The Singapore government has unveiled plans to spend S$1.1 billion (US$800 million) on ICT in the 2010 financial year, with a new government portal and a revamped road monitoring system among the 350 government ICT projects in the pipeline.
The projected figure for FY2010 is a fraction down on the S$1.12 billion spent in 2009, although it does not include major development projects such as the Ministry of Education’s Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) for Schools, which has yet to be awarded.
Among the biggest spenders will be the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which projects FY2010 expenditure of S$102 million. Its biggest projects include a S$10 million-plus initiative to expand CCTV coverage in the Orchard Road shopping strip and the central business district, and a Biometrics screening initiative for immigration counters.
Of equal interest to vendors will be the Relocatable Clearance System for the Home Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, which will require facial recognition, wireless, fingerprint scanning and encryption technologies for ruggardised portable mobile clearance devices. Of a similar size (more than S$10 million) is a project to upgrade Singapore’s national identity cards with a system that will have the flexibility to switch production to chip-based ID cards.
RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore’s lead IT agency, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), said: “This year, the government will continue to invest in infocomm projects in the various sectors. The total estimated procurement for FY10 is S$1.1 billion. If we exclude the very large Next Generation National Broadband Network and SOE projects, we can see that government investment in infocomm has been increasing over the years.”
Looking beyond the 2010 financial year, James Kang (pictured), the IDA’s Assistant Chief Executive, said that social media, cloud computing, open data, business analytics, and sustainable technologies would form “rain clouds” of government activity from which the ICT industry would benefit in due course.
Meanwhile, a new version of Singapore’s E-Government Masterplan is under review. Details of the plan remain under wraps. However, Kang noted that the plan will be underpinned by the principle of “collaborative government” - to involve citizens and the private sector more closely in government and governance in the citystate.
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