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Development Overview

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Overview of Korea’s development experience

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Development Overview
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Public Administration

Electronic government 1

hanges in the e-Government Implementing System
 
(1) Building the Electronic Network Infrastructure Nationwide (1987 to 1996)
The pursuit of computerization and automation of administrative tasks began in 1978, with the First Administration Computerization Project (ACP). The two ACPs, which lasted until 1986, involved various ministries and departments developing their own electronic systems to suit their particular needs and projects. The Korean government began to recognize administration informatization as an important policy issue in 1987, launching the first-phase of the Nationwide Electronic Network Infrastructure Project (NENIP), referred to as the Administration Network Project (ANP), that same year. This was followed by the second-phase ANP, which was carried out from 1992 to 1996.
 
 
Type Functions
Electronic Network Coordination Committee (ENCC)
  • Reviewed and coordinated basic national computerization policies
  • Handled funding and repayments, and deliberated on the introduction of the necessary technology and equipment
Working Committee
  • Previewed issues on the ENCC agenda
Network Promotion Committee (NPC, per network)
  • Deliberated on project proposals concerning each network
  • Discussed issues delegated by the ENCC
Working Committee
  • Previewed issues on the agenda of each NPC
Supervising organizations
  • Supervised the involved agencies and provided required assistance
  • Oversaw the administration network (of the Ministry of Government Administration), the financial network (of the Bank of Korea), the educational and research network (of the Ministry of Education), and the defense network (of the Ministry of Defense)
Hosting organizations
  • Oversaw the development and maintenance of informatization issues in their respective purview, and provided information for user organizations
User organizations
  • Accessed and made use of various types of information available via the administration network
Project carriers
  • Participated in the development and other outsourced tasks concerning the administration network
Suppliers
  • Developed software programs as commissioned
 
Source: ENCC, General Evaluation Report on the Nationwide Electronic Network Infrastructure Project, 1991
 
The NENIP, based on the Act on the Promotion and Spread of Electronic Networks that was enacted in May 1986, concerned the development and maintenance of five types of networks, i.e., administrative, financial, educational-research, defense, and internal security networks. The two phases of the NENIP were carried out between 1987 and 1991, and between 1992 and 1996, respectively. By the end of the second phase of the NENIP, all the involved agencies and organizations were merged (under the Framework Act on the Promotion of Informatization) to launch and carry out informatization projects in various areas (ENCC, 1991; NCA, 1997a and 1997b; Seo, 1994).

The basic objectives of the NENIP included completing the nationwide network infrastructure by the mid-1990s, and realizing an information-based society akin to those of advanced countries by the early 2000s. The purposes of these changes were to achieve a small and efficient government, enhance corporate productivity, and improve the convenience of living for the people, all of which could serve to boost and ensure national competitiveness (ENCC, 1992).

The NENIP implementing system involved diverse ministries and departments, financial institutions, research institutes, universities, military units, and the internal security apparatus as hosting organizations. Five Network Promotion Committees (NPCs) were set up to oversee the progress of the projects for administrative, financial, educational-research, defense, and security networks. The Electronic Network Coordination Committee (ENCC) oversaw and provided assistance for the five networks. Each user organization was encouraged to bring in private-sector experts and engineers (ENCC, 1991).

The ENCC was first established in May 1987 as a non-standing committee, consisting of Cabinet members, and directly reporting to the President. With the creation of the Information and Communication Bureau in the Ministry of Postal Services (MPS) in 1991, however, the ENCC became part of the MPS. The Informatization Promotion Committee (IPC), created under the Framework Act on the Promotion of Informatization that was enacted in August 1995, eventually came to replace the ENCC (NCA, 1997a).

The overarching objectives of the first-phase ANP included the completion of the nationwide administrative network needed to facilitate and expedite information logistics and improve the quality of public services; the development of an administrative information management system for joint use by various government organizations to boost the efficiency and rationality of policy decisions; the generation of demand for the information technology industry to enhance its competitiveness; and the realization of a small and efficient government whose labor and office costs are minimized thanks to the computerization and automation of administrative tasks (ENCC, 1991).

The implementing system for the first-phase ANP, headed by the ENCC, was centered on developing cooperative relations among the NPCs overseeing the five networks. The final decision-making authority was the Administrative Network Promotion Committee (ANPC). The ANPC was set up as part of the ENCC according to Article 9 of the Enforcement Ordinance for the Act on the Promotion and Dissemination of Electronic Networks, and was charged with the tasks of reviewing administrative network project proposals and deliberating on issues delegated by the ENCC. The ANPC was comprised of 30 or so members, including one chairperson. The chairperson in this instance was the then Vice-Minister of Government Administration. The working committee assisting the ANPC was responsible for previewing the issues on the ENCC’s agenda. The MGA, as the highest supervisory body, provided the necessary support and assistance.

Each hosting organization was charged with developing and maintaining given projects and with providing information for user organizations via the administrative network. DACOM, the project carrier, developed the computer networks and provided diverse types of technical assistance throughout the process. The National Computerization Agency (NCA) was responsible for auditing the ANP and assisted in the process of standardizing necessary technologies.

The second-phase ANP, forming the second part of the NENIP, was carried out from 1992 to 1996. The basic objectives this time were improving the efficiency of public administration and the quality of public services, and enhancing public officials’ computerization awareness. The project involved: (1) developing a network for distributing administrative information in general; (2) expanding the scope of administrative tasks to be computerized; (3) facilitating the spread of computer equipment and applications; and (4) enhancing public officials’ capacity for using computer equipment and programs. Achieving these goals entailed, in turn: (1) the establishment of a nationwide system of administrative information based on the network infrastructure completed in the first-phase ANP; (2) the concentration of resources and support on improving the quality of public services and the efficiency of public administration to enable the Korean government to better manage globalization; and (3) the establishment of systems for the nationwide expansion of the administrative network, including personal information protection, computer data security management, and standardization (Mun, 1997).

The implementing system for the second-phase ANP shared much in common with that of the first-phase ANP, except for a few newly-added functions. The ANPC, still placed under the authority of the ENCC, was responsible for deliberating on and coordinating ANP plans as well as for other matters as delegated by the ENCC. The working committee, reporting to the ANPC, previewed the issues on the ANPC’s agenda before each ANPC meeting. The MGA, overseeing the whole project, elicited cooperation and support from related ministries and departments. Each hosting organization developed and maintained the required programs and provided requested information for user organizations via the administrative network. Project carriers continued to provide required services, which included the development of major programs and components of the administrative network. The NCA handled project inspections, helped to standardize technologies, ensured the reliable operation of electronic networks, and provided technical advice. Whereas in the first-phase ANP DACOM was designated as the sole project carrier, the second-phase project saw the participation of multiple carriers, particularly in the development of major programs and components, and in the formation of the overall administrative network. In addition, the role of the Government Computer Calculator (GCC), left undefined during the first-phase ANP, was during the second-phase put in charge of building the General Administrative Information System and providing support for the computerization tasks at various ministries and departments upon request (MGA, 1996).

Source: Korea Institute of Public Administration. 2008. Korean Public Administration, 1948-2008, Edited by Korea Institute of Public Administration. Pajubookcity: Bobmunsa.