The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) has announced that it will restructure the Infocommunications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) to form the Infocommunications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) and the Government Technology Organisation (GTO).
According to a media statement, the new IMDA will develop and regulate the converging infocomm and media sectors in a holistic way. It will implement the Infocomm Media 2025 plan to boost the industry through an emphasis on talent, research, innovation and enterprise.
The new IMDA will also deepen regulatory capabilities for a converged infocomm media sector, safeguarding the interests of consumers and fostering pro-enterprise regulations. This includes promoting and regulating data protection in Singapore through the Personal Data Protection Commission, which will be part of the new IMDA. This assures the public's confidence in the private sector's use of personal data, as companies increasingly leverage the data they collect as a source of competitive advantage.
Meanwhile, the new GTO will help to lead digital transformation efforts in the public sector. It will focus on providing a citizen-centric user experience and encourage the participation of citizens in the co-creation of public digital services. Additionally, the GTO will continue its efforts in ensuring the resiliency and cybersecurity needs of our government infrastructure.
The GTO will also be helping government agencies to capitalise on the speed of innovation and new technology trends such as robotics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and Big Data. Playing a vital role in supporting Singapore's Smart Nation vision, especially in delivering the Smart Nation Platform and Smart Nation applications, the GTO will also focus on developing new technology capabilities as well as attracting and nurturing ICT engineering talent.
Both organisations are slated to be formed in the second half of 2016. Following this, IDA and MDA will be administratively reorganised from 1 April 2016.
"Advances in technology have blurred the distinction between broadcasting and telecommunications. The reorganisation of IDA and MDA is therefore, not only timely, but a positive development. The infocomm media sector offers many opportunities to improve productivity growth, create high-skilled jobs, support an ageing population and foster a cohesive society in the midst of globalisation. It is an important sector for Singapore to nurture," said Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman, Infocomm Media Masterplan Steering Committee.
"I am confident that the newly merged IMDA will help the industry navigate the evolving environment and develop the necessary capabilities to stay relevant. It will bring Singapore closer towards our goal of establishing a value-creating economy," he added.
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