In 2018, GovTech launched the Digital Government Blueprint to partner with the tech industry to build a Digital Government. Continuing the accelerated momentum in 2021, the Government recently announced that it is projected to spend S$3.8 billion on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) contracts this year to speed up digitalisation efforts of the government, with more projects for SMEs.
Breaking down the projected spending, Ms Mah Yu Ling, Director of Procurement, GovTech Singapore, shared during a recent GovTech Live Chat that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to participate in close to 83% of these procurement contracts.
Ms Shirley Wong, Chairperson for SGTech's Government Procurement Committee, highlighted that the expectations of the industry have changed from the infrastructure, application building - traditional skill sets and will require industry partners to have multiple digital capabilities, such as the use of Cloud, Agile Software Development, AI, Internet of Things, among others. She also called out the many schemes from IMDA that help upskill capabilities and be part of SGTech where companies can connect or get help, and be more prepared for the many opportunities from the government.
Ms Mah also shared some key upcoming digitalisation projects from agencies such as SmartGym by Sport SG and SG Cares Digital Kampong by MCCY.
In addition to agency projects, GovTech will also continue to aggregate demand for common ICT needs as bulk tenders. For bulk tenders, vendors need not bid for similar projects called by multiple agencies. If awarded, they will be put on a panel of suppliers to allow all government agencies to work with them. In addition to bulk tenders, the re-opening of the co-development tender, previously awarded in 2019, will be activated due to increased demand. Through dynamic contracting, new suppliers can apply to be involved in GovTech’s upcoming projects as a co-development partner and not having to wait for three years for the contracts to expire.
In summary, for the private sector to best engage the Government on projects, you should equip yourself and your company with essential knowledge and tools, be aware of available opportunities, and plan ahead of agencies and projects that your company is keen to engage.
During the live chat, Ms Wong moderated the Q&A session and Ms Mah took on a wide range of questions ranging from government procurement, technologies to focus, to sustainability and smart cities.
In response to Ms Wong’s query on how the industry could best prepare itself to bid for these projects, Ms Mah recommended that members of the industry should explore the upcoming offerings on the GeBIZ portal, identify agencies that they are keen to work with and reach out to the relevant points of contact to indicate their interest.
Ms Wong also asked what capabilities or skill sets organisations should invest in for the coming years. Ms Mah highlighted that cloud, data science and cybersecurity are key areas, and new capabilities such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are also opening up. The upcoming opportunities will cover a combination of different ICT capabilities.
Lastly, in response to a question regarding how dynamic contracting for bulk tenders works, Ms Mah explained that in dynamic contracting, new requirements and suppliers can be added to existing contracts mid-way, increasing agility in the procurement process.
Interested to watch the full discussion? Head over to the recording to watch the complete webinar session!
SGTech’s Government Procurement Committee regularly engages GovTech to provide industry feedback on government procurement policies and regulations to enhance the partnership between the Government and the industry.
Please contact [email protected] if you'd like to find out more about the committee.