A new Digital Government Blueprint announced this month aims to digitalise 90 per cent to 95 per cent of government transactions by 2023. Organised under the catchy slogan of a government that is "Digital to the Core, and Serves with Heart", the blueprint sets out a list of key performance indicators to turn Singapore into a Smart Nation. It includes the option of cashless or e-payments for all government transactions by 2023, and for 100 per cent of services - such as applying for a new flat - to be prefilled with government-verified data. Developing skills will be key to achieving these goals: All civil servants will get basic digital training; and 20,000 will learn advanced skills such as data visualisation and predictive analytics, and add impetus to the Smart Nation goal.
The new blueprint is just the latest step in the ongoing journey to digitalise government services. It began with the Civil Service Computerisation Programme from 1980 to 1999, which reduced paperwork and automated work functions to increase efficiency. A series of government masterplans followed: two e-Government action plans from 2000 to 2005, and iGov 2010 from 2006 to 2010 and, most recently, eGov2015 for the period 2011 to 2015. The focus shifted beyond efficiency to improving the service experience of customers. And then broader mandates were developed, such as to use digitalisation to boost business connectivity and develop a smart workforce.
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