MyInfo means no more filling in form for each e-govt transaction

A new repository, called MyInfo, will consolidate the personal data of Singapore residents and provide it on request to auto-fill government e-service forms.

"Citizens often ask why they need to give different government agencies the same data about themselves repeatedly for separate transactions," Mr Peter Ong, the head of the Civil Service, said at the Digital Government Exchange 2016 yesterday, when MyInfo was launched.

The Government needs to remove the "inconvenience and friction" in making e-transactions, he said.

Through MyInfo, it is hoped that filling online government forms will be less tedious .

The joint initiative by the Infocomm Development Authority and the Ministry of Finance has aspirations to eventually include commercial transactions, too, such as those for banking.

So banks could, one day, stop requiring physical documents such as income tax statements for loan or credit card applications.

Online applicants can give consent for such data to be pulled electronically from MyInfo.

The Straits Times understands that talks are being held with financial institutions towards this goal.

MyInfo now pulls residents' data - such as name, NRIC number and registered address - from six public agencies. These include the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

The data in the consolidated repository can be used for a handful of e-services provided by eight agencies now. They include the application for or renewal of work permits for domestic helpers, and new public housing and Baby Bonus scheme applications.

More services to be added next month include requests to convert a person's foreign driving licence to a local one, and to check the total number of demerit points one has accumulated.

The target is to have all 200 government e-citizen services linked to MyInfo by 2018.

Citizens have to register at MyInfo (www.myinfo.gov.sg) using their SingPass accounts, and consent to having their data shared before they can use the repository.

MyInfo's launch follows a three-month pilot from January involving 32,000 users.

Asked to comment on MyInfo, Mr Liam Maxwell, chief technology officer for the British government, said: "The biggest benefit is you only need to give the government your information once."

He was among top government officials from around the world at the biennial event which discussed e-government policies. The event was formerly known as the eGovernment Global Exchange.

On privacy concerns, Mr Maxwell said: "There is no forcing anybody. It is consent based."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2016, with the headline 'MyInfo means no more filling in form for each e-govt transaction'. Print Edition | Subscribe