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Govt to award up to S$2.6b in ICT contracts by March 2019

SINGAPORE — Government contracts worth up to S$2.6 billion will be up for grabs for information and communications technology (ICT) players from April this year to March next year, a shade more than the previous year's S$2.4 billion.

Government contracts worth up to S$2.6 billion will be up for grabs for information and communications technology (ICT) players from April this year to March next year, a shade more than the previous year’s S$2.4 billion.

Government contracts worth up to S$2.6 billion will be up for grabs for information and communications technology (ICT) players from April this year to March next year, a shade more than the previous year’s S$2.4 billion.

SINGAPORE — Government contracts worth up to S$2.6 billion will be up for grabs for information and communications technology (ICT) players from April this year to March next year, a shade more than the previous year's S$2.4 billion.

Two in three of the tenders offered will be open to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) said on Thursday (June 7) at its annual Smart Nation and Digital Government industry briefing attended by more than 1,100 industry players from the communications infrastructure, data analytics, robotics, cybersecurity and other domains.

SMEs snagged about 60 per cent of more than 500 contracts amounting to some S$800 million last year, GovTech said.

More than S$1 billion, or 44 per cent, of this financial year's budget will support the country's digital transformation efforts. Almost a quarter will build on the Government's existing applications and services, while the remaining one-third will go into maintenance and operation costs.

A major digital transformation project is the national digital identity (NDI) system, which will be one of the five strategic national projects crucial in driving pervasive adoption of technology in society and the economy.

For the NDI system, which is expected to be rolled out in the second half of the year, citizens and businesses will be issued digital credentials to transact with the Government more seamlessly and securely.

Another example is a transformation of the Singapore Tourism Board's Singapore Visitor Centre system to help officers make more tailored recommendations to tourists, GovTech noted.

To support the growth of current Government services, bulk tenders will be called for companies to provide software tools and consultancy services in the area of robotic process automation – an emerging technology that taps artificial intelligence to automate business processes.

The government also wants to develop an "ideas hub" for public officers to submit staff suggestions, view past ideas, create new projects and collaborate on existing projects as part of its digital workplace programme.

For maintenance, bulk tenders will continue to be called for the leasing of computers and purchase of printers. The government will also issue smaller tenders for a bulk tender for Agile and ICT technical specialist services to support the co-sourcing of projects with GovTech's capability centres, which covers six areas of emerging tech: Application development, data science, ICT infrastructure, geospatial technology, cybersecurity, and sensors and Internet of Things.

Mr Kok Ping Soon, GovTech's new chief executive, said: "We are excited by the many opportunities to collaborate with the industry, and are currently engaged on many project discussions with them.

"We look forward to working with the industry in using technology to improve the lives of citizens, serve businesses better, and provide effective and convenient public services."

Thursday's announcement came just after the Government laid out its own targets in the Digital Government Blueprint on Tuesday, which pointed to how citizens and businesses will be able to access all Government services anytime, anywhere on an Internet-enabled device by 2023.

Last Saturday, the government also unveiled a Digital Readiness Blueprint to help every Singaporean navigate a digital future of cashless payments and other innovations.

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