Govt to award up to $3.5b in ICT contracts, 80% open to SMEs this year (The Straits Times)
Information and communications technology (ICT) players battered by the Covid-19 crisis will have more opportunities to grow their business in Singapore in the coming months.
To accelerate the country’s digital transformation efforts and help these firms ride through the crisis, the Government will increase the total projected value of its ICT contracts for this financial year, which lasts from April this year to next March, by more than 30 per cent.
This will bring the total value of government ICT contracts for the year to $3.5 billion, a bump up from the previous year’s $2.6 billion.
Eighty per cent of contracts offered will be open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), said the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) in a press release on Monday.
The agency is spearheading the implementation of the Digital Government Blueprint, a five-year plan outlining how technology will transform the way the Government serves the public.
The ICT projects offered this year will run the gamut across technology domains such as cloud computing, data analytics and communications infrastructure, and will build on the Government’s efforts to co-develop technologies with industry players.
By partnering the industry in these areas, the Government hopes to harness technology to:
- Provide more citizen- and business-centric digital services;
- Develop new tech tools in response to Covid-19;
- Build digital services on cloud systems;
- Modernise the national ICT infrastructure; and
- Enhance public service capabilities in data analytics, artificial intelligence and sensors
More dynamism is being injected into procurement procedures to increase the flexibility of such collaborations, said Ms Mah Yu Ling, Director of Procurement at GovTech.
She identified three new partnership models that the Government is using to improve industry collaborations: dynamic contracts, integrated and inclusive calls for solutions, and a shift from outsourcing to co-developing.
DYNAMIC ICT CONTRACTS
Unlike past government ICT contracts that had only one point of entry, dynamic contracts allow suppliers to update prices and offer new products and services to the Government — without waiting for their contracts to expire.
“This gives us the flexibility and agility to react to changes and disruptions in technology, new players in the market, and new situations where there is an increase in demand,” explained Ms Mah.
It will also give agencies faster access to newer technology and capabilities, and will lead to time savings of about three months each time this feature is used, she said.
Last year, GovTech piloted the use of dynamic contracts for two ICT bulk tenders — in payment services and robotic process automation — amounting to more than $700 million.
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