By Nurdianah Md Nur
May 23, 2016
CEO-designate of GovTech Jacqueline Poh, introducing GovTech, at IDA's annual industry briefing. Credit: IDA's Facebook page.
The Singapore government is expected to call for a projected S$2.82 billion of infocommunications technology (ICT) tenders across the 2016 fiscal year.
These ICT tenders will comprise mainly infrastructure and ICT security bulk contracts due to some multi-year contracts ending this year, as well as contracts relating to agency-specific systems, according to the soon-to-be-formed Government Technology Agency (GovTech) -- which was previously announced as the Government Technology Organisation.
One key focus for government procurement this year will be to enhance ICT infrastructure to better support the data and digital services needs of a Digital Government, said IDA. For example, increased data centre virtualisation will allow the government to modernise its hosting of ICT applications and ensure faster time to production for new digital services.
As cybersecurity becomes a key concern in today's digital age, the agency will continue to invest in cybersecurity, with a bulk tender for IT security services to be called in this fiscal year, said IDA. Such projects which are larger in scope, will be rolled out over a few years.
Besides that, the agency also plans to extend Wi-Fi to more areas within government schools to support smart learning.
GovTech to empower Singapore's Smart Nation vision
Spun off from the Infocomm Development Authority, GovTech is a new statutory board that will spearhead the government's drive to deliver user-centric citizen services, as part of Singapore's Smart Nation vision.
It will do so by continuing to partner the IT industry to co-develop such digital solutions. Last year, the Singapore government handed out S$2.69 billion worth of ICT contracts to the industry, of which more than half of those contracts were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises.
To encourage more local SMEs/ startups to participate in ICT tenders, the IDA launched the Accreditation@IDA programme in 2014, which provides an independent third party evaluation of the companies' claimed product core functionalities and ability to deliver. Besides that, accredited companies will also be considered first by Government agencies during their procurement process, said IDA.
So far, S$3.3 million in contracts have been awarded to 13 accredited companies, CEO-designate of GovTech Jacqueline Poh told Channel NewsAsia at its annual industry briefing today (23 May 2016). She added that there are 35 other projects in the pipeline, and while a large number of companies have applied for the accreditation programme, not all will be successful.