advanced software, and hardware to create an innovative primary healthcare delivery platform through Oneness Health, is a testament to the speed, talent, infrastructure, and innovation capability of Hong Kong’s I&T ecosystem.
In line with the HKSAR Government’s Primary Healthcare Blueprint announced in December 2022, the Oneness Health platform will contribute to the government’s goal of establishing a more community-based primary healthcare system. The platform will significantly improve healthcare convenience, expand treatment options, lower patient costs, and alleviate the burden on Hong Kong’s hospitals and clinics.
The Blueprint sets out a strategy road map towards establishing a primary healthcare system that can improve the overall health and quality of life for popular in a stable manner, under the challenges brought on by an ageing popular and increasing chronic disease prevalence.
The Ministry of Administrative Reform and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) join forces with a government IT firm to create a digital Public Service Mall (MPP). The initiative is a follow-up to President Joko Widodo’s directive to establish MPP Digital.
According to Minister PANRB Abdullah Azwar Anas, the IT government company is more advanced in digitalisation implementation. MPP Digital incorporates numerous services into the hand to make it easier for people to access high-quality government services.
“MPP Digital provides effective and efficient service delivery while enhancing information security for government digital services. The government IT company team will expedite the President’s vision for MPP Digital,” he explained.
MPP Digital is also expected to increase investment by allowing for faster and easier licencing, leading to job possibilities. In addition, the local administration will not need to construct a massive MPP building but will rely on digitalisation that everyone can access.
MPP Digital is expected to be ready by May 2023, following the President and Vice President’s directives. The creation of MPP Digital is also under the government’s present implementation of the Electronic Based Government System (SPBE).
At the same time, Ririek Adriansyah, the Main Director of the government IT company, declared his willingness to support the government’s initiative. He conveyed that the construction of MPP Digital was proceeding as planned because the digitalisation of services has enormous potential benefits for both the government and the general public.
Additionally, the government is working hard to progress SPBE, including introducing Digital Public Service Malls (MPP) as one of SPBE’s expressions. SPBE is also a component of President Joko Widodo’s Thematic Bureaucratic Reform, which is aimed at digitising government services.
The next Electronic-Based Government System (SPBE) aims to strengthen unity by offering a single access system for the country’s digital services, resulting in higher public service quality. Nowadays, the state’s digital public sector is still fragmented by agency, sector, and silo-based systems. As a result, citizens are frequently required to submit similar data and register several accounts to access various digital-based public sector services.
As a result, Anas will pursue a single sign-on account for users to access various government services. Users can utilise their accounts to access all public services e-services, such as population issues, business permissions, and other certifications. Digital MPP has done so following President Jokowi’s and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin’s objective to achieve bureaucratic reform with simple, powerful, and quick replies to the community.
More MPPs have been built and inaugurated by the government. In the future, all regions will have physical and digital MPPs, with all government services based on demographic numbers (Digital ID). MPP Digital, on the guidance of the President and Vice President, has become the PANRB ministry’s short-term focus.
As of December 2022, 103 MPPs (20% of the total of 514 regencies/cities in Indonesia) had been inaugurated in regencies and cities. Thus, fewer than 80%, or approximately 411 districts/cities, still need MPP. The Vice President aimed for roughly 150 new MPPs in 2023, with all towns and regencies having MPPs by the end of 2024.
The Ministry of PANRB has evaluated 10-15 MPPs (Public Service Malls) for inclusion in the future Digital MPP development process. These MPPs were chosen for their uniqueness, benefits, and good qualities. In general, the MPP Digital application development will be divided into four stages: requirements, design, testing, and upgrading.
Anas emphasised that government digitisation is a critical driver in enhancing the quality of public services, which would increase people’s well-being. Bureaucratic reform must increase investment and streamline business services, boosting the economic level of society. Improving the community’s financial level will undoubtedly influence the lowering poverty rate.
The application of artificial intelligence (AI) can transform the ability to observe, comprehend, and anticipate processes in Earth’s systems. AI and ML computational capabilities can assist researchers and scientists in collecting, understanding, and analysing enormous amounts of data with a faster, more accurate, and more knowledgeable process for decision-making agility.
The researchers and scientists then collaborate to promote Earth and environmental science by using AI and modelling approaches such as machine learning (ML). They convened a workshop to determine particular priorities for addressing computational difficulties and attempted to nurture advancements in AI and ML, algorithms, data management, and other areas.
The workshop was designed by roughly 100 specialists based on 156 white papers given by 640 writers from 112 institutions worldwide. These principles’ consequences can help develop a technology infrastructure that is efficient, accurate, strategic, and convenient while also reaching across resources.
“Effective improvements in Earth system prediction necessitate significant advances across the Model-Experiment (ModEx) environment,” said Nicki Hickmon, Associate Director for operations for DOE’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Office of Science at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.
The workshop narrowed down 17 issues relevant to the integrated water cycle and extreme weather occurrences within that cycle during the session. Experts debated nine topics connected to Earth system forecasts, including hydrology, watershed research, coastal dynamics; the atmosphere, land, oceans, and ice; and climatic variability and extremes.
Researchers analysed issues in each session that indicate the need for revolutionising AI technology and infrastructure to manage complicated tasks in environmental science. Participants investigated the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to uncover scientific discoveries using technologies such as neural networks, knowledge-informed machine learning, AI architectures, and co-design.
“We need new AI methodologies that integrate process understanding and respect physical laws. (It is) to make estimations of Earth system behaviour scalable, trustable, and relevant under future climate regimes,” Charu Varadharajan, a research scientist at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, directs the Earth AI & Data Programme Domain, added.
Through the workshop and report, the researchers and scientists created 2-, 5-, and 10-year targets for the integrated framework development for each focal topic. They also identified priorities for Earth science, computational science, and programmatic and cultural improvements that would support the mission of AI4ESP.
Experts prepared a comprehensive list of scenarios in which AI research and development could help address some of Earth science’s most critical concerns. These challenges include handling and analysing massive volumes of data to increase the ability to detect and predict extreme events and promote the incorporation of human behaviours into theory and models.
Forrest Hoffman, group leader for the Computational Earth Sciences group at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, suggested developing new hybrid models that integrate process-based and ML-based modules is one of the most intriguing prospects.
The modelling frameworks allow for the addition of data regarding poorly understood processes, which can increase accuracy and often result in enhanced computational performance for Earth system models, allowing for more simulations and analyses to be performed within given resource constraints. The workshop provided a cross-disciplinary and cross-mission opportunity for the scientific and application communities to collaborate toward understanding the required advancements.
Programmatic and cultural adjustments are also required to promote a more cohesive mission across diverse scientific and government agencies and a skilled workforce capable of successfully integrating technology into humanistic research and activities. The experts offered options such as AI research centres focused on environmental science, frameworks that enable shared services across multiple communities, and continuing training and support missions.
This year, the government wants relevant ministries and agencies to tighten management and increase oversight of e-commerce activities to identify violations and prevent tax losses. The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s (MoIT) E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency will work with departments from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the Ministry of Finance to share data and better regulate business activity on social media and in cyberspace.
The inspections will also focus on ensuring that e-commerce platforms and social networks are taking proper steps to screen, prevent and block accounts that do not provide adequate information or have signs of trading in counterfeit or illegal goods.
The E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency will continue to collaborate with other government agencies such as the Market Management Agency, the Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and MIC to inspect and monitor e-commerce businesses for compliance with the law, in accordance with plans approved by the Minister of Industry and Trade.
The agency will also evaluate existing policies and make practical changes to improve the management of e-commerce business activities. It will upgrade infrastructure and supporting services and incorporate new technologies to assist the digital transformation of businesses.
Furthermore, the agency will offer training to improve the inspection and handling of violations in e-commerce. It will organise events to promote anti-counterfeiting and encourage e-commerce website operators to better protect consumers’ interests.
Last year, Vietnam’s e-commerce industry continued to grow and become a significant distribution channel. As the economy recovers from the pandemic, e-commerce has been a leading sector in the digital economy. A survey from the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that retail e-commerce revenue in Vietnam increased by 20% in 2022 as compared to 2021, reaching US$ 16.4 billion. This accounted for 7.5% of the total retail sales of goods and services in the country.
To establish trust for consumers in online shopping, safeguard legitimate traders, and foster e-commerce development, the government reviewed and requested e-commerce companies to remove or lock 1,663 stalls with 6,437 counterfeits or violated goods, and blocked five infringing websites.
Experts recommend that there should be regulations on the responsibility of information security of relevant organisations and individuals in order to prevent tax loss and protect business interests. This includes regulations on the security of websites and the responsibility to provide information to tax authorities, which would help make tax management more effective.
Associate Professor Le Xuan Truong, Director of the Academy of Finance’s Faculty of Taxation and Customs under the Ministry of Finance, suggested that the government should implement a regulation that forces e-commerce trading floors to be responsible for withholding and paying taxes on behalf of individuals as well as perform payment intermediary services and participate in operating and controlling delivery activities and receiving money from buyers. Over 40 countries worldwide so far have regulated the responsibility of e-commerce exchanges in deducting taxes of individuals if the floor provides payment services, or directly participates in the delivery and receipt of goods by buyers and sellers.
Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Health, announced the development of SATUSEHAT, an interoperable Indonesian health data system. Budi aimed to complete the digitalisation of health data by January 2024. In keeping with the spirit of an impactful bureaucracy, the Minister of Health is sure Indonesians would benefit from digitisation.
“The concept is interchangeable; (health facilities) can use the information anywhere: all hospitals, both public and private, pharmacies, clinics, health centres, and labs throughout Indonesia will use the same data format, and (the data) can be exchanged,” he said at the launch of the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) Space in Jakarta.
SATUSEHAT is a health platform that serves as a forum for various health apps from companies in the health business. As a result, all applications and health service facilities on the SATUSEHAT platform, including vertical hospitals, government hospitals, private hospitals, health centres, Posyandu, laboratories, clinics, and pharmacies, must adhere to the Ministry of Health’s criteria.
People no longer need to carry physical medical record files while moving hospitals because of this platform. All patient medical record resumes have been digitally captured on the SATUSEHAT platform, which can be viewed from anywhere and at any time using mobile phones.
“For certain users who haven’t been able to produce health applications, we can aid later. (And) We can eventually give standard and free applications for significant stakeholders such as Puskesmas (community health centres) and Posyandu (toddler integrated service post). This way, we can do data integration elegantly on the same platform,” Budi confirmed.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Health established DTO as a Ministry of Health work unit dedicated to implementing the Healthy Indonesia programme by developing effective data-driven policies and digital technology products. User-Based Technology Development, National Health Data Integration, Technology Capacity Building, and Data-Based Policy Making are the four principles of digital transformation being implemented.
Budi directed the DTO and the Data and Information Centre (Pusdatin) to take meaningful actions to expedite national health data digitisation. DTO must complete nationwide health interoperability that is transparent and accessible to all parties. The merger process started on July 6, 2022, and is expected to be finished by the end of 2023.
Another challenge is to combine clinical and genomic data to assess the health of the Indonesian population deployed with Artificial Intelligence to create more detailed and exact results. AI will subsequently support the Ministry of Health’s clinical and genomic data. The services are designed to help Indonesia advance health biotechnology.
During the inauguration ceremony, the Minister for Administrative Reform and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB), Abdullah Azwar Anas, praised the Ministry of Health’s digital transformation in the healthcare system. He anticipated that the shift would affect at least five items. First and foremost, it increases the quality of healthcare services. Second, it improves access to healthcare services. Third, raise the added value of the health sector economy with a focus on domestic goods.
Fourth, speeding the achievement of the government’s main healthcare projects, such as lowering stunting prevalence. Fifth, strengthen health human resource expertise while guaranteeing equitable distribution across the country.
“For example, we may ensure that a health concern is treated by integrating data, then monitoring therapy until the assessment is entirely digitally driven. We can learn from the Covid-19 pandemic, in which health technology was extremely useful in combating the pandemic,” he went on to say.
Anas believes that the Ministry of Health’s SATUSEHAT will soon be merged with the National Electronic-Based Government System. He praised the tremendous efforts made by the Ministry of Health to implement digital transformation.
The Ministry of Health’s consolidation initiative can serve as a model for other Ministries/Institutions looking to increase work units’ roles in supervising the government’s digitalisation activities. Anas is optimistic that the integrated ecosystem of digital health data will be a huge step forward for the country’s health sector.
Thailand’s Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES), Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn, disclosed that the Cabinet adopted the Royal Decree Measures for Prevention and Suppression of Technology Crime in principle. Accordingly, the act was assigned to the Office of the Council of State for consideration before further enforcement.
In essence, the proposed order prescribes steps to prevent and suppress deceit in people transferring money by telephone or other means. The law also grants authorities the authority to regulate financial transactions. It prohibits opening accounts on electronic cards or wallets to bring money or property to be used in criminal acts.
The proposed Decree requires financial institutions and business operators to disclose information about their client’s accounts and transactions via a data exchange system to suspend transactions when necessary.
“The drafting of this law is a collaboration of several agencies, including the Royal Thai Police, the NBTC Office, and the Bank of Thailand. Thai Bankers Association Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), etc., believe that this regulation will undoubtedly assist in eliminating the problem of ghost sims, pony accounts, and online crime problems,” Chaiwut clarified.
Procedures for halting transactions can be done when a financial institution or business operator discovers a questionable issue or is told by a competent official. They must advise financial institutions or business owners to halt transactions. The transmitting financial institution or company operator must promptly halt future transactions. They can comply with the transaction if they inspect and find no suspicious cause.
If the victim reports a fraudulent transaction, financial institutions or business operators must immediately and temporarily cease transactions and tell financial institutions or business operators receiving transfers to do the same. For the victim to file a complaint with the investigators within 48 hours, the investigators must act on that account and electronic wallet within seven days of notification. Notification of information or evidence can be sent by phone or electronically.
Furthermore, Telecommunication Service Providers have the authority to communicate information and allow the Royal Thai Police, AMLO offices, and approved agencies to view the information exchanged. At the same time, the Office of the NBTC is in charge of developing the central database for user registration information, short messages, investigation, and prevention.
The use or disclosure of personal data to prevent, detect, and deter online crime will follow personal data protection legislation. It is required to properly tackle the social media problem of fraudulent people and eliminate some legal issues that cause the integration of work between multiple agencies to be stopped or delayed in the current situation.
The act governs the usage of an account and a SIM card. It will instruct consumers to create a personal account for an electronic card or wallet. The act of opening a without the purpose of using it will be considered an infringement. Anyone who knowingly or ought to knowingly allow another individual to use or borrow their SIM card is breaking the law since criminals could use it for fraud or illegal conduct. Breaches of this law may be imprisonment for up to three years or a fine of up to 300,000 baht (US$9163.10) or both.
It is illegal for anybody to obtain, market, or post news to purchase or sell accounts, electronic cards, electronic wallets, or phone sim cards that may result in criminal activity. Anyone who breaches this will face imprisonment for 2 to 5 years and a fine ranging from 200,000 baht (US$9163.1) to 500,000 baht (US$15271.84) or both.
When aberrant behaviour is discovered or a complaint is made to the bank and enables banks and relevant organisations to reveal and exchange information about online crimes through a standard database system. Thai authorities have the authority to suspend or postpone financial transactions for an extended length of time.
Special Wisit Wisitsorn-at, Professor, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, expressed the MDES need to present the draft to the Office of the Council of State for review and consideration before the announcement goes into effect.