Singapore’s Municipal Services Office (MSO) has received S$5 million funding from the Ministry of Finance to build innovative solutions with government agencies.

Starting in May, “agencies will be able to tap on this fund to develop their ideas fully”, Grace Fu – Minister for Culture, Community and Youth – said at the Budget Speech 2017 this week.

“This fund will be channelled towards the development of technological initiatives by our partner agencies to enhance productivity in municipal services”, she added. MSO will then help scale the trial initiative across the government.

So far, MSO has partnered with GovTech to develop a prototype that measures the height of cut grass and uploads real-time data to a database, reducing the need for officials to run physical inspections.

The agency has also worked with GovTech to build a visual dashboard that gathers municipal complaints by location and time. “With better planning in terms of timing and frequency, our agencies can provide comprehensive, responsive and effective municipal services”, the Minister said.

Similarly, the UAE government has an allocated central budget – comprising 1 percent of all government spending – carved out to foster innovation in public sector. Chief Innovation Officers, each appointed in all 48 federal agencies, are tasked with pushing their departments to deliver cutting-edge solutions.

Read also: Exclusive: The inside story from the UAE

Image by Bernard Spragg. NZ, licensed under CC0 1.0