The country’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) is preparing to spend an estimated S$3.5 billion in order to improve the economy and assist while businesses are recovering from the COVID-19 outbreak.
This expenditure was increased by 30% compared to last year of about S$2.7 billion. According to the media release last Monday, June 8, the agency says:
“The increased spending will help the Government accelerate digitalization as technology becomes increasingly vital in enabling citizens and workers to resume normal activities, and businesses to reopen safely after the COVID-19 circuit breaker.”
The ongoing pandemic has been significantly limiting the movement of people. For Singapore, this means there’s a higher demand for digital technologies in order to cope with business processes and financial management.
The biggest winners for this increase in the procurement of information and communication technology (ICT) are the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as 80% of the acquisition focuses on supporting these sectors.
To help business owners, part of the government fund is to be used in improving the technology that can shorten the ICT procurement process which includes more bulk tenders and dynamic contracting. To name a few, some of these bulk tenders are for the service improvement of user experience design, agile development, application development, data science, and artificial intelligence.
“With a projected value of S$1.2 billion, these bulk tenders will broaden the opportunities for SMEs to participate in and win ICT contracts with government agencies,” the agency announced.
Another project of the said procurement is to create more jobs known as the SGUnited Jobs initiative. Both fresh graduates and experienced professionals can find job opportunities among the 400+ vacancies needed to solidify the government’s information technology overall security, ease of use, and efficiency.
Jobs such as software engineers, digital business analysts, cybersecurity specialists, data scientists, AI engineers, and infrastructure engineers are among the many needed manpower. For those interested, online registrations for virtual recruitment started last May 21 and will continue until June 21.
SGUnited Jobs’ actual goal is to help 100,000 Singaporeans have access to job opportunities suitable for their skills and capabilities. Using online platforms, the project can conduct additional training supports and virtual job fairs.
Kok Ping Soon, the GovTech chief executive, emphasized in his message the higher importance of digitalisation, especially in this pandemic period.
“We hope that businesses, especially the SMEs, will benefit from the larger pool and higher value of ICT procurement opportunities, work with us to build a Smart Nation and Digital Government, and emerge stronger from this crisis together.”
The procurement is part of the country’s continuous effort to support businesses and create more jobs. In respect, Singapore still manages to have a growing economy that could adapt to rapid changes.