Formation of The Smart Nation and Digital Government Group in the Prime Minister’s Office

Prime Minister's Office | 20 March 2017

Since the Smart Nation initiative was launched in late 2014, progress has been made in applying digital and smart solutions to provide better services for our citizens and businesses. Companies have also responded with innovative products.

To enable the Government to be more integrated and responsive in our strategy and processes for Smart Nation and Digital Government (SNDG), the following organisational changes will take effect from 1 May 2017:

  1. The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) will be formed under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) comprising staff from the Digital Government Directorate of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Government Technology Policy department in the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), and the Smart Nation Programme Office (SNPO) in the PMO.
  2. The Government Technology Agency (GovTech), a statutory board under MCI, will be placed under the PMO as the implementing agency of SNDGO.

Collectively, the SNDGO and GovTech will form the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) in the Prime Minister’s Office. Figure 1 [below] illustrates these organisational changes.

Organisational chart for SNDGG in the Prime Minister’s Office...
Figure 1: Organisational chart for Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) in the Prime Minister’s Office

The SNDGG shall be responsible for the following:

  1. Apply digital and smart technologies to improve citizens’ lives in key domains, in partnership with other government agencies, industry, and the public. One such key domain is urban mobility. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been using data analytics to better manage our bus fleets, reduce crowdedness and improve timeliness. It has also been experimenting with self-driving vehicle technologies. The SNDGG will work with LTA to further exploit existing and emerging technologies to improve public transport, enhance urban logistics and reduce congestion so as to enhance the commuter experience;
  2. Develop the digital enablers and platforms for Smart Nation, to grow economic value and catalyse innovation by companies and citizens. The SNDGG will build on the ongoing work by GovTech to enhance data sharing through, and partner the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to promote e-payments.

The SNDGG will also drive the development of a national digital identity framework to facilitate digital transactions, and a national sensor communication backbone (the Smart Nation Platform) to support agencies’ use of Internet of Things (IoT) applications to fulfil their missions.

  1. Drive digital transformation for the public service, to strengthen Government ICT infrastructure and improve public service delivery. The SNDGG will build up digital capabilities within Government, including in areas such as data science and IoT, to continue delivering excellent public services to our citizens.

The SNDGG will be overseen by a Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean. Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information will be Deputy Chairman and Minister-in-charge of Cybersecurity and the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). The other members of the Ministerial Committee are Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative; Minister Ong Ye Kung, who has been appointed to champion Public Service innovation; and Minister of State Dr Janil Puthucheary, who will be the Minister-in-charge of GovTech and who will also coordinate GovTech’s strategy with IMDA’s industry development efforts.

Mr Ng Chee Khern, currently Permanent Secretary (PS) (Defence Development) of the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), will concurrently lead the SNDG Group as the PS (Smart Nation and Digital Government). Mr Ng will also retain his appointment as the Chairman of the GovTech Board.

20 MARCH 2017