A Smart Nation For A Future-Ready Singapore

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26 February 2021

  • Our digitalisation efforts over the years enabled us to overcome many of the challenges posed by COVID-19
  • Smart Nation initiatives have improved people’s lives and facilitated business innovation
  • Digital Government efforts will continue to focus on enhancing digital infrastructure and strengthening in-house capabilities
  • We will partner Singaporeans to build an inclusive digital future

 

STRONG DIGITAL FOUNDATION INSTRUMENTAL IN FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

 

1.         Technology played a key role in our fight against COVID-19. The strong digital infrastructure and in-house engineering capabilities we have built over the years enabled us to develop and deploy technology rapidly to support the public health response.

  •  The National Appointment System (NAS) for COVID-19 Vaccination: The NAS for COVID-19 Vaccination enables the coordination of vaccine demand and supply to support phased rollout of the vaccine nation-wide. Members of public can register and book appointments online to secure both doses of the vaccine, after completing an eligibility questionnaire. It is also deployed at various community centres to assist seniors in booking appointments, as well as vaccination centres, polyclinics, and Public Health Preparedness Clinics to check in patients. As at 21 February, 250,000 people have received their first dose of the vaccine.

  •  HealthCerts: Together with MOH, we developed a globally inter-operable standard for pre-departure COVID-19 test result and vaccination certificates (“HealthCerts”) to facilitate the safe resumption of travel. The Notarise system endorses locally issued certificates and the Verify system enables checks on the authenticity of such certificates. We have open-sourced the HealthCerts standard and technology, and partnered private sector players to develop interoperable solutions.

  •  TraceTogether and SafeEntry: There are now 4.7 million users in the TraceTogether Programme (App or Token), which is nearly 90% of all residents. These digital contact tracing tools have helped reduce the time taken to identify and quarantine close contacts from an average of 4 days to fewer than 1.5 days.

  •  Gov.sg WhatsApp Channel: We worked with MCI to deliver over 900 million messages to 1.2 million subscribers to ensure citizens receive verified information on COVID-19 in their preferred language.

2.         Technology has helped to mitigate the social and economic impact of the crisis. This includes one-stop portals dedicated to meeting the specific needs of citizens and businesses.

  •  SupportGoWhere: A LifeSG initiative, users only need to answer a simple questionnaire to find out which assistance programmes they are eligible for, including the initiatives announced at Budget 2021. Since April 2020, this portal has seen 2.5 million visits.

  •  COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) and COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) application portals: The CSG and CRG portals were launched in May 2020 and January 2021 respectively, allowing members of the public to apply online for grants. 98,000 applications have been approved on the CSG portal.

  •  GoBusiness COVID Portal: The portal has helped businesses with manpower and workplace applications, with over 700,000 applications made through the portal.

 

SMART NATION INITIATIVES IMPROVE LIVES AND TRANSFORM BUSINESSES

 

3.         Smart Nation efforts have eased Singaporeans into the new reality of working and learning from home and getting daily tasks done online.

  •  Today, 95% of the Government’s transactions with citizens and businesses are completed digitally from end-to-end, in a paperless, cashless manner, without having to show up in-person. This is an increase of 8% from two years ago and is one of the highest rates in the world.

  • User satisfaction with Government digital services remain very high in 2020, at 85% for citizens and 76% for businesses[1], meeting the KPIs in the Digital Government Blueprint.

  • There are more than 2.7 million PayNow mobile users today – a 31% increase from last year, with PayNow transactions doubling to 144 million.

  • As at 31 January, more than 600 couples went through a video-link marriage solemnisation in the online presence of their witnesses and loved ones.

  • Primary One registration was conducted completely online for the first time in 2020, with parents logging in via SingPass and registering using FormSG.

4.         We continue to make our digital offerings more user-centric. LifeSG, SingPass and GoBusiness will be continually enhanced to provide citizens and business with more services, in a convenient and personalised manner.

  •  LifeSG is a one-stop app to Government services and provides a personalised dashboard that shows information and Government benefits. It also offers convenient shortcuts to 70 digital services, organised according to life moments and needs. Upcoming plans include an enhanced dashboard to provide users with an overview of their key personal information such as CPF, housing and education. LifeSG currently has more than 250,000 users.

  •  National Digital Identity (NDI), better known as SingPass, is a key digital infrastructure that helps residents transact with the Government and private sector in a convenient and secure manner. SingPass now provides access to over 1,400 digital services from more than 340 public and private sector organisations. The SingPass Mobile app has more than 2.4 million users today with 70% of SingPass transactions done through the app. We have also rolled out new Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) methods – Face Verification and Multi-User SMS 2FA – to ensure that SingPass remains easily accessible to the elderly and vulnerable groups, including those who do not own mobile phones. Businesses have also leveraged NDI services to innovate, raise the quality of their digital services and bring benefits to their customers.

  • The GoBusiness Licensing portal has helped more than 1,700 food services companies apply for business licences in a simpler, cheaper and faster manner. Last August, the GoBusiness GovAssist e-Adviser was launched to help businesses navigate the available government assistance schemes. In April 2021, an e-Service navigator will be launched to provide businesses with easy access to over 300 business-related e-services available in Singapore.  

 

STRENGTHENING CAPABILITIES TO ENHANCE PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY

 

5.         A Digital Government with strong in-house capabilities is key for Smart Nation.

  •  As part of our strategy to re-engineer Government ICT, we are making a push for greater use of the cloud, while ensuring security considerations are properly considered. To date, we have migrated 37% of eligible systems to the cloud, and aim to increase this to 70% by 2023. Cloud migration has enabled us to quickly introduce and scale services, including the support of our COVID-19 response, and will improve our agility in responding to emerging needs. The use of the cloud also reduces the carbon footprint of the Government’s ICT infrastructure and supports the public sector’s GreenGov.SG initiative.

  • In the second quarter of 2021, we will launch The Digital Academy, offering courses delivered using multiple formats to help public officers reskill, upskill, and deepen their digital skills, especially for those working in the Infocomm Technology & Smart Systems sector. The Digital Academy provides in-house modules that are contextualised for the Government’s systems and operating environment, and are delivered by reputable content partners and leaders. By end March 2022, the Academy aims to offer 95 specially-curated training programmes and train more than 6,000 officers. More details will be announced closer to its launch.

 

PARTNERING INDUSTRY AND COMMUNITY TO ACCELERATE DIGITALISATION

 

6.         We will forge stronger partnerships with the private sector to facilitate the co-development of Smart Nation products.

  •  SGFinDex was developed by SNDGG and MAS in collaboration with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and seven participating banks.[2] It is the world’s first digital infrastructure that uses a national digital identity and centrally managed consent system to enable individuals to access their financial information held across different government agencies and financial institutions. Users can access this information through the MyMoneySense portal or through the banks’ mobile apps. To date, SGFinDex has enabled more than 120,000 users to access their financial information held across different government agencies and participating banks seamlessly and securely, with over 160,000 linked bank accounts and 360,000 data retrievals. We plan to set up similar data sharing initiatives in other sectors, to enable both the Government and businesses to develop better services and make Singapore more competitive and innovative.
  •  The Singapore Government Developer Portal is a newly launched platform to share government-developed tech products, and grow developer communities. In 2020, we published the TraceTogether protocol (BlueTrace) and source code (OpenTrace) on the portal for the developer community to suggest improvements, and to develop inter-operable contact tracing solutions.

 

7.         We will continue to partner Singaporeans to build an inclusive Smart Nation.

  • Our pool of Smart Nation Ambassadors (SNAs) increased from 1,600 to 2,750 in 2020. More than 420 SNAs were involved in SNDGO’s Emerging Stronger Conversations held as part of the Singapore Together movement. Our SNAs also played an active role in improving digital inclusion, helping to engage more than 80,000 people to educate and help the public with using the TraceTogether digital tools. 2,000 Migrant Worker Digital Ambassadors were trained to teach other migrant workers to use various mobile apps needed for them to resume work safely.
  •  A new citizen panel will be formed, in the third quarter of 2021, to formalise the process of feedback-gathering from those who may have difficulties accessing government digital services, such as the disabled and seniors. The panel is part of the efforts to involve Singaporeans to build a better Singapore together and will include representatives from the community, such as those from social service agencies. Feedback will be gathered from participants on the use of technology and the way our digital services are designed, to ensure that they are inclusive, and that they benefit everyone.

 

CONCLUSION

 

8.         Smart Nation is about improving the lives of Singaporeans and creating better opportunities for all. With added impetus from COVID-19, we must accelerate our Smart Nation journey, and transformation into a Digital Government. To succeed, the Government cannot do it alone. We will continue to partner the industry and community, to enable the wider transformation of industries and Singapore for the benefit of our people.

 

 

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For media enquiries, please contact:

 

Cristiano Peswani (Mr)

Manager, Adoption and Engagement Directorate

Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Prime Minister’s Office

Tel: 9674 5524

Email: cristiano_peswani@pmo.gov.sg

 

Goh Yu Chong (Mr)

Senior Manager, Adoption and Engagement Directorate

Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Prime Minister’s Office

Tel: 9644 1674

Email: goh_yu_chong@pmo.gov.sg

 


 

[1] Percentage of respondents ranking “very/extremely satisfied”.

[2] The public agencies leading the initiative are the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), with the support of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). The 7 participating banks are DBS Bank Ltd, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd, United Overseas Bank Ltd, Citibank Singapore Ltd, HSBC Bank (Singapore) Ltd, Maybank Singapore Ltd and Standard Chartered Bank Singapore Ltd. More information on the banks’ participation in this initiative can be found here: https://abs.org.sg/SGFinDex

 

Factsheet: LifeSG (pdf - 660kb)

Factsheet: SingPass (pdf - 100kb) 

Factsheet: GoBusiness (pdf - 110kb)

Factsheet: The Digital Academy (70kb) 

Factsheet: HealthCerts (215kb)

Infographic: Responding to COVID-19 with tech (pdf - 8.9mb) 

Infographic: Transforming Singapore through technology (pdf - 3.1mb) 

Infographic: Building Partnerships and Capabilities for Smart Nation (pdf - 2mb) 

Last updated on 08 Apr 2021