2 June, 2015
Suppliers of "digital and data services, web services, infocomm infrastructure" and businesses that can help deliver a new 'Smart Nation platform' for Singapore are among those who will be invited to bid for contracts totalling approximately SGD 2.2bn (USD 1.63bn), the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore said.
"Resources are being invested into building infocomm infrastructure, developing citizen-centric services and enhancing overall cyber security within the government," the IDA said. "In line with the smart nation plans for better government service delivery, government agencies will be leveraging on agile development, cloud services and data analytics, as well as emerging technologies like internet of things sensors and robotics, to better anticipate and meet citizens' needs."
Singapore's government launched its plans to develop the world's first smart nation built on the latest technologies late last year.
At the time, Singapore's prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said the plans would involve using technology to improve healthcare and home energy consumption, but that the increasing connectivity would require Singapore to improve on cyber security. A new Smart Nation Programme Office is to be created within the Singapore government to better coordinate government initiatives and research and development projects.
Among the new initiatives announced by the IDA was the establishment of a new centre of excellence in software engineering and data analytics in Singapore and plans to revamp 'SingPass', the existing identity assurance scheme that helps citizens in Singapore access government digital services.
A new accreditation scheme has also been set up to help technology companies get "their innovative products and services adopted by government agencies and other consumers". To-date, eight Singapore businesses have gained third-party accreditation for their technology, it said.
Technology law expert Bryan Tan of Pinsent Masons MPillay said that the vast majority of government services are already online and that this latest push is to either revamp existing digital services and develop entirely new ones.
"One new program is a big data push which will result in government making available more data sets for private industry to develop new services," Tan said. He said that "privacy is a big issue to big data" for the government and suppliers to consider when developing these new digital services.
Jacqueline Poh, managing director of IDA, said the government is seeking "to gain better insights into the kinds of applications that people need and build new digital government capabilities to deliver great experiences to them" as part of the smart nation initiative.
The Singapore government said it wants to "co-source solutions" for its smart nation project with suppliers rather than entirely outsource the development of new applications.
Chan Cheow Hoe, assistant chief executive of government services at the IDA, said: "The government must anticipate the needs of citizens through data analytics, build up its own internal IT engineering and development capabilities whilst engaging the best partners in the industry."
For further information please contact:
Bryan Tan, Partner, Pinsent Masons MPillay