The National Computer Board (NCB) was established on 1September 1981 as a new public body under the National Computer Board Act No. 14 of 1981. The board was formed as a result of a study conducted in 1980 by the Committee on National Computerisation. The committee, headed by then Senior Minister for Education Dr Tony Tan, looked at ways to develop Singapore as a regional centre for computer software development and services.
The NCB was tasked with three major statutory functions. First, it had to implement the computerisation of the Civil Service. Second, it had to coordinate computer education and training. Third, it had to develop and promote the computer services industry. Philip Yeo, who was then the second permanent secretary in the defence ministry, was appointed the founding chairman of the NCB.
The Civil Service Computerisation Programme was launched soon after the board was set up and 10 government ministries were the first to implement computerisation. The NCB was also successful in developing Singapore’s IT industry. By 1998, the number of IT professionals working in the IT sector had increased to more than 33,000 from only 800 in 1980. The IT industry also enjoyed an increase in revenue, from S$69 million in 1980 to more than S$37 billion in 2006.
The NCB merged with the Telecommunications Authority of Singapore (TAS) to form the Infocommunications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) in 1999.
1. National Computer Board. (1982/83). National Computer Board annual report (p. 1). Singapore: The Board. Call no.: RCLOS 001.640605957 NCBSAR-[AR].
2. Soh, T. K. (1981, January 18). Manpower for computers. The Straits Times, p. 1; Goh, L. (2006, October 3). Taking the govt down the tech road. The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. National Computer Board. 1982/83, p. 1.
4. Group to set up computer board. (1981, April 3). The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. The Straits Times, 3 Oct 2006, p. 9.
6. The Straits Times, 3 Oct 2006, p. 9.
The information in this article is valid as at 2013 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.