Singapore’s transition towards e-government started in the early 80’s with the intention of propelling the government into a world-class user of information technology. The Civil Service Computerisation Programme (CSCP) automated work functions and reduced paperwork for greater internal operational efficiencies.
In the late 90’s, the combination of information technology and telecommunication transformed the concept of service delivery. The way was paved for the launch of e-Government Action Plan (2000 - 2003) and e-Government Action Plan II (2003 - 2006). The key goal of the first plan was to integrate many public services online while the emphasis of the second plan was to improve the service experience of customers.
IGov2010 Master Plan (2006 – 2010) was the next e- government plan to be carried out. It was supported by the strong foundation set by the previous two e-government plan. iGov2010 focused on creating an integrated Government that works seamlessly behind the scene to serve customers better. As there was a high penetration of mobile phones in Singapore, mobile services were introduced to offer customers an additional channel for accessing public services.
Today, infocomm technology (ICT) has become a part of the Singapore public sector's DNA for public administration and service delivery. Singapore has been consistently recognised as a leader in major international benchmarking studies as a result of our e-government efforts. Our innovative efforts in using ICT have attained numerous local and international accolades and awards. . In 2010, almost 9 out of 10 citizens and businesses expressed satisfaction with the overall quality of government e-services. (20)
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) is the e-Government owner. As the owner, MOF sets the policy direction on use of ICT in Government and provides funding for government projects relating to ICT.
Working closely with MOF, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) acts as the Government's "Chief Technology Officer" and "Chief Information Officer".IDA plays a key role in defining ICT policies, standards and procedures and conceptualising and managing whole-of-government projects. IDA also provides technical advice and recommendations, masterplanning and project management services to MOF and other government agencies in the implementation and management of e-government programmes. .(21)
1.Guiding Principles to Development of e-Government
The Singapore Government's development of e-Government is an ongoing process and there are certain guiding principles that serve the process well:
- Every service that can be delivered electronically shall be.
- The customer shall supply or update personal information only once.
- Those without home access shall have access to public delivery network.
- Staff must assist those who need special help like the elderly.
- All services shall be "customer-centric" and not "agency-centric."
- Physical visits shall be kept as low as possible.(5)
2. e-Government Action Plan I (eGAP 1)
eGAP was conceived to fulfill the vision of making Singapore one of the leading e-Governments in the world.(4)
The Infocomm 21 blueprint was launched in 2000 to develop Singapore into a global Infocomm Capital with a thriving and prosperous e-economy and an infocomm-savvy e-society.(4)
The first e-Government Action Plan was a key initiative under the implementation of Infocomm 21 that placed all public services online. (1)
The e-Government Strategic Framework was also defined in June 2000, with five key thrusts:
1) Reinventing government through continuous rethinking of all aspects of governance to
explore the nature and quality of government interactions with its citizens, businesses and
2) Delivering integrated electronic services centred on customers' needs.
3) Being proactive and responsive by adopting a 'sense and respond' approach.
4) Using ICT to build new capabilities and capacities for achieving quantum leaps in
5) Innovating with ICT by embracing enterprise and experimentation.(5)
To achieve this 5 main thrusts, six strategic programmes were defined, namely:
1) Electronic Services Delivery
2) Knowledge-based Workplace
3) Technology Experimentation
4) Operational Efficiency Improvement
5) Adaptive and Robust Infocomm Infrastructure
6) Infocomm Education.(3)
3. e-Government Action Plan II (eGAP 2)
The second e-Government Action Plan will leverage infocomm to connect citizens, create new values, realize possibilities, and enrich lives. (3)
the second e-Government Action Plan II (eGAP II) which was unveiled in July 2003.
It aims to further transform the public service into a Networked Government that delivers accessible, integrated and value-added e-services to our customers, and close the gaps of the citizens.
By 2006, an e-lifestyle becomes more prevalent in Singapore. Both individuals and businesses transact online, participate actively in the policy review process through electronic consultations and virtual communities.
The vibrant infocomm industry works even closer together with the Government to transform work processes and deliver services through infocomm technology (ICT). (6)
The second e-Government Action Plan aims to achieve three distinct outcomes:
1) Delighted Customers - Increasing Awareness of e-Services and Convenient Access for All, citizens, residents, businesses and non-residents. (7)
2) Connected Citizens - Engaging Citizens Through Active Consultation & Virtual Communities (6)
3) A Networked Government- Transcending Organisational Boundaries, and Facilitation Through Service-Wide Standards (6)
The Connected Singapore blueprint is another plan implemented in eGAP II. It sees infocomm as a key enabler to create new ideas that enrich lives, produce new value and opens up new possibilities. (1)
Through realising new possibilities, infocomm technology is the true connector - bringing together the power of computing, communications and content, to create new business opportunities, consumer value and cultural experiences. (1)
4. iGov 2010
iGov stands for Integrated Government. It's aim is to delight customers and connects citizens through the use of infocomm technology. (16)
To achieve an iGov, Singapore have to hasten the reworking of backend processes that cut across agencies to strengthen customer-centricity in service delivery. A shifting of focus from front-end to backend integration, and to advance from integrating services to integrating Government.
By 2010, Singapore government aim to have at least :
- 8 out of 10 users who are very satisfied with the overall quality of e-services;
- 9 out of 10 users who would recommend others to transact with the Government through e-services
- 8 out of 10 users who are very satisfied with the level of clarity and usefulness of information published online on Government policies, programmes and initiatives.
To achieve the vision and targets set, 4 Strategic Thrusts have been identified :
-Increasing Reach and Richness of e-Services
- Increasing Citizens' Mindshare in e-Engagement
- Enhancing Capacity and Synergy in Government
- Enhancing National Competitive Advantage (16)
4.1 Increasing Reach and Richness of e-Services
To improve the richness of services, one of the key strategies to improve e-service offerings, is to develop insights into customers' needs as well as preferences and to enhance the quality of e-Services.
The other strategy is work to integrate processes and services across organisational boundaries, including those of private sector entities, with the aim of minimising the number of interactions between customers and Government in completing their transactions. (17)
To extend the reach of the services, anyone who wishes to transact online with the Government needs to be provided with easy and convenient access to do just that, regardless of whether he or she has the means to do so. CitizenConnect and BizHelper are initiatives aimed at achieving that. Citizens without access to the Internet can use facilities at CitizenConnect Centres in their neighbourhood Community Clubs, at no charge, to transact with Government. Dedicated service staff will also be on hand to assist in using the e-Services. Similar helper services are available for business owners for a nominal fee at privately-run BizHelper Centres.
They also take advantage of Singapore's 100.8% mobile phone penetration rate to extend the reach of e-services to customers.
For example, the mPAL service by the Central Provident Fund Board, allows employers of fewer than 10 employees to submit their CPF contribution details in three steps using a mobile phone. This will provide to an easy and hassle-free way of transacting with the Government while on the move. (17)
4.2 Increasing Citizen's Mindshare in e-Engagement
Under the e-Government Action Plan II, infocomm technologies had enabled both local and overseas citizens to stay connected and engaged with Singapore.
Accessing public information, participating in public policy consultations and providing feedback to Government can now all be done online with ease. iGov2010 efforts will continue to complement existing non-electronic service delivery initiatives and allow citizens to be actively engaged in the policy-making process.
To achieve these, online information need to be clear and useful and presented in a vibrant and interesting manner.
The Singapore Government Online Portal www.gov.sg- the gateway to all Government information and e-services - will have an improved look-and-feel, better content search facilities and clearer presentation of information on Government policies and services. (17)The e-government will also provide separate consultation spaces for Businesses, Youths and Overseas Singaporeans in the Government's one-stop, interactive Online Consultation Portal for national issues and policy proposals (www.feedback.gov.sg). (17)
4.3 Enhancing Capacity and Synergy in Government
To continually meet the challenge of doing more with less, they need to improve the capacity of public agencies and public officers through greater sharing of processes, data, and systems across the Government.
The Singapore Government Enterprise Architecture (SGEA), a blueprint to identify potential business areas for inter-agency collaboration, will lead the way to reap greater efficiencies. It will also set data and application standards to facilitate sharing of information and systems across agencies. An instantiation of SGEA would be the consolidation of common Finance and Human Resource services to public agencies under VITAL.org - Centre for Shared Services to bring about greater economies of scale for the public sector.
Infocomm will also be exploited to transform the way public officers work, and to create solutions that address the common challenges they face. For example, we can leverage on mobile technologies to allow officers to work from anywhere and deploy collaborative desktop tools to support work across departments and agencies. By 2010, a service-wide Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) will also be implemented to derive significant cost savings while enhancing operating efficiency. This will make it easier to maintain and roll out new applications to all desktops, and establish a stronger corporate identity. (18)
4.4 Enhancing National Competitive Advantage
Leveraging iGov efforts can provide a strategic competitive advantage for Singapore. This can be achieved at the industry, national and international levels.
At the industry level, they will facilitate the growth of the private sector through partnerships in innovative Infocomm projects. Public agencies will collaborate with the Infocomm industry in the co-creation, development and export of iGov solutions.
At the national level, they will foster a pro-business environment that attracts investments to Singapore. This means relevant agencies working with industry players in the use of Infocomm to transform various economic sectors of Singapore. One good example is TradeXchange - an integrated trade and logistics platform, which facilitates the exchange of commercial and regulatory information throughout the entire trade and logistics value chain.
On the international arena, they will partner like-minded countries in the development of infocomm initiatives. For instance, Singapore can leverage its infocomm experience to accelerate the development of cross-border infocomm initiatives with neighbouring countries. (19)
5.0 E-Goverment Masterplan 2011-2015
The Singapore e-Government Masterplan 2011 – 2015 (or eGov2015) ushers in a new era, where the Government aims to shift from a “government-to-you” approach to a “government-with-you” approach in our delivery of government electronic services (or e-services). expanding integration from within the Government to beyond the Government, the eGov2015 Masterplan will realise the vision of a Collaborative Government.
The objective of this plan is to facilitate more co-creation and interaction between the Government, the people and the private sector to bring about greater value creation for Singapore and her people.
Evolving with changing technologies and social trends, the eGov2015 Masterplan will enable the Singapore Government to be better prepared to meet the challenges ahead and bring Singapore to the next e-government frontier.
(1) Retrieved from http://www.igov.gov.sg/Strategic_Plans/Our_Journey.htm
(2) Retrieved from http://www.igov.gov.sg/Strategic_Plans/CivilServiceComputerisationProgramme.htm
(3) Retrieved from http:http://www.caribank.org/titanweb/cdb/webcms.nsf/AllDoc/F3065DECD38BAB00042574D6004BD0F5/$File/LIM-Singapore.pdf (Page 10 - 11)
(4) Retrieved from http://www.ida.gov.sg/Infocomm%20Adoption/20060417120658.aspx
(5) Retrieved from http://www.infitt.org/ti2002/papers/60ARUN.PDF Page 250
(6) Retrieved from http://www.igov.gov.sg/Strategic_Plans/eGAP_II/eGAP_II.htm
(7) Retrieved from http://www.igov.gov.sg/Strategic_Plans/eGAP_II/eGAP_II_KeyOutcome_I.htm
(8) Retrieved from http://www.livelife.ecitizen.gov.sg/crs/category/about-us/
(9) Retrieved from http://ds.ecitizen.gov.sg/about_us.html
(10) Retrieved from http://ele.ecitizen.gov.sg/AboutUs/
(11) Retrieved from http://fcd.ecitizen.gov.sg/AboutUs/
(12) Retrieved from http://hsg.ecitizen.gov.sg/sp%5CNav_bar%5CAbout_Us.htm
(13) Retrieved from http://tt.ecitizen.gov.sg/index.htm
(14) Retrieved from http://app.reach.gov.sg/reach/AboutUs/WhoWeAre/tabid/60/Default.aspx
(15) Retrieved from www.egov.thaigov.net/knowledge/eGovernmentInter/SG.ppt
(16) Retrieved from http://www.igov.gov.sg/Strategic_Plans/iGov_2010/
(17) Retrieved from http://www.igov.gov.sg/Strategic_Plans/iGov_2010/Thrust_2.htm
(18) Retrieved from http://www.igov.gov.sg/Strategic_Plans/iGov_2010/Thrust_3.htm
(19) Retrieved from http://www.igov.gov.sg/Strategic_Plans/iGov_2010/Thrust_4.htm<!-- v\:
(20) Retrived from http://www.egov.gov.sg/about-egov-e-governance
(21) Retrived from http://www.egov.gov.sg/about-egov-e-governance