Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore – PSi

The Singapore Government’s infocomm journey started in the early 1980s with the Civil Service Computerisation Programme which focused on improving public administration through the effective use of infocomm technologies.

Business Challenges

  1. Each ministry/ agency operated with its own ‘silo’ systems and technologies with no integrated workflows within or across agencies.
  2. At the citizenry level, the citizen is forced to make multiple interactions and transactions with the various ministries or agencies to file his income tax, pay his road tax or apply for an apartment.

Solution

Ecquaria teamed up with Singapore Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) to architect and develop PSi which serves as a common infrastructure for deploying robust, customer-centric government e-Services for use by the citizen and the business community.


Results

Delivering One-Stop Services Online – Public Service Infrastructure

The implementation concepts of sharing and re-using common services, reducing costs and the provision of flexibility, scalability and openness etc. are best embodied in PSi which today hosts 1,700 e-Services (as opposed to the initial hundreds of e-Services when PSi was first launched) – with the number still steadily climbing today.

Today, the PSi represents the best practice for e-Government infrastructures.

Although early computerization efforts were successful, they were largely driven by different ministries. Services were often developed and delivered in a piece-meal and uncoordinated manner. Each ministry/ agency operated with its own ‘silo’ systems and technologies with no integrated workflows within or across agencies.This limits the ability to launch shared services across departments, divisions and business partners to offer end-to-end service delivery to the citizens.At the citizenry level, the citizen is forced to make multiple interactions and transactions with the various ministries or agencies to file his income tax, pay his road tax or apply for an apartment, for example.Integrating the different functions between ministries became a major challenge for IDA.Earmarked as a key initiative under the first e-Government Action Plan (eGAP I), the Public Service Infrastructure (PSi) was launched in 2000 with the primary aim of rolling out as many public services online as possible and linking every ministry’s function under one portal.

Modeled on the cradle-to-retirement concept of a citizen’s lifecycle from the day the citizen is born to the day he retires from the workforce, the PSi is designed to offer a myriad of public services (with information organized according to the citizen’s needs) that enables the citizens to look for a job, apply for a housing flat and file income tax online through a one-stop of public services.The PSi is based on a scalable, component-based software infrastructure provided by Ecquaria which uses common applications such as authentication and payment as well as data sources across the relevant agencies. It conforms to the open enterprise architecture concept and follows closely industry open standards for software infrastructure whilst ensuring integration with legacy-based systems.As a unified government platform for all e-Government activities, the PSi enables inter-agency information sharing, and seamless communications between agencies, businesses and citizens while adhering to central design considerations such as multi-tier architecture, high availability, scalability, thin-client support, security, platform-independence and standards-based technology.PSi is enabled to support a variety of service delivery styles such as traditional dedicated applications, Web applications, Web Services and future Web Services.


Anecdote:

Singapore Government’s First, Proven SOA Success Story

Ahead of the industry at that time, Ecquaria has led and realized the present-day concept of SOA via PSi (which is later productised into the Ecquaria Service-Oriented Platform™, Ecquaria SOP™), providing the common government platform that enables sharing of common components such as payment gateways, authentication, electronic gateways etc.

The SOA implementation concepts of sharing and re-using common services, reducing costs and the provision of flexibility, scalability and openness etc. are best embodied in PSi which today hosts 1,700 e-Services (as opposed to the initial hundreds of e-Services when PSi was first launched) – with the number still steadily climbing today.

PSi also enables seamless and easy invocation of common data and profiles, inter-agency information sharing while adhering to central design considerations such as multi-tier architecture, high availability, scalability, thin-client support, security, platform-independence and standards-based technology.

Up to today, the Singapore Government ministries or agencies are free to engage any vendor to develop e-Services specific to their needs on PSi. This greatly facilitates flexibility and ease of maintenance as the Government is assured that its central government policy, management and best practices or processes (such as authentication, payment) are centrally adhered to by its ministries and agencies whilst giving the agencies the functional latitude to better serve their respective users.

PSi helps save costs and manpower resources without having the need for agencies to invest heavily in proprietary technologies or silo-based systems. Time to market for e-Services has increased greatly. In the past, it took at least six months to develop a new e-Service. With the PSi, a government agency took only three months to deploy eight e-Services.

As proof of quick deployment, the New Singapore Shares (NSS) eService was launched in 2001 in a record time of 3 weeks instead of 6 months by leveraging on the common infrastructure, PSi.

With a ready Government-wide eServices delivery infrastructure put in place for all government agencies, businesses and public service agencies reap the benefits of increased accessibility, responsiveness and efficiency.

PSi won the Singapore Government the prestigious the Explorer Award at the E-Gov 2002 show in Washington DC, United States.

 

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