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Ministries' Addenda to the President's Address - Smart Nation and Digital Government Group
PUBLISHED ON 09 May 2018
Moving towards a Smart Nation

As Singapore pushes ahead with digital technology, it is important to ensure that Singaporeans are not left behind, said Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.
 
“Across the world, digital technologies are transforming our way of life and how we live, work, and play. To prosper and stay relevant in the world, and to build a better future for ourselves, Singapore has to embrace these changes, experiment and innovate, invest in the right capabilities and skills, and build a Smart Nation,” said Dr Vivian in the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group’s (SNDGG) addendum to the President’s Address.
 
This includes harnessing the evolving digital technology to expand opportunities for jobs of the future, enhance the quality of life, and improve the delivery of government services. As the Smart Nation Initiative is a partnership between the Government, citizens, and businesses, Dr Vivian said the Government will lead by example and accelerate the digitalisation efforts to decisively transform the Public Service.
 
Engaging Singaporeans
 
This will begin in June 2018, when the pilot app - Moments-of-Life for Families - will be rolled out to provide a one-stop service for new parents and ensuring support for every child. Dr Vivian added that a similar approach will be taken to provide seamless experiences to citizens at other significant milestones of their lives, and for businesses interacting with the Government. “We will engage citizens regularly to better understand their needs, and design more effective solutions for them,” he said.
 
The Government will also set digital service standards and review all Government websites and digital services to ensure they are user-friendly and accessible. To deepen Singapore’s technical capabilities, a Centre of Excellence for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Smart Systems will be established. This will ensure Singapore can keep up with rapidly changing technologies and have a greater capacity to innovate.
 
Giving an update on the Smart Nation Strategic National Projects, Dr Vivian said Singapore is making good progress on the National Digital Identity and e-Payments projects. “They will complement the Government’s digital economy efforts to accelerate digitalisation of sectors, build a strong local Infocomm and Media sector, and create future digital technology sectors,” he said.
 
Continue to serve with heart

With these changes, Dr Vivian pointed out that this does not mean that the Government intends to replace the human touch with digitalisation and automation. “We will continue to serve with heart, using digital technology to do more for citizens and with citizens,” he stressed.
 
Dr Vivian also reiterated that a vibrant and innovative digital economy is critical to sustaining Singapore’s economic competitiveness, and providing good jobs and opportunities for citizens and businesses.
 
“We must ensure that all Singaporeans are equipped with relevant digital skills to take advantage of new jobs and opportunities. The Government will continue to invest in skills training and upgrading through the TechSkills Accelerator and SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace programme,” he said.
 
Touching on cybersecurity and data protection, Dr Vivian shared that the Government will regularly review the security and resilience of its systems to safeguard the Government and citizens’ data, and to guard them from malicious cyber activities.
 
Dr Vivian added that a Digital Government Blueprint will be made known in the middle of this year, outlining the Government’s goals and strategies in greater detail.

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