Island of dreams

The Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretary in Singapore, Mr Peter Ho, has outlined the next Singapore e-Government Masterplan. In a speech at the iGOV Global Forum on 14 June 2010, he stated:

” Singapore’s next e-Government masterplan will facilitate and enable this major shift from a “Gov-to-You” mindset to a “Gov-With-You” mindset – to fuel innovation and to encourage co-creation. The vision for the next masterplan is of a collaborative government that co-creates and connects with the people.”

Thus, with Singapore’s excellent record of developing and using electronic government, they are now putting weight behind the concept of co-creation. However, they are not stupid enough to think they can rely purely on that, since they also note that:

“But as we push the envelope to exploit technology, we must also look out for the pitfalls. At the end of the day, technology is just an enabling tool that can equally be exploited for either the good or the bad. For instance, while the Internet provides an excellent platform for disseminating information and getting feedback from the ground, public officers need to develop the instinct to separate the “noise” from genuine feedback. There is also the danger of succumbing to pressure from the vocal minority and doing what is popular as opposed to what is right for the country.”

They are also quite clear that not everyone can or will use e-government and so are allowing for it:

“We also need to be mindful of the new digital divide separating the digital natives and the digital migrants. There may be segments of the population that may not be able to, or prefer not to use, such new media for engaging the government. So we should exploit the new media in such as way that no one is left out or left behind.”

In e-government terms, if no other, Singapore is surely the island where dreams might become reality.

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