The Singaporean government plans to increase the total projected value of its ITC contacts for fiscal year 2020 to USD 2.52 Billion, representing a 30% increase from 2019. This is being done in order to help companies through the COVID-19 crisis and also to accelerate the country’s digital transformation efforts, with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) being eligible to participate in 80% of these potential procurement opportunities. In FY2019, SMEs were awarded nearly 70% of the total ICT contracts.
The projected Government ICT expenditure will be in five key focus areas:
- Development of new tech tools to respond to COVID-19;
- Development of citizen- and business-centric digital services;
- Development of ICT systems on cloud;
- Modernization of government ICT infrastructure; and
- Use of data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and sensors within the public sector.
The projected FY2020 procurement spending will include ICT projects that have been brought forward by agencies because of the COVID-19 outbreak. These projects include the development of tech solutions to respond to COVID-19, and Sport Singapore’s ActiveSG Circle – launched in April 2020 – which aims to elevate the sporting industry in Singapore via technology.
Singapore has been at the forefront of using technology to combat COVID-19. Examples include the TraceTogether digital application for contact tracing, SafeEntry as the National Digital Check-in System, AI-based temperature scanning solutions – such as VigilantGantry and SPOTON – for government buildings and community facilities, MaskGoWhere and SupportGoWhere websites to help citizens find their designated location points for mask collection and COVID-related government support schemes respectively, and the AI-powered SPOT robot to support safe distancing operations at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park and delivery of essential medical supplies at the Changi Exhibition Centre community isolation facility.
To further accelerate innovation and collaboration, a new outcome-based procurement process will be set up, allowing tenderers to propose solutions to achieve desired outcomes, rather than just meeting the Government’s specifications. With the new procurement process, proposals that are shortlisted and contracts awarded can potentially move much faster through all stages of the project, from proof-of-concept to pilot and then deployment, without waiting for additional tender exercises. The government will incorporate more bulk tenders and dynamic contracting to shorten the ICT procurement process. For FY2020, the Government will put up bulk tenders for services such as User Experience Design, Agile Development, Application Development, Data Science and AI, among others. With a projected value of SGD 1.2 billion (USD 873 million), these Bulk Tenders will broaden the opportunities for SMEs to participate in and win ICT contracts with government agencies.
(Sources: Government Technology Agency of Singapore; The Straits Times; ZDNet; Channel News Asia)