Singapore’s government is projecting an aggregate amount of S$2.82 billion of infocomm technology (ICT) tenders across FY2016, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) disclosed at its annual industry briefing.
The IDA, which will soon be reformed into the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), explained that the ICT tenders are aimed at simplifying business transactions with the government, as well as enhancing the quality of life of citizens and other residents of the city-state.
GovTech, which will commence operations after inception at the end of 2017, will lead technological transformation in the public sector and has been tasked with “building a more intuitive and anticipatory Government through digital service delivery” using various technologies, as well as cultivating ICT talent. The agency will also make use of trending methodologies and technologies, such as agile and data analytics, to create innovative services.
The tenders comprise infrastructure and ICT security bulk contracts due to some multi-year contracts ending in FY16. This is in addition to contracts relating to agency-specific systems; a key focus for procurement is enhancing ICT infrastructure to provide better support the data and digital services.
Commenting on this development, Jacqueline Poh, managing director of the IDA, said, “We want to empower Singapore with possibilities through technology. To do that, investment in infrastructure is necessary so that innovative citizen-centric services can be built and enhanced on a strong foundation. There will be opportunities abound for the government and industry to collaborate and build a Smart Nation together.”
This expenditure is aligned with the Smart Nation initiative that the Singapore government has adopted, as part of a move to adjust to the digitisation of various services and processes.
For instance, increased data centre virtualisation will enable the government to pursue modernisation of how it hosts ICT applications, as well as ensuring faster time to production for new digital services.
Meanwhile, wireless Internet access will be extended to more areas in government schools to support smart learning, alongside increased investment in cybersecurity activities, with a bulk tender for IT security services to be called in FY 2016.
According to the IDA, larger projects will be rolled out and implemented over the coming years as well. In FY2015, the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) accounted for more than 50 per cent of total contracted value of ICT tenders.
One scheme aimed at aiding local technology firms take up ICT projects is the Accreditation@IDA scheme, launched in 2014 to provide an independent third party evaluation of early-stage growth technology by promising Singapore-based companies.
To date, 13 companies, including Hope Technik (an unmanned aerial vehicle and automated guided vehicle solution provider), Sense Infosys (data analytics) and V-Key (mobile and web security) have been accredited. These accredited companies have also won more than 25 government contracts to date.
Chan Cheow Hoe, assistant chief executive (Government Chief Information Office), IDA, said, “The Government wants to co-create solutions with the industry. We have therefore introduced greater agility in our ICT procurement processes, such as the Public Sector ICT Supplier Panel and Outcome-based Procurement, to ensure that agencies can work with the industry to utilise new technological solutions more easily.”