E-Government in Singapore — A Swot and Pest Analysis
HUONG HA Department of Management, Monash University, Australia Huong.Ha@BusEco.monash.edu.au KEN COGHILL Department of Management, Monash University, Australia Ken.Coghill@BusEco.monash.edu.au ABSTRACT This paper aims to review and evaluate the vision, the objectives and the strategic framework of e-Government in Singapore. Rapidity, Reliability, Efficiency, Cost-effectiveness, Customer-orientation and Accessibility are the main guidelines for the development of egovernment in Singapore in order to provide quality services to users in the digital economy. There are five thrusts and six programs of egovernance in Singapore. The development of e-Government involves three main relationships: Government to Citizen (G2C), Government to Business (G2B) and Government to Employees/Public Servants (G2E). This paper employs the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis and PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technological) determinants to evaluate the current state of e-Government in Singapore and its preparedness. In short, Singapore has successfully developed a strong foundation for e-Government. Many strengths and opportunities fuel the development of e-Government in Singapore such as sound economic policies, political willingness, robust educational system to generate tech-savvy future employees and low cost of phone calls. Singapore has continuously improved in order to prepare to deal with new threats and challenges such as the significant increase in the number cyber crimes, security and privacy concern. KEYWORDS: e-Filling, e-Government, e-Information, e-Litigation, e-Payment, e-Procurement, e-Service, e-User, G2B, G2C, G2E. ASIA-PACIFIC SOCIAL SCIENCE REVIEW 103
E-GOVERNMENT IN SINGAPORE—A SWOT AND PEST ANALYSIS
E-Government is one of the most important applications of the Internet. It has emerged as a new platform upon which the public sector may serve the people and the nation more effectively and efficiently. The Singaporean Government claims to have created a “world-class e-Government” that enables citizens to “be involved, be empowered, and be a pacesetter” (Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) 2000). Residents in Singapore are thus said to have equal opportunities to be involved in and to access e-Services and e-Users, to be empowered through IT knowledge and skills, through online feedback, by being treated as customers1 and by being able to set their own pace and time for accessing e-Services. The process of transforming traditional public administration to modern public management has materialized through the development of e-Government. As a result, the Singaporean government has changed the ways it looks, thinks and acts. Its determination was rewarded when the country was ranked among the top five positions in the world in terms of e-Governnance (Lee 2002). However, the growth of e-Government in Singapore has faced challenges and threats due to the rapid development of technology, as well as the vulnerability of the global environment. As a result, Singapore fell from 7th place in 2004 to 11th place in 2005 in terms of e-readiness (Economist Intelligence Unit 2002: 4). Hence, there is an apparent need to examine factors affecting the development of e-Government in Singapore. This paper aims to review the vision, the objectives and the strategic framework of e-Government in Singapore and investigate 1. The current state of e-Government in Singapore and 2. The preparedness of e-Government in Singapore for future development. Although there are many works on e-Government in Singapore (e.g. Jenkins 2001, Mahizhnan and Andiappan 2002, Smith 2004, Ke and Kwok 2004, Fung 2004, and Lim 2006), there is a lack of research based on its practical dimension. This paper therefore looks at e-Government from a practical standpoint. The authors use secondary data from literature and...