Today I found out about the Singapore Government’s OneInbox service. The service aims to put all your government correspondence in one place online, allowing you easy access to these letters at any time. You can register for the service here.
I must say I remembering being quite sceptical of the service when I first heard about it being planned last year. Government e-Services have not really impressed me for their usability, and this is exceptionally important for a service like OneInbox. However, I must say I’m quite impressed by the service, even though it has limited functions. It does what it needs to do well for a start.
After you sign up for the service, you will be able to log into your OneInbox and it will look like a typical email client. Except you don’t have an email address to go along with it. In fact, no one can put notices in this OneInbox except for the four government agencies currently involved: Central Provident Fund Board, Housing and Development Board, Inland Revenue Service, Ministry of Manpower. I’m sure they will eventually expand the service to cover all government correspondence and it was probably wise to start off with a few services.
You can choose which letters to receive in your inbox by checking the letter in the “Manage Subscription” section. I chose to receive all letters from the agencies, but I would understand if some people preferred not to. Do note that if you choose to receive your letters in your OneInbox, it will no longer be delivered by post. This would present some problems if you end up losing your Singpass.
Last but not least, the feature I liked the most was the email alert function. Simple but important. I would not use OneInbox if I had to log in daily to check for new mail from government agencies. I am assuming they would send an email alert to you when you get a letter, and also if you have unread letters in the OneInbox. Good for people like me who have a short-term memory and forget such notifications. It is also easy to set and change the email to forward the alert to. I just hope that it does not go into my spam folders! I would have liked if they can include an SMS service for this.
All in all, I think the Singapore Government’s OneInbox effort deserves some notice. It is a simple effort, but it is very functional. I am sure they can include more agencies in the coming months once they iron out the kinks.[DISCLOSURE: I work for the government, but I did not work on this project. View expressed here are my own and do not represent the government or the agency that I work for.]
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