Parliament of Singapore – BACS

The Singapore Parliament has a single House and together with the President of Singapore is known as the Legislature.The functions of Parliament include making laws, controlling the state’s finances and taking up a critical/inquisitorial role to check on the actions of the governing party and the Ministries. In the control of the state’s finances, Parliament exercises control by requiring the Government to seek the approval of the House for its annual budget.

The annual Budget Statement takes place before the new financial year begins on the 1st of April. Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) will discuss and debate on the Budget Statement. Prior to the debate, MPs are required to submit Notices of Amendments.


Business Challenges

The annual Budget Statement takes place before the new financial year begins on the 1st of April. Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) will discuss and debate on the Budget Statement. Prior to the debate, MPs are required to submit Notices of Amendments.

  1. The old Budget Amendments Compilation System (BACS) had its limitations. A lot of manual paperwork was involved as MPs had to make their submissions through fax and phone calls.
  2. The paper forms made it difficult for Parliament Secretariat to track and manage Notices of Amendments efficiently.

Solution

New Online Budget Amendments Compilation System (BACS) for Increased Efficiency

The online BACS is implemented as an integrated web-based e-Service built on Ecquaria’s award-winning flagship product, the Ecquaria Service-Oriented Platform™, (Ecquaria SOP™) which provides a highly scalable and high performance transaction and process flow application platform that is able to scale and flex to meet new and evolving needs of the Parliament.


Results

The new online BACS now provides end users a one-stop user-friendly access to submit their amendments as well as help improve and streamline the process flows for routing of amendments, scheduling of dates and times for the Budget debates as well as report generation.

The number of last-minute submissions was reported to be lower with 56 per cent received on the last day compared to more than 70 per cent in the previous year before the online BACS was launched.

The old Budget Amendments Compilation System (BACS) had its limitations. A lot of manual paperwork was involved as MPs had to make their submissions through fax and phone calls. Moreover, the paper forms made it difficult for Parliament Secretariat to track and manage Notices of Amendments efficiently.As part of Parliament’s efforts to improve their service to the MPs, it was looking for a technology refresh to their old system and an online solution that will help to better manage Notices of Amendments submitted by MPs with faster turnaround time.

Ecquaria’s proven track record in designing, implementing and delivering complex, and award-winning high-volume, mission-critical systems for various government agencies in Singapore and overseas is just one of the reasons the Parliament commissioned Ecquaria to help solve its challenges.

The online BACS is implemented as an integrated web-based e-Service built on Ecquaria’s award-winning flagship product, the Ecquaria Service-Oriented Platform™, (Ecquaria SOP™) which provides a highly scalable and high performance transaction and process flow application platform that is able to scale and flex to meet new and evolving needs of the Parliament.

Beyond just delivering on the system delivery objectives, Ecquaria incorporated a number of key innovations into the design of the new online BACS. With Ecquaria SOP™ as the underlying service-oriented platform for BACS, the MPs are now empowered to create, edit, view and print out their Budget Amendment 24/7. As a result, the overall user experience has been greatly enhanced and this has helped the Parliament Secretariat and clerks to better manage and track the various processes such as the status of MPs’ online submissions in real-time. This greatly improves the efficiency of Parliament in its operations.The Budget debate in 2007 had been greatly facilitated with the launch of the new Online BACS in the beginning of 2007. Just six months after the new system was commissioned, more than 98 per cent of Budget amendments submitted by the Ministers and MPs for the Budget debate were done online.

The new online BACS now provides end users a one-stop user-friendly access to submit their amendments as well as help improve and streamline the process flows for routing of amendments, scheduling of dates and times for the Budget debates as well as report generation.

As testament to the extensibility and scalability of the new online BACS system, Ecquaria SOP™, a standards-based SOA architecture on which the system is built offers Web Services-ready capabilities which helps enhance seamless data exchange between the Parliament and the ministries and facilitate the generation of new reports for the ministries.

 

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