Govt looks to push e-citizen services on mobile devices

Soon, you may not need to seek out the Government for a service that you need. The government service will come to you on your mobile device.

That is because different government agencies will share the data of citizens among themselves to anticipate their needs and make life simpler for a smart nation.

"Citizens want services to be pushed to them when they need them," said Ms Jacqueline Poh, managing director of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), at the Ministry of Communications and Information's workplan seminar yesterday.

So if your season parking is up for renewal, you could get a reminder on your mobile device.

Specific projects have not been firmed up, but some possibilities have been flagged.

A notice filed at the Registry of Marriages could trigger the push of information on pre-marital counselling, and housing and mortgage loan applications.

The IDA is already partnering 98 government agencies to create e-services that can benefit citizens, such as the OneService mobile app launched last year that lets residents report municipal issues, such as blocked drains, without having to figure out which government agency to contact.

Also launched last year, the myResponder app calls qualified volunteers to suspected heart attack cases until emergency services arrive, while the Beeline app lets office workers book rides from private bus operators.

Later this year, the IDA will merge with the Media Development Authority to form the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA).

A new Government Technology Agency, or GovTech, will be formed to continue the IDA's existing smart nation engineering efforts. The IDA's regulatory role will go to the new IMDA.

Mr Gabriel Lim, head of the MDA and chief executive-designate of the IMDA, said the merger will help create new business opportunities in fields such as virtual reality and augmented reality.

"Often, we use the technology in the context of games," he said. "But it can be applied in training for jobs that are more dangerous, like firefighting."

This article was first published on April 29, 2016.
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