Singapore’s Smart Nation government group to merge with information ministry’s digital functions

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) will merge with the digital development functions of the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) to form an expanded Smart Nation group.

In a joint statement released on Tuesday (Sep 12), SNDGG and MCI said the merger “will better position the government to advance the full range of the digital agenda”.

SNDGG is the collective name for the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office together with its implementing arm, the Government Technology Agency (GovTech).

SNDGG oversees the country’s Smart Nation strategy, digitalisation of government services and development and application of digital technologies and capabilities across Singapore.

Apart from coordinating the government’s information policy and public communications, MCI also leads in development of the digital economy; digital readiness and inclusion; regulation of digital infrastructure and data; online regulation; and digital and cyber security.

The joint statement noted that SNDGG and MCI have already been working closely together on national and government digital strategies.

The new, larger Smart Nation group will be part of the Prime Minister’s Office and administered by MCI, said the authorities.

The merger will take effect in phases, with MCI starting administration of the group from Sep 23.

Otherwise, the status and structures of the statutory boards and agencies under SNDGG and MCI will remain unchanged, as will the political office holders.

Mrs Josephine Teo will continue to serve as Minister for Communications and Information, while remaining the Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity.

Dr Janil Puthucheary and Mr Tan Kiat How will remain as Senior Ministers of State for Communications and Information, with Dr Puthucheary staying in his capacity as Minister-in-charge of GovTech.

There will likewise be no change in appointments to agencies under MCI’s purview such as the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, National Library Board Singapore.

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