Singapore will dramatically expand its use of technology to build closer ties with citizens, part of a S$2 billion (US$1.3 billion) plan to take e-government to the next level, officials announced Tuesday.
The five-year plan, called iGov2010, will extend Singapore’s existing e-government programs, which have made most services and information accessible over the Internet. These programs have changed how the government and citizens interact. Over the past year, 86 percent of Singaporeans who dealt with the government did so electronically, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Ministry of Finance said.
The iGov2010 plan will expand Singapore’s progress in this area. Over the next five years, the government plans to integrate its back-end systems as part of an effort to make e-government services easier to use.
“We have to move beyond bundling information and services at the front end, to re-engineering processes at the back end,” said Raymond Lim, the minister for the prime minister’s office and second minister for finance and foreign affairs, in a transcript of his remarks.
This will break down the barriers that exist between different government agencies, allowing users to find all of the information they require and complete all necessary transactions for a service without having to visit different websites, IDA said.
As part of the iGov2010 plan, the Singaporean government plans to improve online access for citizens who don’t have Internet access or require assistance using e-government services. Officials will expand the number of CitizenConnect centers, which offer free Internet access and assistance for users, from five to 25 over the next five years, Lim said.
-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service
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