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Singapore launches digital public services agency

Singapore has launched a new agency to improve its online government services.10 Oct 2016

The new Government Technology Agency, or GovTech, aims to provide "better and more citizen-centric services", it said in a statement.

GovTech will partner with "public agencies, industry and citizens to transform public service delivery through the use of technologies such as data science and analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning", it said.

The new department will work with the Ministry of Finance and the Monetary Authority of Singapore over the next year on the use of a personal data platform called MyInfo by the financial sector. MyInfo aims to simplify citizens’ interactions with banks by removing the need to provide personal documents for verification, GovTech said.

GovTech is working with various other government economic agencies on Pulse of the Economy, an initiative that uses data to develop new indicators for economic and urban planning, while a service called CorpPass was launched last month to let businesses and other entities transact with government agencies online without the need for multiple login IDs, the statement said.

"GovTech will also play an important role in the building of Smart Nation infrastructure, platforms and applications by deploying information communications technology and related engineering such as the internet of things," it said.

A newly-formed Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) which launched last week will work mainly with the private sector, while GovTech will drive change in the public sector. IMDA was formed by the merger of the Infocomm Development Authority and the Media Development Authority.

Jacqueline Poh, chief executive of GovTech, said: "Technology is playing a disruptive role in many sectors and government must tap on it in new ways to deliver better value to citizens. The formation of GovTech marks a new chapter in the way we use technology to improve the wide range of services and touchpoints that the public sector has with our citizens and businesses."