7 June 2018

Singapore's Digital Government Blueprint outlines 2023 goals

Source: GovTech Singapore website. Infographic, Singapore's Digital  Government Blueprint.
Source: GovTech Singapore website.
Infographic, Singapore's Digital
Government Blueprint. 
Singapore Deputy PM (DPM) Teo Chee Hean, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security, has launched the Digital Government Blueprint (DGB) at the Smart Nation Innovations Week Opening Symposium.

The DGB is a statement of the government’s ambition to better leverage data and harness new technologies to deliver services for citizens, businesses and public officers, and to drive efforts to build a digital economy and digital society, in support of the Smart Nation vision. Under the blueprint, the government will aim for more seamless services. This means citizens and businesses can expect to access government services anytime, anywhere and on any Internet-enabled device.

DPM Teo said in his speech, "Today, Singapore is one of the most networked economies in the world. We have invested in fibre broadband connectivity so that high-speed broadband mobile internet connectivity is available and affordable to companies and individuals all across Singapore. This physical infrastructure and connectivity provides the foundation. But new important back-end, whole-of-nation enabling systems, are needed to enable us to fully exploit these new technologies to create gamechanging exciting new businesses and jobs, and to allow our citizens to enjoy access to public and private sector services in new ways that make a real difference to our daily lives."

DPM Teo elaborated, "This involves improving the user-experience interface where citizens interact with a greater range of government e-services; but also important back-end, whole-of-nation enabling systems, such as SingPass Mobile, which will be rolled out as part of our National Digital Identity system which is being implemented later this year. This is a two-factor authentication (2FA), PKI-based system which will enable our citizens to easily and securely transact with each other and access our government services without the need for physical tokens or SMS passwords. We can pay our bills or sign documents online, apply for public housing, buy or sell a house or a car."

DPM Teo also shared that the Monetary Authority of Singapore is working with industry partners to enhance the National e-Payments ecosystem. "Our focus is on building common links at the back-end, while supporting a range of e-payment platforms at the user-interface. This will enable consumers and businesses to enjoy more convenience, flexibility and efficiency at the point of sale, whether physical or virtual. Simplicity of use at the front-end and integration at the back-end will help to make the overall e-payment ecosystem flexible, open and contestable – allowing new technology, and new payment platforms to come into the market to serve consumers and businesses better," he said.

Some of the 2023 goals of the blueprint include:

- About 75-80% of citizens to rate their satisfaction with digital services from the government as "very satisfied". The same percentages of businesses to offer the same ratings.

- All services to offer e-payment options (inbound and outbound). The same percentage of services (100%) must support digital signatures, and pre-populate forms with verified government data.

- Close to all (up to 95%) of transactions to be completed digitally from end-to-end. Some services and individuals are excluded for legislative reasons, or because some segments of the population such as the elderly or persons with disabilities may not have access to digital tools, or are unable to use them.

- Twenty thousand public officers trained in data analytics and data science. All public officers to be trained in basic digital literacy.

- Thirty to 50 transformative digital projects in play. Ten high-impact data analytics projects per year cross-agency, and two projects per ministry family per year. Data to be integrated cross-agency within 10 days. At least 90% of core data fields to be in machine readable format, and transmittable by APIs.

- All ministry families to have at least one project that uses artificial intelligence (AI) for service delivery or policy-making

Singapore is strengthening up the entire ecosystem to take on the digital economy. DPM Teo said the Infocomm Media Development Authority is working with businesses, industry associations and unions to accelerate digitalisation and build digital capabilities across our industries.

"The services and digital economy is also a focus area in our S$19 billion Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Masterplan. We aim to spark digital innovation to support advanced manufacturing and engineering, health and biomedical sciences, and urban solutions and sustainability. For instance, we have strengths in artificial intelligence which are being applied in aircraft engine design and maintenance forecasting. Our medical researchers and data scientists are working together using the resources at our National Supercomputer Centre to develop precision medicine for our citizens in our future healthcare system," he said.

The National Digital Identity programme provides definitive proof of identity, not just physically face-to-face, but virtually over the Internet. This allows Singapore's e-payments infrastructure to enable virtual trusted exchanges of value. "This infrastructure enables the secure, trusted exchange of information and value that underpins digital commerce and digital transactions," he said.

Singapore has recently adopted the Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line e-invoicing standard, to facilitate the exchange of machine-readable e-invoices, DPM Teo added. "We are also working on a Blockchain-based trade financing project with Hong Kong to enable trade-related digital transactions across borders. This will provide traders, banks and clearing facilities a common view to enable trusted transactions, and execute contracts faster," he said.

As there are run-on effects to cyberattacks that can affect other countries, including Singapore, the country has been vigilant, DPM Teo said. Cybersecurity exercises are conducted every year to test the resilience of critical infrastructure and operational responses. "Last year, for the first time, we conducted a national exercise covering all the 11 critical information infrastructure (CII) sectors. We will continue to explore joint exercises with our international partners, for example with global financial hubs to share experiences and raise our systemic capabilities to deal with cyber incidents and emergencies that have effects across borders. While these exercises are conducted on an annual basis, there is still much that can be done," he said.

Leslie Ong, Country Manager, Southeast Asia, Tableau Software commented, “Innovation will be key for Singapore’s Smart Nation success but data alone will not be sufficient to realise this success. The Singapore government has rightly identified the ability to understand and query one’s data as being paramount to unlocking the value of innovation. As more public officers are able to gather insights from their data, we’ll see new and better ways that public services are delivered. For the government to realise this aim and accelerate Singapore’s progress, it is also important for contributions from the private sector in sharing its knowledge and expertise.

"For instance, Tableau has been working with GovTech since 2017 to equip public officers with visual analytics to understand data more clearly, and gain better insights quickly. Data analytics will be the cornerstone of the Smart Nation vision. It is essential we future-proof our public servants to help them unlock data’s enormous potential and push us towards our goal.”


Download the summary of the blueprint (PDF)

It is all about creating a government that is Digital to the Core, and Serves with Heart. A digital government will be able to build stakeholder-centric services that cater to citizens’ and businesses’ needs, securely. By the numbers, the summary of the blueprint lists:

Two principles

A digital government that uses data, connectivity and computing decisively to re-engineer business processes, re-architect technology infrastructure and transform services for citizens, businesses and public officers.

A digital government further automates processes where possible so that it can better serve citizens with a personal touch, in a way that enriches the experience.

Four outcomes for citizens and businesses



Secure and reliable


Two outcomes for public stakeholders

Digitally-enabled workplaces

Digitally confident workforce

Six strategies

Integrating services around citizen and business needs

Strengthening integration between policy, operations

Building common digital and data platforms

Operating reliable, resilient and secure systems

Raising digital capabilities to pursue innovation

Co-creating with citizens and businesses, and facilitating adoption of technology