The government of Singapore has established a new agency to transform public delivery services in the country and provide digital services and products focused on the individual needs of the citizen.
The new agency, known as GovTech, moves beyond the information technology (IT) enterprise according to CEO Jacqueline Poh, who says it aims to discover ways to use different forms of technology to improve governmental services for the public. GovTech aims to spearhead the digital and data strategies of the country by partnering with public agencies, the corporate industry and local citizens to transform delivery of public services through data science and analytics, artificial intelligence and mechanization. GovTech is not just about technology, rolling out various platforms including a sophisticated trade information and management system and upskilling the capabilities of the public sector.
The new agency was launched last week by Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, who elaborated on its direction. On Oct. 7, the minister announced that GovTech, which manages the national digital identity SingPass, will partner with the Ministry of Finance and the Monetary Authority of Singapore over the next year and explore ways to extend the use of Singapore's consent-based, personal data platform MyInfo to the financial sector. According to the minister, this proof-of-concept aims to simplify bank transactions and make it easier for customers to perform bank transactions by eliminating the personal documentation requirement for verification purposes.
The government has also launched another digital platform known as Parents' Gateway, an initiative to address the needs of parents and children regarding school matters such as tuition or fee payments and the signing of consent forms. The Singapore Ministry of Education and GovTech will be conducting tests of the Parents' Gateway concept in five schools beginning next month.
GovTech's move to streamline government-to-business transactions will also benefit the country's local business owners. Launched last month, CorpPass is a single corporate digital identity for non-profit organizations and other entities. It allows businesses to complete transactions with government agencies via an online system without the need for multiple login IDs. GovTech will also collaborate with Singapore Customs to build what is known as the National Trade Platform, a one-stop, next-generation trade information management platform to support companies in the trade and logistics industry as well as adjacent sectors such as trade finance.Having revamped the government's open data portal at data.gov.sg to include a portal for developers where application programming interfaces (APIs) can be utilized to create useful applications, GovTech will create platforms which enable the co-creation of personalized digital services between citizens and the corporate industry. Citizens are actively encouraged to help refine the user experience, design digital services and participate in focus groups in the Digital Experience Lab at GovTech. This will enable GovTech and its partners in the public sector to design and deliver meaningful products and solutions tailored to citizens' needs.
Digital transformation within the public sector is at the heart of GovTech and its success will not only benefit the people of Singapore but likely also become the inspiration for developments in other nations, as well.