SINGAPORE: All operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) taking the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) can receive their monetary incentive awards immediately through PayNow from early next year, instead of waiting for about two weeks.
The move will be piloted from early 2019 as part of the Government's Smart Nation approach to promote adoption of more efficient payment methods, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced on Thursday (Oct 4).
Currently, NSmen receive their IPPT incentive awards through GIRO.
The pilot to use PayNow will start at Maju fitness conditioning centre and is expected to be rolled out at all fitness conditioning centres by the middle of next year.
It is one of the various ways the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is using innovation to raise productivity across the organisation, Dr Ng said. In the last financial year, it achieved savings from these innovations that exceeded S$158 million.
Such investment in innovation and technology is integral to the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and SAF, the minister added.
He said: "For the SAF to stay ahead, we must learn to use and exploit data more intelligently for our purposes. The impact is all pervasive, from the very front end of the teeth to the tip of the tail of militaries.”
Dr Ng was speaking at the launch of the PRIDE Symposium at Nanyang Polytechnic.
At the symposium, individuals, groups and units from MINDEF and the SAF were rewarded for their innovation and work improvement efforts.
The Air Power Generation Command, which is the largest operational command of the Republic of Singapore Airforce (RSAF), won the Minister for Defence Award and for innovation for the first time for its Smart Air Base initiatives.
It is trialling various initiatives such as automated inspection of its aircraft, and uses drones to enhance the airbase's security and inspect runway damage.
"Innovation culture is very important for Air Power Generation Command and for that matter for the rest of the Air Force," said Brigadier-General Gan Siow Huang, commander from the Air Power Generation Command.
"We all know that the workforce is going to become leaner in the future, and there will be more challenges ahead as the security environment continues to evolve. So we have to continue to find new ways to get our job done."
A total of 67 awards were given out to various individuals, groups and units in recognition of their innovative achievements.