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Survey Sees Singapore's E-Government Effort Taking Off

27 Nov 2002

Among the 57% of Singaporeans (aged 15 and above) who had transacted with Government in the past year, 2 out of every 3 persons had used e-services. In addition, 1 out of every 3 persons in this group declared the Internet to be their most preferred mode of interaction with Government, while the majority of the rest preferred services over the counter (25%) and by telephone (25%).

Singaporeans who have used Government e-services are generally satisfied with the quality of our e-services. 63% of them gave a rating of 4 and above on a 5-point satisfaction scale, while another 34% gave a neutral rating of 3. In addition, they compare our e-services well with those of the private sector. Nine out of 10 persons felt that our e-services were comparable to, if not better than, private sector e-services.

The top 3 Government websites visited by Singaporeans were IRAS (34%), MOE (27%) and CPF (23%), while the top 3 utilised e-services were the filing of income tax return, request for CPF statements and checking of library accounts.

The survey was carried out over the month of March 2002 by the Gallup Organization. It involved some 801 Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents above the age of 15. This is the first e-Government survey commissioned by the Managing for Excellence Office since the launch of Singapore's e-Government Action Plan in June 2000.

The survey found that e-services usage is lower among older Singaporeans (above 40 years), those from the lower income groups (HDB 1-3 roomers), and those with lower educational qualifications ("O" Levels and below). The main reason why these groups of Singaporeans are not transacting with Government online is that they have never accessed the Internet on their own. This is the case for 68% of them.

To ensure that this segment of the population is not deprived of the benefits of e-Government, we are setting up a network of eCitizen Help Centres around the island. Each Centre offers free Internet access to Government e-services through a kiosk. Staff is present to guide the non IT-literate. Today, we have 24 eCitizen Help Centres at the Community Development Councils and selected Community Clubs/Centres.

Through this network, we hope to encourage more Singaporeans to transact online with Government. Indeed, 6 out of the every 10 persons who have never accessed the Internet on their own said that they would use Government e-services if Government were to provide free Internet access at convenient locations near their homes with staff present to provide assistance.

Details of the survey findings are attached at Annex A.