|Teo Chee Hean, deputy prime minister, coordinating minister for national security and minister for home affairs|
Keen to stand at the forefront of the new technology frontier, the Singapore government has launched its five-year plan to capitalise on the social media and mobile technology trend.
Teo Chee Hean, deputy prime minister, coordinating minister for national security and minister for home affairs, announced last week (Monday, 20 June) that the government intends to tap on opportunities in the current ICT environment for its new e-Government masterplan, which runs until 2015.
Speaking at the eGov Global Exchange here, Teo noted that government agencies need to “ride the waves of change and continuously adapt to new trends”.
Dubbed eGov2015, the masterplan includes last week’s launch of a mobile government site. mGov@SG aggregates different types of government mobile services and is compatible on iPhone and Andriod phones. The portal houses more than 40 mobile websites and applications including mobile browser-based, native application-based and SMS-based services developed by government agencies in Singapore.
According to the minister, one of the outcomes the government hopes to achieve through the masterplan is catalysing the development of new e-government services and delivery channels through leveraging on emerging technologies.
“One emerging technology growing rapidly is mobile services. Smartphones make up 72 per cent of all mobile phones in Singapore, and this number continues to increase,” said Teo.
“The private sector is already capitalising on this trend, and many companies are actively pushing out services via mobile (applications) and websites,” he added. Teo pointed out that government agencies can now do the same with the new portal. He said the portal is intended to make it easier for citizens and businesses to find and use mobile applications and websites of government ministries and agencies.
But beyond the channel of delivery, the concept of delivery is also shifting and governments need to develop collaborative platforms that tap on the pool of innovative individuals to come up with good solutions, Teo said.
That is why the government also launched a new data-sharing website called data.gov.sg. The site brings together more than 5000 datasets from over 50 government agencies.
He added that there are examples of collaborative platforms within the public sector already, but the new portal is a step further in facilitating co-creation through data-sharing. Students, start-ups and public agencies can create their own applications and showcase them on the site, as well as look for other applications developed using government data.