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Can Brunei stand out as the Digital Society of 2020?

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Brunei

“Our Digital Government Strategy 2015 – 2020 is driven to support the Nation’s vision of Wawasan 2035. We will take a Whole-of-Government approach towards innovation and service provision, leading the digital transformation of the Government to make services simpler, faster and more accessible.” – Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office in Brunei

Brunei Darussalam, like Oman, is embarking upon the road to developing a sustainable framework and infrastructure for its nation’s digital capabilities, through The Digital Government Strategy 2015 – 2020, embedded into the larger vision of WAWASAN 2035.

The vision of this strategy relies on the desire of Brunei’s officials to achieve WAWASAN 2035 with an efficient and digital government. The Digital Government Strategy 2015 – 2020 mission states Brunei’s clear direction for the future:

“To Lead the Digital Transformation and Make Government Services Simpler, Faster and More Accessible.”

The Digital Government Strategy 2015-2020 is driven by the Wawasan vision 2035, through which Brunei Darussalam would like to be recognized globally for:

» The accomplishments of its well-educated people

» The high quality of life it offers to its citizens

» The powerful, dynamic & sustainable economy it will run

Information Technology represents a cornerstone in achieving Brunei’s long term vision, therefore the mission, focus areas and programs of the Digital Government Strategy 2015-2020 are fully aligned with the Wawasan 2035, in order to support the nation’s development efforts.

Brunei’s journey towards a digital government

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The government is constantly analyzing new methods of streamlining and improving their business processes, in the today’s context of continuous technological development. Its vision captures the limitless opportunities created by technology.

The official development strategy does not rely solely on identifying new technologies and their utility in the development process, it also focuses on empowering the government and its stakeholders to find further development paths.

“We will champion the creation of user-friendly services to increase ease-of-use, and will encourage agencies to re‑engineer their business to fully leverage on the ICT to optimize their processes, taking into account the need for improve collaboration across multiple agencies.

This requires us to foster a forward‑thinking mindset that will help to increase speed of adoption and raise the proficiency of our Government officers.” – Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office in Brunei

The country’s leaders wish to maintain a continuous improvement process for both the quality and accessibility of their data and services, which will ultimately contribute to economic and social growth, all the while protecting the environment and ensuring that the country’s improvement efforts do not hinder its sustainability goals.

In order to achieve this, the leaders of Brunei wish to provide their citizens with the appropriate tools and information that can aid the fulfillment of their set objectives.

Government processes and services require continuous updates and improvements that ensure an ever-increasing level of efficiency and collaboration between all stakeholders. Therefore, IT plays an important role by enabling a constant flow of comprehensive information towards citizens, businesses and government officials, which ultimately leads to a greater transparency index and better data-driven decisions.

In order to accomplish their vision and mission for this digital transformation, the Government of Brunei has identified 6 focus areas that must be taken into consideration and various initiatives which can be used to address them.

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Service Innovation – Given the complex societies which we live in nowadays, governmental agencies must find novel ways to deliver services to businesses and citizens, with an increased degree of accountability and transparency.


Collaboration & Integration – The complex national environment makes it so that agencies have to work together, therefore the government has to develop a plan that engages all of its branches and agencies, in order to solidify and enhance their collaboration.


Capability & Mindset – People are and they will always be the key factor behind any successful implementation of any plan or framework. The proficiency of state officials will only be enhanced if a culture of collaboration and a forward-thinking mindset will be fostered.


Optimization – The rapid development of technology forces the government to find appropriate optimization plans, in order to ensure the effectiveness of its IT systems.


Security – The government needs to maintain awareness regarding its digital assets and environment at all times, while developing processes and procedures to minimize the risks posed by cyber incidents.


Enterprise Information Management –  Accurate information represents the building block on which a nation ca truly advance. Therefore, an efficient process of managing and structuring information assets is required, so that state officials are able to contribute in an appropriate manner to the decision-making process.

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The Government developed six programs for future development, with clear outcomes and expectations outlined for each in the Digital Government Strategy 2015-2020.

After the successful implementation of the strategy, every program must have delivered the following outputs:

Advancing digital services

» Key services are accessible anytime anywhere

» Government revenue collection managed digitally


Implementing universal access for government systems

» One ID for citizens

» One ID for businesses

» Services that support one ID


Strengthening security

» An integrated approach for all sectors toward strengthening the national cyber security level


Enhancing stakeholder engagement

» Designing a new platform for stakeholder engagement

» Building a governance framework for managing stakeholder engagement


Optimizing digital assets

» Maximize the value of existing digital assets


Developing enterprise information management capabilities

» Various processes, tools and capabilities for Enterprise Information Management


The Brunei Government has set ambitious development plans and strategies, like WAWASAN 20135 or The Digital Government Strategy 2015-2020, which should ease its path towards a higher development stage. It is predicted that by the time these strategies are accomplished, Brunei will be a modern and digital society, with a strong and efficient financial system.

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