subpage banner


Welcome Address By Mr Peter Ong, Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance At The EGov Global Exchange 2013

17 Jun 2013

“Engaging Citizens; Co-creating the Future”

Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam,

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. It is my pleasure to warmly welcome all of you to the eGov Global Exchange 2013. The eGov Forum is a biennial event jointly organized by the Ministry of Finance and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.  It aims to provide thought leadership and fresh insights into global trends and innovations in e-Government, and also facilitates the sharing of strategies and best practices amongst ICT Ministers, senior public officers, industry and e-Government practitioners. This morning’s eGov Forum kicks off a series of enriching and interesting activities that have been planned for the entire week.

2. The theme for this year’s forum “Engaging Citizens, Co-creating the Future” is a meaningful one.  When we launched our eGov 2015 Masterplan two years ago, I spoke about the importance of a “Collaborative Government” – both within the Public Service, as well as externally with the people and private sectors.  Today it is timely for us to take stock of what we have achieved, but more importantly to chart our path to the next level of governance: where we pro-actively connect, co-create and co-produce new and inventive ideas with our citizens and customers. Let me elaborate.

3. First, we can co-create our future by tapping on the collective wisdom and creativity of the people.  We need to recognize that the Government does not hold all the answers – whether it is in service delivery or in policy design. Sometimes the most effective and expedient way to solve a problem is to consult and crowd-source for ideas and solutions. 

4.  The private sector has started this journey earlier than us - tapping on the creativity of their customers to generate new campaign ideas, products etc. Such a move can catalyse a lot of creative ideas and also deepens engagement and brand loyalty.

5. Second, we can tap on the talent and skill-sets of the public to co-create and co-produce useful applications and services.  Our experience over the past two years shows that given access to the relevant government data, the people and private sectors have stepped forward and co-created many excellent apps that have improved the lives of Singaporeans.  These include transport and weather apps.  Some of these apps will be shown in our e-Government exhibition area outside. 

6. Third, we can enlist the help of the public for better ground-sensing so as assist us to improve our public service delivery. Governments around the world face a complex and ever evolving environment; we are unable to monitor everything that is happening on the ground all the time. This is where we need to work with the people. NYC’s 311 service for example allows citizens to report potholes and graffiti in the city; similarly, the UK has a website called “Fixmystreet” where citizens can report problems such as litter or broken lampposts to their council. Such an approach is not only more effective but ultimately, more sustainable and inclusive.

7. At this year’s eGov Global Exchange, we hope to be able to inspire new ideas on this front. We are privileged to have an exciting slate of speakers ranging from thought leaders, innovators, researchers and experienced e-Government practitioners from around the world who will share with us their insights. I am confident that today’s Forum will be a fruitful one. Let me take the opportunity to thank our distinguished speakers, guests and delegates for taking the time to join us here today.

8. Last, we are honoured to have our Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, who is also the Minister of Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, with us this morning to kick-start the forum with his keynote address. It is now my pleasure to invite DPM on stage. DPM, please.