Govt calling for $1.2 billion in new infocomm projects, including MOM contact centre

SINGAPORE - Some $1.2 billion worth of new infocomm tenders will be called by the Government in financial year 2014, including one for a new Manpower Ministry (MOM) contact centre that will have an automated system to analyse and categorise phone calls.

More than 90 per cent of the tenders are less than $5 million in value, said Mr Chan Cheow Hoe, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)'s assistant chief executive. Projects under $5 million could mean smaller companies are not excluded from tendering projects, he said at an industry briefing on Tuesday.

The tenders called by the Government will cover areas such as cyber-security, infrastructure and system development and maintenance, data analytics, cloud computing and mobile services.

The total value of the contracts is about the same as that for the previous financial year.

The IDA also said on Tuesday that a bulk tender was completed recently, which will allow public agencies to use the software services and tools from 15 firms this financial year, under a process called agile development. Such tenders could cut procurement time by half.

This process allows organisations to deliver services in phases and get feedback from users to improve them further, instead of waiting for the services to be fully ready before launching them.

Speaking of this agile process, IDA managing director Jacqueline Poh said new technologies emphasising speed and mobility are changing how people live, work and interact with one another. So, services for citizens "need to be rolled out in a more flexible and responsive manner, in keeping with rapid developments", she added.

The MOM contact centre has an estimated value of more than $100 million and is expected to be up and running by July next year. The ministry is looking for a vendor to set up, host and operate the new centre for five years, with an option to extend the services by another five years.