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Singapore ramps up digital push

The roles that would benefit most from such training will be identified

The development is part of Singapore's drive to create a national digital identity
The development is part of Singapore's drive to create a national digital identity

By 2023, Singaporean citizens and businesses will be able to access all government services 24-7, and anywhere on an internet-enabled device under a five-year Digital Government Blueprint (DGB) announced this week.


The DGB was drawn up by the Smart Nation Digital Government Office (SNDGO) to make public services and information more digitally accessible and to create a national digital identity.


To help deliver on this goal, some 20,000 public service officers will undergo digital literacy training, double the republic’s previous target of 10,000. Currently, more than 4,000 public officers have undergone training in data analytics and data science.


Citizens will also be able to complete 90 to 95 per cent of their transactions entirely on government websites.


For instance, the SingPass mobile app to be implemented later this year will enable users to access government services without the need for physical tokens or SMS passwords.


The app will allow Singaporeans to pay bills, sign documents online, apply for public housing, and even buy or sell a house or car.


The new transactions will add to existing ones that can already be completed entirely online, such as the filing of income tax and accessing of library resources.


“It is a statement of our ambition to better leverage data and harness new technologies, and to drive broader efforts to build a digital economy and digital society, in support of Smart Nation,” said Teo Chee Hean, deputy prime minister, who is also coordinating minister for national security and minister-in-charge of the civil service.


In addition to allowing citizens to access government sites more securely through a unified application and payments platform, the Government said it is also looking to extend the use of MyInfo – a digital vault of personal data – to more businesses.


MyInfo enables users’ personal details to automatically populate online forms and saves the effort of having to repeatedly submit supporting documents.


“Our national level-projects, such as the national digital identity and the e-payments infrastructure, not only enable more secure and convenient digital services in Singapore, but also allow businesses to develop innovative new services and business models that can apply across borders and economies,” added Teo.


The Government has set targets of a 75- to 80 per cent satisfaction rate among citizens who use its digital services by 2023. This will be measured via surveys, said the SNDGO.


Currently, around 70 per cent of citizens and 60 per cent of businesses are reportedly satisfied with the Government’s digital services.


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