10,000 government officials in Singapore will be trained with digital and data skills over the next four years, it has been announced.

They will be trained in areas such as using data science and data analytics for policy making, service delivery and corporate services, as well as improving cyber security, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said at a budget debate yesterday.

In addition, a “core group” of 250 professionals at GovTech and Cyber Security Agency will work on digital projects in the government, he said. Last year, the civil service recruited over 1,000 engineers, bringing the total number now to 9,000.

“It is important that Government agencies trial new technologies and be early adopters,” DPM Teo said. To do this, Singapore will “need a broader appreciation and application of these new technologies in the Public Service”, he added.

The government is also studying how to further integrate strategies and processes for driving tech use in the government. “Currently, the responsibility for driving technology adoption in the Public Service is rather dispersed,” he said.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has been appointed to “champion public service innovation”, DPM Teo said. Minister Ong will oversee areas that require coordination across government agencies.

This will include implementing procurement methods that “support industry development, and helping our companies and people seize new economic opportunities”, he said. There will also be a “review of regulations to better support innovation and entrepreneurship”, he added.

Image by the Government Technology Agency of Singapore