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.”



  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese