Wednesday 5 June 2024

DICT Secretary Steven Matainaho, addressing   the Data Governance Workshop at Holiday Inn today.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has highlighted the need for a data governance framework to regulate the collection and use of data across government agencies.

In his remarks during the Data Governance Workshop this morning, DICT Secretary, Steven Matainaho,  described  the current system of collecting the same data separately by different agencies, as being  inefficient and prone to duplication.

 He emphasized the importance of adopting the “Once Only Principle,” where data is collected only once and used multiple times, stating,  this approach would not only reduce duplication but also improve data accuracy and security.

He further stressed the need for a whole-of-government approach to develop a data governance framework that enables sharing and collaboration across agencies.

Secretary Matainaho recognized that such a  process may take time, and suggested   a need to take an operational approach to understanding how data is being collected and used across government.

The Secretary’s comments come as the government is working on drafting instructions for a data governance legislation that will be introduced to government.

“The legislation aims to regulate the collection, use, and storage of data across government agencies,” he said.

The workshop, which was attended by representatives from  about 48  government agencies, aimed to provide a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences on data governance and protection.

The event also highlighted the importance of developing a data governance framework that is aligned with the government’s digital transformation policy.

“We need to work together as a whole of government to develop a data governance framework that enables sharing and collaboration across agencies,” Secretary Matainaho said.

“We want to understand how everyone is collecting their data, what they’re collecting, how they’re collecting it, when they’re storing it, and what their interoperability requirements are.”

He also acknowledged that Singapore has taken a significant step towards developing a governance framework for AI and integrating it into its transformation agenda, and  hoped that lessons learned from Singapore can be applied to the country’s own efforts in developing a data governance framework.

Mr Matainaho concluded with a clear emphasis on the importance of effective data governance in achieving the country’s digital transformation goals.

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