E-citizen services to be more anticipatory as part of smart nation push

The Infocomm Development Authority is planning to roll out more "anticipatory" e-citizen services, such as sending reminders to smart phones.
The Infocomm Development Authority is planning to roll out more "anticipatory" e-citizen services, such as sending reminders to smart phones. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - You may soon get a reminder on your mobile phone when it's time to renew your season parking or information on where to go for pre-marital counselling when you file a notice at the Registry of Marriages.

The reminders and the relevant information or application forms will be delivered to the mobile device to bring newfound convenience to citizens, if the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and its smart nation engineering team have their way.

Plans are underway to bring e-citizen services to the next level to be more "anticipatory", said Ms Jacqueline Poh, IDA managing director.

"Citizens want services to be pushed to them when they needed it. We are looking at ways for individuals to be taken care of holistically in their life journeys... and make their experience across the whole of government more seamless," said Ms Poh.

She was speaking at the Ministry of Communications and Information's annual workplan seminar on Thursday (April 28).

Such anticipatory e-citizen services involve heavy crunching and analysis of citizens' personal data collected from across multiple government agencies. Agencies can then be more proactive and push relevant information including application forms to citizens just when they need it.

For instance, a notice filed at the Registry of Marriages can trigger the sending of pre-marital counselling, housing and mortgage loan application information to the registered individuals.

IDA is already partnering 98 government agencies to create citizen-centric e-services, many of which were launched.

They include the OneService mobile app that lets residents report municipal issues like blocked drains without having to figure out which government agency to contact. Also included are the myResponder app, which calls qualified volunteers to suspected heart attack cases until emergency services arrive, and the Beeline app, which lets office workers book rides from private bus operators.

Later this year, IDA will merge with the Media Development Authority to form the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA).

A new Government Technology Agency, or GovTech, will be formed to continue IDA's existing smart nation engineering efforts. IDA's regulatory role will go to the new IMDA.

Mr Gabriel Lim, head of MDA and chief executive-designate of IMDA, said the merger will help create new business opportunities for businesses. He cited technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality.

Said Mr Lim: "Often times we use the technology in the context of games. But they can be applied in training for jobs that are more dangerous like fire fighting."