Singapore’s Smart Nation group to merge with digital development agencies

By Yogesh Hirdaramani

Singapore’s Smart Nation group will soon be expanded and administered by the country’s information ministry to better drive whole-of-nation digital transformation efforts.

Singapore's Smart Nation and Digital Government Group to merge with digital development agencies. Image: Canva

Singapore has announced that the country’s Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG), which comprises the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), will merge with the digital development agencies and statutory boards housed under the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) from October onwards.


According to a press release by Smart Nation Singapore, this merger aims to better position the Government to “advance the full range of the digital agenda” and “respond effectively to new opportunities and challenges in digital developments”.


This expanded Smart Nation group will continue to be part of the Prime Minister’s Office but will be administered by MCI.


Currently, SNDGO drives the digital transformation of the Government through planning and prioritising key projects and building long-term capacity, while GovTech functions as the implementing arm of SNDGG, driving the in-house development of digital technologies.  During Covid-19, SNDGO worked closely with GovTech and other government agencies to roll out digital initiatives to address the ongoing pandemic.


Agencies and statutory boards under MCI have driven the development of the digital economy, the country’s digital readiness and inclusion, the regulation of digital infrastructure and data, as well as cybersecurity. These include the Cyber Security Agency, the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the National Library Board.


According to the press release, the status and structure of the statutory board and agencies under both MCI and SNDGG will remain unchanged as the phased merger takes effect from 23 October 2023. The merger was announced to MCI and SNDGG staff on 12 September.


SNDGG and MCI have already been collaborating to implement national and government digital strategies in tandem. Most recently, MCI, SNDGO, and Digital Industry Singapore (housed within MCI), announced the AI Trailblazers initiative to encourage public and private sector adoption of generative AI tools.