Singapore appoints Puthucheary as GovTech Minister, Agency moves to Prime Minister's Office

New Prime Ministerial committee formed to merge digital and smart nation initiatives.

Dr Janil Puthucheary has been appointed as Singapore’s Minister in charge of GovTech, it has been announced today. Singapore’s GovTech Agency will report into the Prime Minister’s Office, and forms part of a broader Smart Nation and Digital Government Office. This is a wider technology and innovation division, tasked with coordinating policies on a new digital identity framework, a national sensor communications platform, and e-payments - alongside the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office will also combine functions from other government departments. It will take over the Digital Government Directorate in the Ministry of Finance; the Government Technology Policy department in the Ministry of Communications and Information; and the Smart Nation Programme Office (SNPO). An oversight committee will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. He is joined by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Deputy Chair and Minister in charge of Cybersecurity; Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister in charge of Smart Nation; Ong Ye Kung, Education Minister and public service innovation champion; and Dr Janil Puthucheary, responsible for GovTech and its work on industry development with the IMDA. “Over the next year, I hope to see major progress in three signature programmes – Digital Identity, E-Payments and a national IOT/sensors system that will provide synergies for all government agencies and expand opportunities for the private sector,” said Dr Balakrishnan. “By consolidating GovTech and the various policy, planning and implementing agencies together in PMO, we will be able to quickly and decisively roll out these digital platforms for our citizens and businesses,” he added. Ng Chee Khern will be Permanent Secretary of the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group. He will also continue as Chairman of the GovTech Board and Permanent Secretary, Defence Development. All of the changes will take effect from 1 May.