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Improving office management and introducing the public service information system

Phase 4 (1991 to 1999): Improving Office Management and Introducing the Public Service Information System 

1. Administartive Management Environment

  1) Later Sixth Republic (Roh Taewoo Administration): September 1991 to February 1993
    i. Nationwide social reform campaigns and movements launched.
    ii. Local government laws and decentralization enacted, with “deregulation” and “anti-authoritarianism” becoming keywords.
  2) Civilian Government (Kim Youngsam Administration): February 1993 to February 1997
    i. April 1993: Presidential Committee for Administrative Reform, with Professor Park Dongseo as inaugural chairman, launched.
    ii. January 7, 1994: Framework Act on Administrative Regulation and Civil Affairs enacted and the Ombudsman of Korea established (April 8, 1994). 
    iii. August 4, 1995: Framework Act on Informatization Promotion enacted and the Informatization Promotion Committee, with the Prime Minister as inaugural chairman, launched.
    iv. December 31, 1996: Administrative Procedure Act and Information Disclosure Act enacted (effective beginning in 1998).

2. Office Management Organization 
  1) Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs (MGAHA)
    i. August 24, 1991: Ministry of Government Administration (MGA)’s Administrative Management Bureau (AMB) divided into organization and efficiency bureaus, with the latter encompassing the efficiency planning, office improvement, and administrative computerization divisions.
    ii. February 28, 1998: MGA and Ministry of Home Affairs merged into the single MGAHA, with the organization and efficiency bureaus also integrated into a single AMB overseeing the ordinance policy, organization management, and administrative system, efficiency, and information divisions, as well as the Administrative Information Review Officer (Grade 3). The Administrative Efficiency Division handled office and information disclosure tasks, while the Administrative System Division operated proposition and other administrative procedures.
    iii. July 22, 1998: MGAHA’s AMB reorganized into the organization policy, organization management, administrative system, and administrative efficiency divisions, with the Administrative Information Review Officer elevated to the position of the Administrative Informatization Planning Officer reporting directly to the Vice Minister.
  2) Organization for office automation at the MGAHA
    i. February 28, 1998: Government Archives and Records Service (now the National Archives of Korea) transferred to the MGAHA
    *January 29, 1999: Act on the Management of Records at Public Organizations enacted.
    ii. Government Computation Center (now the e-Government Headquarters) renamed as the Government Computer Center (GCC) on June 29, 1996, and placed under the MGAHA on February 28, 1998.
  3) Organization for office management and automation at other ministries and departments: handled by the Administrative Management Officer and the General Management Division of each ministry or department.

3. Institutional and Statutory Support 
  1) Phase 4
      Main statutes on office management and automation during Phase 4 were the Office Management Regulation (OMR), the Public Document Sorting and Preservation Rules (PDSPR), and the Enforcement Rules thereof.
  2) History of the OMR and the Enforcement Rules thereof
    i. The OMR, first enacted on June 19, 1991, under Presidential Decree 13390, was partially amended on March 6, 1993 under Presidential Decree 14438; on May 3, 1996, under Presidential Decree 13989; on June 29, 1996, under Presidential Decree 15063; on October 21, 1997, under Presidential Decree 15498; and on July 1, 1998, under Presidential Decree 15823.
    ii. The Enforcement Rules for the OMR, first enacted on September 30, 1991, under Prime Ministerial Decree 395, was partially amended on December 31, 1992, under Prime Ministerial Decree 415; on May 28, 1996, under Prime Ministerial Decree 570; and on November 1, 1997, under Prime Ministerial Decree 659.
    iii. Summary of the OMR
[Background and Objectives]
The OMR was enacted to integrate and systematize office tasks (especially involving public documents and records), at the time subject to multiple different statutes, under a single set of guidelines or rules in line with the improved productivity demanded by a rapidly industrializing and informatizing society. The OMR supports the automation and computerization of all manually handled office tasks, and also provides a systematic methodology for the simplification, standardization, and systematization of those tasks.
[Main Features and Aspects]
(a) Standardizing the paper size of government documents (see Appendix 6 for the evolution of standard government document sizes) to A4 (210 x 297 mm) to support automation and computerization (Article 10.4).
(b) Abolishing the position of the Official Drafter (formerly Grade 5 or higher) to increase the participation of lower-ranking government employees (Grade 6 or lower) in various tasks (Article 14).
(c) Enabling government employees to exchange documents on networks (Article 18).
(d) Creating the Document Registration System to support the systematization of document management and prevent the loss of important records (Article 24
(e) Creating the Document Registration System to support the systematization of document management and prevent the loss of important records (Article 24).
(f) Redesigning document forms to suit standard government office equipment, and creating new rules for automating document form management (Articles 73.3, 75, and 775).
(g) Creating a new system for submitting specimen copies of administrative organization publications, as well as a new sorting system to promote more effective usage of those publications (Articles 81 and 82).
(h) Establishing a system for promoting and facilitating office automation, and standardizing and verifying the operational capacity of office automation equipment (Articles 101 through 110).
(i) Providing general management rules for the office environment, including such issues as office supplies and amenities (Articles 111 through 116).
(j) Abolishing the Government Public Document Rules, Official Seal Rules, Reporting Control Rules, Inter-Organization Cooperation Rules, and Document Form Decision Making Rules (Supplementary Provision 2).

4. Outcomes
  1) Office management handbooks were published in 1991 and 1996 to facilitate and enhance office management efficiency.
  2) 1991 to 1998: Administrative Office Innovation Campaign
Prime Ministerial Instruction 1999-2 was released on March 31, 1995, in an effort to establish a more advanced and innovative office management system in anticipation of the informatization age. The Instruction urged government employees to innovate their office and working environments; adopt a more open and global mindset and outgrow authoritarianism; improve the productivity of administrative services by applying the cost-benefit principle; and strengthen the system for processing civil complaints and claims. The new Administrative Office Management Guidelines, published on February 4, 1997, promoted the “October 10 Campaign” aimed at minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency. The new Guidelines also promoted a more productive culture of office meetings and the simplification of the reporting procedure. The Private-Public Sector Office Innovation Contest was renamed as the Public Sector Management Innovation Contest in 1999. The first Public Sector Management Innovation Contest, co-sponsored by the MGAHA and the Ministry of Planning and Budget, was held at the Blue House on May 4, 1999, with exemplary cases of innovation presented and awarded.
  3) 1993 to 1999: Administrative Efficiency Diagnosis and training
The Administrative Efficiency Diagnosis (AED)17 was first undertaken in the latter half of 1993, with diagnosis training provided. The training involved educating government employees on ways they could minimize low-value tasks, control office overhead costs, analyze cost savings, and improve office productivity. Expert administrative efficiency diagnosticians were hired as government employees (after gaining management consultant licenses) later on. Moreover, a new diagnostic program called the Public Administration Process Reengineering (PAPR) was developed in August 1998. The PAPR was given a trial phase in Guri, Gyeonggi-do, in late 1998, and expanded to other jurisdictions, such as Gunpo and Pyeongtaek (both in Gyeonggi), Keochang of Gyeongnam, the Gwangju Metropolitan School Board, Daejeon, and others upon request. The Korea Intellectual Property Administration was also given an organizational diagnosis. Diagnostic training was provided for employees at various training and educational agencies as well, including the Central Civil Service Training Institute.
4) August 1995: Enactment of the Framework Act on Informatization Promotion and the development of new information and knowledge management systems
The Framework Act on Informatization Promotion (FAIP) was enacted in August 1995, leading to the creation of the Informatization Promotion Commission (chaired by the Prime Minister). The Ministry of Postal Services had been reorganized into the Ministry of Information and Communication in December 1994 to enhance the government’s ability to implement its information policy and foster the information technology industry. The Information Policy Office was newly created in 1996. The Government Computation Center was also renamed as the Government Computer Center (GCC) in June 1996 as part of efforts for broadening and advancing administrative information and knowledge management system networks.
  5) July 1998: Introduction of the Real-name Policy System
The People’s Government revised the OMR on July 1, 1998, to introduce and solidify the Real-name Policy System.18 The new system required each administrative organization head to keep detailed records of the decision making involved in developing and implementing policies, and to produce two separate copies of such records, with one copy retained by the organization involved and the other by the NAK for permanent storage and preservation.
  6) Legislating records management
In January 1999, the Act on the Management of Records at Public Organizations was enacted, establishing a standard system for keeping and preserving documents and records of national value. The new law also opened up record registries to the public for referencing and use, and imposed severer punishments on the destruction, concealment, or theft of presidential and other historically valuable records.
  7) Implications for the history of public administration in Korea
Informatization emerged as the top-priority issue in administrative and office management research in the 1990s.19 While stronger measures were introduced for keeping and preserving important and historically valuable government records, other measures were also introduced for the greater public disclosure of those records.
 

 
19 Numerous books were published on this topic in and around this decade as well, including: Kang Seokho, Theory of Information Systems (Bagyeongsa, 1989); Bang Seokhyeon, Theory of Administrative Information Systems (Beobmunsa, 1989); So Yeongil, Theory of Information Systems (Bagyeongsa, 1989); Ahn Munseok, Theory of Information Systems (Beobmunsa, 1989); Lee Yunshik, Theory of Administrative Information Systems: Volumes 1 and 2 (Beobyeongsa, 1990); and Cho Byeongil, Theory of Information Systems (Bakmungak, 1990).
 
18 The Real-name Policy System refers to a series of new measures introduced that required politicians and government employees to propose, endorse, implement, and evaluate their policies in their own names, so that due credit or criticisms could be given for the success or failure of those policies. The system goes by various names at various administrative organizations, including the Real-name Regulation System, the Real-name Construction System, the Real-name Real Estate Transaction System, the Real-name Financial Transaction System, etc.
 
17 AED refers to the process of enhancing the efficiency of administrative tasks and improving the quality of public services for citizens by visualizing, analyzing, reviewing, redesigning, and innovating the existing flows of administrative tasks (MGAHA, 2004, 267).

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