Be open in sharing data, gov’t told

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds


BRUNEI government agencies need to be more open in sharing their data and set up a system of rules that allow organisations to communicate and transmit information, said a Singapore-based consultant.

Gerald Wang, programme manager of IDC Government Insights, said Brunei needs to address communication issues before it can become a smart city.

Wang, speaking on the sidelines of the ASEAN Chief of Information Officer (CIO) Forum, said government agencies need to practise the same communication protocols to bring about greater collaboration.

Sharing his experience of working with the E-Government National Centre (EGNC) and Ministry of Communications (MinComm), Wang said one of the ways for Brunei to become a smart city was to provide a seamless experience across all government agencies.

This includes communication from government to enterprises and from government to government, because certain issues need to be worked upon across different agencies including pandemic responses.

“For instance, you need to work with the Land Transport Department, Immigration Department and public safety agencies.

“But right now it is very hard if they all don’t share the same type of communication protocols and if they are not open to sharing any data; so all these problems need to be addressed,” he added.

Explaining the concept of “smart city”, Wang said the reason it is “smart” is because the cities’ functions are enabled and connected through ICT.

“For instance, in the Philippines certain places could face typhoons so there is a certain need to address that, and also some can be considered a “transport smart city” which uses technology to address traffic congestion during peak hours,” he said.

“So that needs to be more of a local government focus rather than central government as a whole type of smart city because its jurisdictions and functions are very specific; but it always starts with the functional side while the jurisdiction only gives it a unique identity,” he added.

Smart cities should possess a uniqueness that differentiates from others, he said.

“So how do we differentiate ourselves with another city? What is the specialty that attracts the right kind of manpower talent and foreign direct investment into a city?

“You need to have a certain kind of uniqueness, if it is all the same, how do people choose? How do they prioritise?” he added.

He said Brunei has the potential to become a smart city based on his previous experience working with the EGNC and MinComm.

“At this point, they have put up with a number of smart city initiatives and transportation is definitely one of the fields they are looking at,” he said.

The annual ASEAN CIO forum, held at the Rizqun International Hotel, gathers governments and businesses to promote sharing of best practices on technology.

The Brunei Times