Notes of Global CIO Dialogue on the Future of Government Transformation

Notes of the World Bank ICT Sector Unit event Global CIO Dialogue on the Future of Government Transformation on 8 November.

Trying to bring the learned lessons from practicioners all around the world (UK, Moldova, Singapore) to real-life projects.


Philippe Dongier, Sector Manager, Sector ICT Unit, The World Bank

Opening remarks – Introduction of speakers and country audiences

The World Bank is working right now with Moldova on a large government transformation project and this project is also introduced today


Keynote Address by John Suffolk, UK Government CIO

“Somebody somewhere in the world has already solved the problem” – bringing people together has a large value

It’s difficult to predict the next steps of technology – nobody knew that Facebook, Twitter, … would change the world like that

Governments must respond to the changing needs of globalization

  • different media for services (paper, telephone, online forms, …)
  • governments are online
  • countries’ agencies are very integrated (fed, state, local) – also because of consumer demand
  • outsourcing of sectors to the private sector
  • Example: iTunes to get text for police officers to different languages when trying to arrest people

Different countries have expertise concerning different eGovernment sectors – mobile services, identity management, …

Tranparency is an issue

  • we publish crime data – quickly Android application appeared to show crime in different areas
  • UK approach: publishing as much data as we can

The next technology changes cannot be predicted – but what are the trends?

  • we have stopped worrying about the future – nobody can keep track of it
  • risk is rising
  • approach is important: which outcome do I want to deliver?
  • everything pervasive is interesting
  • not into long term contracts
  • not paying big license fees
  • scalable services
  • all things mobile
  • combining small services rather than having monolithic big systems

Where should I start?

  • there is no single start position – everybody has a different start position
  • start where you can simply and quickly achieve something
  • try to pick services which create an infrastructure for another service


  • it’s critically important to bring parties together – learning from each other
  • we need to think about where we want to be in 5 years time – past problems are already gone
  • anything you can do with teaming up with other countries to solve a similar issue will reduce your risk and learn from each other


World Bank Project Example: Moldova Governance eTransformation by Stela Mocan, Executive Director of e-Government Center, Moldova


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Notes of Global CIO Dialogue on the Future of Government Transformation
was published on 08.11.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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eTG workshop on The Singapore Experience – Aftermath

Last Wednesday the World Bank eDevelopment Thematic Group held a workshop on “The Singapore Experience” – how the small country Singapore achieved the transformation to become economically that successful and one of the countries with the most government services accessible by mobile phone or internet.

The notes from the different speakers can be accessed under the following links:

The reason for the whole eTransformation was the desire to attract foreign investment on the one hand, and the will to foster public construction to provide public housing for the citizens. This led to improvements in regulations and the attempt in many sectors to hide the complexity of the government bureaucracy away from the individuals and companies, providing the services of many agencies on an online platform.

The speakers came mostly from the private sector, as Singapore managed its transformation mostly by forming public-private partnerships, with companies providing government services. These companies have gained a lot of experience now, and also consult other nations all over the world on their strategy to implement eServices.

One key aspect of Singapore’s eTransformation was the presence of a long term vision concerning ICT which was in place for 20 years already. The vision was created with changes in technology and administration processes in mind – so these changes didn’t render the vision useless, but were rather absorbed by it.

Another substantial point in Singapore’s eTransformation process was the persistent work with all stakeholders to have everybody on the “same page” of the process. The different agencies involved in the provided services were trained to implement ICT and to share data digitally.

All in all the event gave a complete and interesting insight into the development of the ICT strategy of Singapore and showcased a role model for other nations aiming to focus on the provision of eServices to their citizens. Also it was encouraging to hear about Singapore’s interests in helping and supporting other nations.

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eTG workshop on The Singapore Experience – Aftermath
was published on 08.10.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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eTG workshop on The Singapore Experience – Part 2

Notes from the World Bank eDevelopment Thematic Group workshop on “The Singapore Experience on 30 September in Washington DC.


Participants of the workshopSharing on Government Transformation by Crimsonlogic Pte Ltd

Topic: eGovernance to yield greater socio-economic impact

Speaker: Mr. TAN Sian Lip, Vice President

Public private partnership company

  • built by Singapore government
  • run as a private company
  • providing government services

Singapore Trade Facilitation Journey

On the last 20 years

  • Almost everybody in the trade-sector changed their technology
  • Administrative roles changed in the last 20 years
  • The public didn’t experience any change


  • Harmonizing trade admission procedures for companies evolved
  • “TradeNet -World’s First Nationwide Electronic Data Interchange System”
  • Minimizing processing time for admission to 1 minute
  • there exist 2 business case studies, it has been well documented
  • many international partnerships, facilitating trade on ports worldwide

Singapore eJudiciary


  • Platform for processing legal information
  • Keeping data digital
  • Less hardcopies
  • Higher clearance rate
  • Cases take shorter time
  • Transparency through online availability of cases
  • good rating in international comparison

Lessons learnt – Principles of eGovernment

  • The application of IT to transform the way governments work, to make them friendlier and more effective
  • It is not (just) a large portfolio of technology projects
  • It is a large ongoing program of activities involving public administrators and technologists in rethinking how government & the public can work together, and then applying technology to effect the changes

Infrastructure: e-things change all the time, there is always something better

  • you should plan carefully so that changes don’t destroy your system, but can be absorbed


  • There are never enough resources to design & build all possible eServices

It’s important to build the eServices which have the biggest impact on citizens and business

Partnerships between governments and private companies in developing and implementing services on a risk-and investment-sharing basis

Q & A:

Is there a legalframework for exchangig data online?

  • electronic transactions act – very broad
  • Computer misuse act
  • In Singapore PKI is not so common
  • Electronic banking has existed for years and transactions not signed with PKI

Participants of the workshopIs there competition for IDA in Singapore?

  • yes, there is international competition, other companies are bidding for contracts too, but so far no success

Who selects what applications have the highest impact on citizens and businesses?

  • The specific agencies decide what the governmental agenda should be
  • Then they have to fight for the budget

Common components for eServices?

  • Governance is primary
  • Architecture is handmade into it
  • Basic network, basic logging mechanism, web service gateways, portal infrastructure should be common


Sharing on Government Transformation by NCS Pte Ltd

Topic: Effective Development – Why is there a need for Public Services Infrastructure (PSi)

Speaker: Mr. NG Beng Lim, General Manager

Company: NCS – national computer system

  • providing government services

Key concerns in Singapore:

  • economic growth
  • education
  • utilization of resources
  • making society a better place
  • how to use IT to promote these issues?

Areas to address:

  • governance, administration
  • services for citizens
  • integrating IT into society
  • better management of resources
  • developing economy based on IT – in the long term

Every country has to have a clear masterplan what to do with IT

  • But how to come from the masterplan to an implementation and successful rollout?

Transformation of IT during the 80s and 90s to today

  • Nowadays the prerequisites for successful eServices rollout are ideal
  • In early 2000 – government in Singapore started Public Services Infrastructure
  • Interface for people to interact with the government
  • open infrastructure to more providers – including the private sector

Public Services Infrastructure Components:

  • Government Network
  • Common Data Centre
  • Application Infrastructure
  • Common Desktop Services


  • Single sign on
  • SMS, email gateway
  • personalisation
  • service delivery framwork
  • ePayment
  • Orchestration
  • multilingual


  • PSi was started 10 years ago
  • Today: SHINE (Service Wide Hosting Environment) by NCS
  • Billing model: Subscription-based
  • Evens out peak CPU utilisation
  • SHINE: Hosting, services and storing on demand

NCS – in the mean time a lot of experience in eGovernment & National ICT Planning

Participants of the workshopQ & A:

Does the government have a centralised architecture?

  • Yes, in Singapore the government came up with a centralized infrastructure

What about security standards?

  • The IT infrastructure has to come with an own security framework already

Key objecticves in terms of consilidating the data?

  • Make people use the system
  • “Selling” tools to the ministries

Many agencies – one government. Government has to have the oversight, but agencies have to have the freedom to act on themselves.

Is there a trend for re-centralization?

  • It’s technologically possible
  • Is it possible to monitor all local spots where services are running?

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eTG workshop on The Singapore Experience – Part 2
was published on 30.09.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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eTG workshop on The Singapore Experience – Part 1

Notes from the World Bank eDevelopment Thematic Group workshop on “The Singapore Experience on 30 September in Washington DC.


Workshop participantsWelcome Remarks by Mr. Deepak Bhatia, Lead ICT Policy Specialist, GICT and Ms. Angela PNG, Deputy Director of International Organisation, International Enterprise Singapore

Knowledge sharing event – how Singapore became a leader in eGovernment

Singapore ranked first in eGovernment ranking in four consecutive years, global competitiveness index: 3rd

One factor for that – policy to utilize ICTs in national development

A lot of problems to overcome – e.g. technophobia

Today: ICT masterplan, holistic


Opening Remarks by Mr. Sun Vithespongse, Southeast Asia Executive Director and Mr. Mohsen Khalil, Director, Global ICT Department (TBC)


  • small country with no resources
  • therefore it has to be developed in ICTs to become efficient

World Bank group is the biggest sponsor in eGovernment – and has experiences large successes

World Bank should keep on the work, despite the financial crisis

Development in the industry

  • a lot of innovation is happening in the developing world
  • south-to-north and south-to-south developments

What can ICTs be useful for?

  • Powerful transformation forces turning around the way we do business

The integral structure of of governement and important private sectors and their cooperation is very important

Harnessing the power of ICTs is a government and behavioural issue – rather than a technological issue


Sharing on Government Transformation by IDA International

Topic: Singapore’s ICT Journey – The Past 30 years and the Next 5 years.

Speaker: Mr. YEONG Wee Tan, Deputy Director

ICT sector in Singapore

  • 40 bn US$
  • 140 000 IT professionals

Six national ICT plans

  • Computerisation
  • Communication
  • Connectivity
  • Convergence
  • Connectedness
  • Creation

It’s necessary to start a dialog on learned lessons – between Singapore and the other nations

Workshop participantsA lot of working with foreign agencies

IDA International – Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

  • partnering with other governments, sharing lessons of Singapore and advising them
  • not a vendor
  • living their lessons
  • helping to integrate ICTs

Sharing lessons on different levels

  • Infrastructure
  • Human capacity – The countries need to have sustainable human capital to carry on with their policies
  • Industry and Government
  • Governance – which legal framework is necessary
  • Outcomes – What are the aims?

Within 15 minutes you can register a Singaporian company around the world

GrBiz – Government to Business open platform

We want to get people used to make everything “e”

  • There are 200 government services available on a handheld in Singapore
  • Also as a tourist you get all these services available
  • A lot of learning devices for schools – “Future schools in Singapore” – to be on the forefront of development
  • Also health care projects

Government must evolve to be an open ecosystem

Together with agencies like the World Bank we can teach also other countries how to integrate ICTs in their services and transform their operations

eTransformation can create a better world through ICT

Q & A:

Question about public trust – everything is digital now, do people trust in the system?

  • Everybody has one number – took quite a while to harmonize that
  • In the beginning of the journey there were problems, but in the mean time people have accepted it
  • There is a lot of public consultation

Infrastructure is important but education too – how to talk to ministries trying to prioritize?

Cross agency information sharing?

  • There always political trouble  – but the important point is communicate, communicate, communicate the overall goal to everbody
  • It’s important to bring the stakeholders together and convince them

What motivates Singapore for international coperation? Typical cooperation between the agency and another country?

  • One strategic plan in the Singapore ICT plan is internationalization
  • It’s also an export industry, not everything for free – but not a typical consultor, we are there to help people get on the IT journey
  • It’s important for us to give back to the world
  • We act like a trusted adviser to the government

Do you have an administrative reform plans for the country and how is it linked to the ICT plan?

  • Definitely, everything is balanced between administrative reforms, governments processes, … to have everybody on the same page, it’s still ongoing


It’s very encouraging to see this international exchange, Singapore is currently working on a P2P portal for government transformation

Sometimes you need to break established ways of work and act outside the framework


Workshop participantsSharing on Government Transformation by novaCITYNETS Pte Ltd

Topic: e-Transformation to a First World City

Speaker: Ms. Joyce WONG, EVP

Singapore in the 1960 had big problems – a developing country

  • GDP per capita: 427$

Several measures to overcome the situation

  • Public housing
  • Attracting foreign investment – to create jobs

Making Singapore a good place for investment

  • Infrastructure improvement – water, electricity, roads, …
  • Well thought our master plan
  • Constant reform
  • Concept plan = blueprint
  • Master plan = vision
  • Construction = concrete measures
  • Twenty years plan

A lot of construction activities

Many issues faced when dealing with construction permits from different agencies

Introduction of COREnet

  • streamline and reengineer the processes in the construction industry
  • e-submission system launched in 2001
  • business re-engineering, project design, training, industry promotion, …
  • Interface for businesses to interact with the government
  • Variety of agencies are hidden behind the online portal – single point of access
  • big success story, companies make use of it, big increase in efficiency

In 2009

  • 16 participating agencies
  • 700 application forms (2001) to 231
  • 30% improvement in turnaround time

Information on eTransformation in Sri Lanka

  • All building blocks for a strong eGovernment solution were not in place – when NCS came to rescue
  • Trying to replicate the experience of Singapore – but adapt it to the situation in Sri Lanka

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