New MyInfo service cuts hassle of filling in forms for online government services

A screengrab from the MyInfo website.
A screengrab from the MyInfo website. PHOTO: MYINFO.GOV.SG

SINGAPORE - A new e-citizen service launched on Thursday (May 5) aims to make the filling in of online government forms less tedious when applying for a flat or when checking the total number of driver demerit points accumulated.

The new service, dubbed MyInfo, allows fields to be automatically filled with data - such as name, NRIC number, registered address and property owned - pulled from various government agencies such as the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

MyInfo's launch follows a three-month pilot from January involving 32,000 users. A similar - albeit limited - service is the United Kingdom's Tell Us Once, which lets citizens report a death to most government organisations in one go.

"Citizens often ask why they need to give different government agencies the same data about themselves repeatedly for separate transactions," said Mr Peter Ong, head of Civil Service, at the inaugural Digital Government Exchange 2016 attended by government officials around the world. The biennial event was formerly known as the eGovernment Global Exchange.

Agencies that allow online application forms to be automatically filled in by MyInfo include the Housing and Development Board and the Ministry of Social and Family Development, for new flat and Baby Bonus scheme applications, respectively.

More government bodies including the Singapore Police Force will come on board from June, such as for online applications to convert one's foreign driving licence to a local one or to check the total number of demerit points accumulated.

Citizens have to register at MyInfo (www.myinfo.gov.sg) using their SingPass accounts, and consent to data sharing among government agencies before they can enjoy the service. SingPass authenticates users for access to more than 200 e-citizen services.

Like SingPass, MyInfo is jointly created by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The target is to have all 200 e-citizen services linked to MyInfo by 2018, and to increase the number of personal data items shared through the platform.

IDA and MOF are also exploring extending the use of MyInfo to commercial transactions, such as those for banking. When this happens, banks could do away with the need for physical documents such as income tax statements or housing ownership for loan or credit card application.