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Singapore, UK to deepen collaboration in digital government services

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Kevin Cunnington, Director General of UK GDS and Kok Ping Soon, chief executive of GovTech, sign a MoU to deepen collaboration and exchange in the development of Digital Government Services. Witnessing the signing are Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

SINGAPORE'S Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen their collaboration in the design and delivery of digital government services, both agencies announced in a press statement on Friday. 

GovTech is the lead agency driving Singapore's Smart Nation initiative and the public sector's digital transformation. 

Under the MOU, GovTech and GDS will share knowledge and best practices in building the digital skills of government officials, and adopting open standards for government information, data and software, among other things. 

Kok Ping Soon, chief executive of GovTech Singapore said: "GovTech is delighted to sign our first MOU with GDS UK, a leader in the use of digital, technology and data to transform government. The MOU will facilitate greater sharing of experiences and expertise in the development of digital platforms and services to better serve our citizens and businesses.

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"It will also allow mutual exchange of officers to build capabilities and explore opportunities for collaboration to strengthen the digital partnership between the two organisations."

The MOU signing, which took place on Thursday, was held at the official residence of the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer in London. Representing the agencies at the signing were Mr Kok and director general of GDS UK Kevin Cunnington. 

Said Mr Cunnington: "GDS is delighted to have signed this MOU with our colleagues in Singapore. By sharing knowledge and working together, we can ensure that government works better for everyone by leading the digital transformation of public services, both here in the UK and in Singapore."

The MOU also comes at a time when both countries are engaged in the SG-UK "Partnership for the Future" campaign, launched in January this year by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan. 

This initiative solidifies existing links, while creating new opportunities for collaboration that will secure the future bilateral partnership between both nations, the agencies said.