Accenture wins tender for next-generation trade platform

Multinational consulting firm Accenture has won the tender to build the next-generation National Trade Platform, according to a notice on GeBiz yesterday.

Accenture beat Singtel unit NCS and a consortium led by CrimsonLogic to secure the $107.8 million tender. It had quoted the lowest price based on items required upfront by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in last week's Budget statement that the project was one of the measures to support industry-level transformation.

Singapore Customs and the IDA called the tender to revamp the existing TradeXchange and TradeNet systems in order to boost Singapore's competitiveness as a leading logistics and trade hub.

The new TradeXchange will support seamless data exchanges between businesses and their partners up and down the supply chain, according to the tender documents. With a clearer view of the supply chain, firms can plan more effectively and better collaborate on value-added services.

Right now, exporters, importers and logistics players have to subscribe to a number of systems that are not integrated, resulting in multiple data-entry steps, duplication of efforts and high error rates, said the tender documents.

Meanwhile, TradeNet is the platform for making Customs declarations. The revamped TradeNet will simplify business-to-government data exchanges so that permit processing and other regulatory functions can be completed more easily. For example, a government study has shown that 83 per cent of information for a Singapore export permit is already available earlier in the value chain.

Overall, the National Trade Platform is intended to catalyse innovation when firms gather new insights from the richer exchange of data.

CrimsonLogic, which has IE Singapore as its main shareholder, is the incumbent operator of TradeXchange and TradeNet. Its current contracts for TradeXchange and TradeNet expire in October next year.

This is not the first time that Accenture has beat the incumbent to a government procurement. In 2014, CrimsonLogic lost the tender for the next version of government e-services portal SingPass to Accenture.

The National Trade Platform was first raised by IDA as a " keystone project to Government" during an industry briefing last May, in which the statutory board announced that about $2.2 billion worth of public-sector infocomm tenders would be called last year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2016, with the headline Accenture wins tender for next-generation trade platform. Subscribe