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Singapore Digital Government Journey
Singapore’s digital government journey began in the 1980s with the National Computerisation Programme. Today, we envision a Smart Nation that leverages technology to improve the lives of citizens and business owners. This is achieved through GovTech’s role in spearheading the Government’s internal engineering and digital capabilities through synergy across the whole of government, as well as public-private and international collaborations. Currently, 95% of all transactions with the government are digital from end-to-end.
Singapore’s Digital Government initiative and public sector digital transformation are led by the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech). Formed in 2016 with the focus of building and strengthening the Singapore government’s internal engineering and digital capabilities, GovTech has empowered the whole of government (WOG) to centrally design, develop and deliver digital services that are built for our citizens’ and businesses’ immediate needs.
Our work can be broadly classified into three main areas – (i) Products, (ii) Services, and (iii) Cyber and Governance. This is aligned with the Digital Government Blueprint (DGB) which was launched in 2015 - a statement of the Government’s ambition to better leverage data, harness new technologies and drive broader efforts to build a digital economy and society, in support of the Smart Nation vision which was launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
In 2019, five Capability Centres (CapCens) were established in the following fields to support the development of Infocomm technology and Smart Systems (ICT & SS) – (i) Application Design, Development and Deployment, (ii) Cybersecurity, (iii) Data Science & Artificial Intelligence, (iv) Government ICT Infrastructure, and (v) Sensors & Internet of Things. These five areas are integral to our Digital Government Blueprint and Smart Nation agenda. Through our CapCens, specialist teams of technical experts within the Government who are both familiar with the government’s digitalisation plans and accessible across the WOG are developed. GovTech also oversees the development of a shared government technology stack, key government ICT infrastructure, ICT procurement, data protection, and cybersecurity in the public sector to spearhead digital transformation.
The The Digital Government Exchange (DGX) is an annual global gathering of Government Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and public sector leaders from digital governments and smart cities. These include Australia, the Netherlands (Amsterdam), Canada, China (Shanghai), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom (UK) and the U.S (New York). Organised by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group since 2016, DGX is a one-of-its-kind international platform that has developed a community of like-minded leaders who can engage in information exchange, sharing of experiences, and mutual learning, while exploring future collaboration opportunities. Representatives from multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, the World Economic Forum and the World Bank also attend these discussions. In Singapore, GovTech has organised STACK conferences and meet ups to encourage co-creation and learning among the public and private sectors.
Finally, to drive the vision of a Smart Nation, five Strategic National Projects were launched in 2017, these covered GoBusiness, CODEX, e-Payments, LifeSG, National Digital Identity, the Punggol Smart Town, Smart Nation Sensor Platform and Smart Urban Mobility. These projects lay the foundation for a Smart Nation by serving as a foundation for the adoption of digital and smart technologies throughout the economy and society. More details on each project can be found here.
View the full timeline of our digital milestones here.
Digital Government Efforts
Our digital government efforts can be classified into these few areas:
Tech for Public Good
Citizen Engagement and Co-creation
User and Business Journeys
AI and Data Driven Government
WOG Platforms and Tools
Diversity and Inclusion
International and National Achievements
Smart City Index 2021
The Smart City Index (SCI) ranks 118 cities based on citizens’ perceptions of how technology can improve their lives, as well as on economic and social data taken from the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI). It is conducted annually by the Singapore University of Technology and Design’s Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (SUTD-LKYCIC) in collaboration with Switzerland’s Institute for Management Development (IMD).
International Achievements 2020
The United Nations e-Government Survey measures the effectiveness of all 193 member states on the effectiveness of their digital government efforts in providing citizen and business services and in policy engagement.
National Achievements 2020
The Survey on Satisfaction with Government Digital Services for citizens and businesses is conducted annually by GovTech in collaboration with the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) to assess citizens’ and businesses’ satisfaction with key government digital services and to identify areas for improvement.
The DGB is a testament of Singapore’s ambition to leverage data and new technologies to a digital economy and digital society in building a Smart Nation. More information on the DGB can be found here.
Based on the DGB, GovTech plans to achieve the following goals by 2023:
 Excludes services or individuals where the KPI cannot be met for valid reasons. These reasons can include legislative reasons, or that certain segments of our population (e.g. the elderly or persons with disabilities) are unable to have access to or use digital tools.
 Government systems qualify if data classification requirements allow them to be moved to cloud.
Contact information for international collaboration opportunities
Contact us at email@example.com if you would like to collaborate on various digital government projects.
Sign up for TechNews here to receive updates about our digital government efforts. To view GovTech’s publications, you can refer to this link.