Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Singapore set to boost spending on ICT to $2.5 billion

Singapore set to boost spending on ICT to $2.5 billion

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The government will continue to invest in technology to accelerate Singapore’s digitalisation push on a whole-of-nation level. PIXABAY

Singapore set to boost spending on ICT to $2.5 billion

Singapore is set to inject substantial government spending on information and communications technology (ICT) this financial year as technology becomes increasingly important in people’s lives amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a media release on Monday, the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) said an estimated S$3.5 billion (US$2.5 billion) will be spent this financial year, up from S$2.7 billion in the previous financial year.

GovTech is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information formed in October 2016 after the restructuring of the Info-communications Development Authority.

Some of the projected spending for this year will be on ICT projects brought forward because of the pandemic, such as in the development of tech solutions to respond to Covid-19.

Investment in digitalisation has been instrumental in the government’s technological response to the coronavirus which causes the disease, said the release.

For example, GovTech engineers managed to put together the TraceTogether application and national digital check-in system SafeEntry to aid contact tracing.

They also set up the Mask Go Where website to guide citizens on where to collect their free masks, as well as the Support Go Where website on how to get funds or other benefits.

The government will also continue to invest in technology to accelerate Singapore’s digitalisation push on a whole-of-nation level, added the release.

This includes the development of digital services for citizens and businesses, the continual migration of eligible ICT systems onto commercial cloud, as well as developing more applications within the government and across the industry for sensors and artificial intelligence (AI).

More details about these projects are expected to be released soon.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be eligible to participate in 80 per cent of the potential ICT procurement opportunities. In the previous financial year, nearly 70 per cent of the total ICT contracts were awarded to SMEs.

To improve SMEs’ access to these opportunities, GovTech has worked with the Ministry of Finance to streamline and introduce new procurement methods, said the release. These include incorporating more bulk tenders and dynamic contracting to shorten the procurement process.

Usually, the government’s ICT and digitalisation road map is announced at the annual Smart Nation and Digital Government industry briefing.

In the light of restrictions due to Covid-19, GovTech will be rolling out the information online, including more details of the focus of the government’s digitalisation programme and areas of projected spending. This is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

To help with the overall digital push, GovTech is also actively recruiting fresh graduates as well as experienced tech professionals.

There are more than 400 vacancies for, among others, software engineers, digital business analysts, cybersecurity specialists, data scientists, AI engineers and infrastructure specialists.

GovTech CEO Kok Ping Soon said: “As we take on the new normal of Covid-19, we are re-engineering our back-end digital infrastructure, which underpins the delivery of front-end government digital services to citizens, businesses and public officers.”

Noting that the pandemic has illustrated the importance of digitalisation, he added: “We hope that businesses, especially SMEs, will benefit from the larger pool and higher value of ICT procurement opportunities, work with us to build a smart nation and digital government, and emerge stronger from this crisis together.”



  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway