Open data platform sees 1m daily downloads, and government prioritising mobile apps – Hong Kong Deputy GCIO

Apps, cloud computing and open data are the top success stories from Hong Kong, according to Victor Lam, Deputy GCIO of the city government. Speaking in an interview with FutureGov, he said: “We have encouraged all departments to develop mobile applications for the convenience of the public, and have developed a portal on mobile applications in Hong Kong.” Currently, there are over 50 apps from departments on the government’s app store and the number is growing.—hong-kong-deputy-gcio

Weather forecasting tools reducing casualties in the Philippines

More weather tracking and forecasting tools are leading to fewer casualties and less property damage in the Philippines, according to the Department of Science and Technology. The government is monitoring all 258 rivers in the country for signs of flooding, said Raymund Liboro, Assistant Secretary of the Department. This is part of the nationwide project – National Operational Assessment of Hazards – set up in 2012 to better prepare for rain-triggered natural hazards, such as typhoons.

India may merge all public sector networks into single National Information Infrastructure

Officials in the Indian Department of Electronics and Information Technology are considering whether to merge all state, local, educational and national broadband infrastructure into a single unit, FutureGov has learned. Currently India has a number of large different ICT networks for state, national and educational use, including the National Informatics Centre network for central government (NICNET), state datacentres for local governments and a knowledge network connecting 1,500 educational institutions.

Nepal’s new wave of hackers take urban problems into their own hands

Four young Nepalese graduates impressed a gathering of regional city mayors in Singapore last month with their vehicle tracking mobile application. A few months before, their app – which aimed to improve traffic management in Kathmandu City – won two national technology competitions. FutureGov speaks to Team Yorbit to find out what inspired them and how they plan to take their innovation further.

Who was Asia’s leading ‘Green Government’ agency at FutureGov Awards?

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has been recognised for its efforts to improve the sustainability of G2C communications, winning big in the Asia Pacific’s largest government modernisation awards process for its ‘OneInbox’ project. OneInbox is a secure digital mailbox service that allows individuals to receive, view, file and track electronic letters such as notices or statements from government agencies in one portal rather than having to log into multiple web sites. It is a government initiative under the eGov2015 masterplan to improve public service delivery to citizens.

Australia launches beta site for new e-gov portal

Australia has today launched the beta site for its redesigned e-government portal,, asking for user feedback and displaying its current thinking on how the next generation website will look. The site follows on from the alpha site launched in July, ditching images for blocks of text that relate to broad areas of government services. For example, there is a health section, a law and justice section, and a money, benefits and tax section.

Singapore Environment Agency wins FutureGov Award for its rapid haze response

The National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore has won the E-Government Award at this year’s FutureGov Awards for its rapid implementation of a haze monitoring and public information portal during the haze crisis.  When Singapore was badly hit by the haze last June, the NEA website attracted as many as 5 million visitors in a day.

Big data helps government provide personalised services, from Singapore

Singapore government websites will soon be able to better recognise citizens’ needs with a new big data analytics tool. cOnce the pilot project goes live next year, the cloud-based tool can process and understand a citizen’s question accurately and provide an answer within seconds. This capability will enable citizens to better navigate government services and get personalised advice when using online services.  The tool also provide government agencies with insights on citizens’ needs and priorities.

How fast is the internet? Regulator asks citizens for feedback, from Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the country’s telecoms regulator and central government IT agency, launched a pilot for a mobile app yesterday that aims to engage consumers to obtain better insights into consumers’ mobile broadband usage experience.  “We hope consumers will download the MyConnection SG app and volunteer as NIMI testers to help IDA improve their broadband service experience,” explained Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, IDA.

NSW government calls on developers to boost service delivery

The NSW government is calling on the state’s best developers to help design apps to boost government service delivery, using open data. Finance and services minister, Dominic Perrottet, said citizens deserve state of the art services and we’d like to co-design them with the best and brightest minds in the private sector.

Australian government calls on businesses to create apps with open data

The New South Wales state government called on businesses to help design the next generation of apps to boost government service delivery using open data. Dominic Perrottet, New South Wales Minister for Finance and Services, launched the latest round of the apps4nsw competition this morning.  apps4nsw is a series of events aimed at encouraging the citizens and businesses to use open data to create innovative web and mobile apps.

How to connect 394 government units to provide a one-stop service

The New South Wales state government has won the Connected Government award at this year’s FutureGov Awards for its new one stop shop service.  The state government was previously delivering fragmented services to citizens through around 400 shop fronts, over 30 call centres, more than 800 websites and 8,000 separate phone numbers – all operated by different agencies with different processes and systems.

Asia’s best government ICT projects in 2014

Nineteen government organisations were recognised last week at the eighth annual FutureGov Awards. The National Environment Agency bagged the most number of awards last week, including the Government Organisation of the Year. It also won the E-Government award for its rapid implementation of a haze monitoring and public information portal. It’s i-Care project won the Technology Leadership award for its achievements in citizen satisfaction – a compliments to complaints ratio of 16:1.

India tracking civil servants’ attendance with online dashboard

The Indian government has rolled out an online dashboard for anyone to track the attendance of government officials, which is recorded by biometric terminals in their offices. shows real-time updates as government employees scan their fingerprints or iris when they come in to work.  The biometric system is already being used by 50,750 employees from 149 organisations.

New cloud-first policy allows Australian government agencies to use public cloud

The Australian government has released a new cloud policy to urge departments and agencies to consider cloud first. The new arrangement also allows them to store certain data on the public cloud. The new cloud policy requires government organisations to adopt cloud where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of government data and delivers value for money, states a joint release by Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, Attorney-General and the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Minister for Communication.

The Philippines government to make environmental data more open

To support its open data initiative, the government needs “an effective platform for the management of environmental information that the public can use with greater efficiency,” said Analiza Teh, Undersecretary, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The government currently uses several systems both for monitoring and managing data internally, as well as publishing information and applications for citizens and businesses, said Bresilda Gervacio, Human Resource Development and Information Systems Assistant Secretary.

Local government to implement winning application from smart city hackathon

Youths in Makassar city, Indonesia, gathered last week at a hackathon to build web and mobile applications to tackle top urban challenges of the city. The winning application will be implemented by the city government. These 500 youths focused on Makassar’s key concerns, including unemployment, social security service, healthcare, education, waste management, free training and microfinance for small enterprises, city’s park, public housing, and law enforcement.

Latest Australian cloud computing policy further adopts “cloud first” approach #cloud #cloudcomputing

The latest draft of Australia’s federal cloud computing policy insists that agencies “must” adopt cloud so long as it’s fit for purpose, protects user data and represents value for money. The 14 page paper, signed by minister for finance Mathias Cormann and minister for communications Malcolm Turnbull, aims to “reduce the cost of government ICT by eliminating duplication and fragmentation, and will lead by example in using cloud services to reduce costs, lift productivity and develop better services.”

India’s $US16m government email to have 5m users by March 2015

The Indian Government will have 5 million employees using its new official email service by March 2015. Currently, around a million officials are using the service and this will be bumped up to 5 million by March, said Ram Sewak Sharma, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, in local media reports. The project has been given a budget of INR 1 billion (US$ 16.3 million), including the cost of expanding infrastructure and strengthening security of servers used to store the emails, Sharma added.

Myanmar to build open source e-government platform

The first phase of the platform will be launched at the end of the year with functions allowing officials to manage citizen data and exchange information with other ministries and local governments, according to Vietnamese media reports. The platform will be upgraded in 2015 with cloud technology, and capabilities to handle more complex datasets and mobile users, it added.