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Welcome Address by Head Of Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for Finance, Mr Peter Ong at the E-Gov Global Exchange 2011

20 Jun 2011

"e-Gov Global Exchange : Collaborative Government in a Connected World"

Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Teo Chee Hean,

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the eGov Global Exchange 2011, and to this morning's eGov Forum which kicks off the week's events. Each year, the Ministry of Finance and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore jointly organise an eGov Forum, to facilitate the sharing of strategies and best practices in e-Government among ICT Ministers, senior public officers, academics and eGovernment practitioners in Singapore as well as from all over the world.

2. In line with the launch of Singapore's new e-Government masterplan later this morning, the theme for this year's forum is "Collaborative Government in a Connected World." Indeed, in today's increasingly inter-connected world, greater Collaboration is key. Let me now touch briefly on two different aspects of collaboration.

3. First, we need to strengthen collaboration within the Singapore public sector. The issues facing the public service today increasingly cut across the traditional boundaries of different agencies, and resolving these issues will require public officers to work together more closely than ever before – both within their agencies, and with officers from other agencies. Technology can help to play a key enabling role here. For example, Web 2.0 technologies such as Instant Messaging, Social Networking tools, Blogs, Forums, and Wikis will allow officers to reach out to their counterparts real-time or exchange information in a more natural way.

4. Next, public officers also need to collaborate more with people outside of the public sector. And I will briefly touch on 3 critical groups of people that the public sector needs to collaborate more, namely Customers, Industry and International Experts.

5. Firstly, Customers. We need to collaborate more with our Customers. We need to understand their needs in detail, their preferences, and their expectations, so that eGovernment initiatives that we design and implement can meet their needs and give them the tools they need to transact effectively with the Government. Secondly, Industry. We need to collaborate with our industry partners in the private sector, so that we can learn from their best practices. We need to keep abreast of industry trends to ensure our e-service delivery continues to remain relevant and cutting edge. Thirdly, International Experts. We need to collaborate with our international counterparts and e-Government practitioners around the world, to learn from the initiatives that they have considered or implemented. This will help us learn good lessons on what has worked well, and to adapt them to Singapore's context where appropriate.

6. Events such as today's eGov Forum offer great opportunities for collaboration. We are privileged to have an exciting slate of speakers ranging from research groups, academia to e-Government practitioners from around the world, who will share with us their views on upcoming global trends, as well as their countries' experiences and plans in e-Government. I am confident that the exchange of experiences and in-depth discussions will benefit all of us who are gathered here for today's Forum. Let me also take this opportunity to thank our distinguished speakers, guests and delegates for taking time to join us here, to share your experience and insights and enrich our learning.

7. For this year's Forum, we have also set up a dedicated e-Government exhibition area, which showcases some of the e-Government projects and prototypes that are being developed as part of the new masterplan. I hope you will take some time to visit the exhibition, try out the prototypes and provide your views and feedback to us through the officers at the booths.

8. Today, we are very honoured to have our Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, who is also the Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service, Mr Teo Chee Hean, with us this morning to launch Singapore's new eGov Masterplan. It is now my pleasure to invite DPM Teo to give the keynote address. DPM, please.