Commitment to better, secure digital services

We agree with Mr Kwan Jin Yao that it is important to take into account the usage and feedback on government e-services and applications ("Consider take-up rates, privacy issues in e-govt push"; Tuesday).

Many agencies monitor satisfaction with their e-services through feedback mechanisms such as user surveys.

In the 2015 Annual e-Government Perception Survey, 97 per cent of users were satisfied with the overall quality of government e-services.

The Ministry of Finance and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore are also implementing Web analytics tools across the Government to measure website usage, effectiveness and performance in real time, similar to what some private-sector companies already use.

In order to be more responsive to feedback, agencies are increasingly adopting agile software development methodology and prototyping in order to design e-services that are easy for the public to use.

We will continue to do more in this area.

We also agree with Mr Kwan that increased data sharing among government agencies will be necessary to achieve the best policy and service delivery outcomes for citizens.

Citizens expect the public sector to work as one integrated entity in order to deliver seamless services.

At the same time, we have put in place protocols to ensure that personal data is used and shared among agencies in a responsible manner.

For example, we already use aggregated or anonymised data for policy analysis, and favour consent-based approaches when sharing personal data among agencies for service delivery purposes.

The recently launched MyInfo service (www.myinfo.gov.sg) is an example of how we are adopting a consent-based approach to enable sharing of personal data with e-services.

However, in some cases where obtaining consent is not practicable for purposes such as implementing nationwide public schemes, legislation, such as the MediShield Life Scheme Act, has been enacted to ensure that the scheme administrator can obtain existing personal data in government databases with robust safeguards and protection.

Lim Yuin Chien
Director, Corporate Communications Ministry of Finance

Lena Goh (Ms)
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2016, with the headline 'Commitment to better, secure digital services'. Print Edition | Subscribe