Record $2.82 billion government tenders to be called this year for various IT-related projects

Students from Wellington Primary School burst into laughter as a robot dances to Gangnam Style in the Lab on Wheels, a retrofitted bus filled with computers and robotics.
Students from Wellington Primary School burst into laughter as a robot dances to Gangnam Style in the Lab on Wheels, a retrofitted bus filled with computers and robotics. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The need to secure myriads of systems that host citizen data and a sensor network for smart nation projects has bumped up this year's IT budget to a new record of $2.82 billion.

This financial year's big-ticket items include a bulk tender for IT security services, data centre services and the extension of Wi-Fi coverage to more areas within government schools to support smart learning.

The rollout of these projects will span three to five years.

This year's budget topped the $2.69 billion worth of contracts awarded last year, with more than half of that to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Last year's spending also included smart nation infrastructure such as Aggregation Gateway (AG) boxes to supply power to surveillance cameras and traffic sensors that were being deployed islandwide, and an initiative by the Education Ministry to provide schoolwide Wi-Fi access in schools.

The Government's financial year started in April.

Ms Jacqueline Poh, managing director of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), said at a briefing with the infocomm industry on Monday (May 23): "Investment in infrastructure is necessary so that innovative citizen-centric services can be built and enhanced on a strong foundation."

Included in this year's tenders will be those by the Health Ministry for a revamp of its disease outbreak management system and a new data centre. The former for improved monitoring and faster response to disease outbreaks will be worth more than $5 million. Tender for the new data centre is estimated to be worth more than $50 million.