Singapore government had launched Smart Nation initiative in 2014 and since then it has come up with a slew of initiatives to bolster technological developments. On Monday government announced a few organizational changes which will take effect from May 1st this year.
The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) will be formed under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) comprising almost all government technology planning teams from the Ministry of Finance and MCI. This new office will have a combined headcount of 40 including staff from the Digital Government Directorate of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Government Technology Policy department in the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), and the Smart Nation Programme Office (SNPO) in the PMO.
The Government Technology Agency (GovTech), a statutory board under MCI, works with public agencies to create and deliver secure digital services and applied technology to individuals and businesses in Singapore. It will now be placed under the PMO as the implementing agency of SNDGO.
Together, both the agencies – SNDGO and GovTech will form the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) in the Prime Minister’s Office.
In the press statement, it is revealed SNDGG will be responsible for –
- Applying digital and smart technologies to improve citizens’ lives in key domains. This will be executed in collaboration with other government agencies, industry, and the public. For example, SNDGG will be working on urban mobility. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been leveraging data analytics to manage the bus fleets in a better way, reduce crowdedness and improve timeliness.
The agency has also been experimenting with self-driving vehicle technologies. It will collaborate with LTA to further explore the existing and emerging technologies to enhance urban logistics, improve public transport, and reduce congestion in order to enhance the commuter experience.
- Developing the digital enablers and platforms for Smart Nation, and also to grow economic value and catalyze innovation by companies and citizens. The SNDGG will build on the ongoing work by GovTech to augment data sharing through data.gov.sg, and partner with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to promote e-payments. It will be responsible for fueling the development of a national digital identity framework. This will facilitate the digital transactions, and a national sensor communication backbone (the Smart Nation Platform) to back agencies’ use of Internet of Things (IoT) applications to achieve their goals.
- Driving digital transformation for the public service, to strengthen Government ICT infrastructure and improve public service delivery. The SNDGG will build up digital capabilities within Government, including in fields such as data science and IoT, to continue delivering excellent public services to the citizens.