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Singapore government tops global list for use of ICT to improve services: Waseda-IAC survey

THE Singapore government has topped a global list for the third consecutive year in 2017 for its use of information and communication technology (ICT) to improve the quality of services provided, a study by the Waseda University Institute of e-Government revealed on Tuesday.

According to the 2017 Waseda-IAC International e-Government ranking survey - which evaluated 10 core indicators and 35 sub-indicators over almost a year - Singapore beat 64 other economies to clinch the pole position.

Denmark came in second, US third, Japan fourth, Estonia fifth, Canada sixth, New Zealand seventh, South Korea eighth, UK ninth, and Taiwan ranked 10th.

"Singapore is one of some developed countries which have been applied ICTsuccessful in the field of digital government and especially the application on a smartphone," the report said.

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Among Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) countries, all indicators of digital government in Singapore are above the average score of Apec members.

It noted that Singapore's high mobile penetration means the government can easily deliver mobile service to all citizens, businesses, and other stakeholders. To-date, the Singapore government boasts of more than 300 mobile services that enable its citizens to obtain services using mobile phones.

Singapore government's chief information officer (GCIO) indicator was exceeded by the US although the city-state was the best country in the global ranking as well in Apec.

"Amongst Asean countries, Singapore is very outstanding. There is a big gap between Singapore and other Asean countries in all aspects," it said.

The survey was conducted by specialists from Waseda University and 10 world-class universities under International Academy of CIO in the field.

The Singapore government scored well in terms of network infrastructure preparedness; management optimisation; online service; national portal; government chief information officer; digital government promotion; online citizen engagement or e-participation; data sharing among agencies; cybersecurity and the adoption of new technologies.

"As leading nation of digital government in Asia, Singapore continues to maintain the momentum through transformation," the report said.

Looking ahead, the study said that Singapore still has potential to grow its use of emerging technologies.

"Due to the fact that many countries are still at the startup phase, direction for expanding the new technologies into public service sector needs more endeavour to be clarified. Singapore could seize the opportunity to formulate policies and standards, not only guide domestic innovation, but also delight international co-development," it concluded.