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Office automation

Phase 5 (1999 to December 2007): Automation of Office Management

 

(1) Administrative Management Environment

 

1) Late People’s Government (Kim Daejung Administration): September 1999 to February 2003

  i. The Electronic Government (e-Government) Act enacted on March 28, 2001.

  ii. “G2B,” i.e., Consolidated National Electronic Procurement System or “GePS,” service launched in September 2002, and the customer service system “G4C” launched in November of the same year.

 

2) Participatory Government (Roh Moohyun Administration): February 2003 to December 2007

  i. Roh Moohyun was inaugurated as the 16th President of Korea on February 25, 2003; he sets out to achieve “a competent and communicative government.”

*Practical goals: (1) efficient administration; (2) service administration; (3) transparent administration; (4) decentralized administration; and (5) administration for all (Choi, 2007, 51; Oh, 320)

  ii. The Presidential Commission for Government Innovation and Decentralization was created on April 7, 2003; the Government Archives and Records Services was expanded into the National Archives of Korea in April 2004.

  iii. The team system introduced into government organization, along with the total labor cost principle, the performance-based remuneration system, and budget incentives, in 2005.

  iv. The Act on the Management of Records of Public Organization was completely amended on October 4, 2006 (effective April 2007) with the record management scope expanded to include private records with public value; the e-Records Management System was established; and the scope of records for public disclosure was expanded.

*Act on the Management of Presidential Records enacted on April 27, 2007.

 

(2) Organization for Office Management and Automation

1) Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs (MGAHA)

  i. The Administrative Management Bureau (AMB, formerly the Administrative Efficiency Division) of the MGAHA remained intact even after the organizational reform of July 22, 1998.

*However, the position of the Administrative Information Review Officer at the AMB was rearranged into the Administrative Informatization Planning Officer, reporting directly to the Vice Minister.

  ii. The organizational overhaul of the MGAHA on March 11, 2004, led to the expansion and reorganization of the AMB into the Administrative Reform Headquarters (ARHQ), complete with organizational innovation, administrative innovation, and e-Government bureaus. The Administrative Innovation Bureau oversaw the divisions of administration, administrative efficiency, open administration, and civic relations. The Administrative Efficiency Division handled tasks of office management and participatory administration, while the Open Administration Division managed the proposition system, administrative procedures, and information disclosure. The e-Government Division managed e-Government policies, administrative informatization, local informatization, and information resource management. The position of the Administrative Informatization Planning Officer was abolished.

  iii. On May 24, 2005, the ARHQ was reborn as the Government Innovation Headquarters (GIHQ), complete with the Innovation Policy Officer, the Organizational Innovation Group, and knowledge administration and system innovation teams. The Knowledge Administration Team was charged with knowledge and office management as well as information disclosure. The System Innovation Team oversaw administrative procedures, civic propositions, civil complaints, and other tasks for improving administrative institutions. The e-Government Bureau was expanded into the e-Government Headquarters (EGHQ), complete with the strategy and planning, institution and policy, administrative informatization, and service informatization teams, as well as the e-Government Technology Policy Officer (overseeing standardization, information resource management, and security) and the e-Government Training Center (for planning and implementing training programs).

 

2) Main organizations for office management at the MGAHA

  i. National Archives of Korea (NAK)

    a. In April 2004, the Government Archives and Records Service was reorganized into the NAK and the Evaluation Analysis Team was added.

    b. In December 2005, the NAK was expanded to include as its subunits the Presidential Record Management Team, the Record Policy Department (including the general management, institutional planning, process innovation, record standardization, and training and evaluation teams), the Record Management Department (including the collection and planning, record informatization, and public relations teams), the Busan Branch, and the Seoul Record Information Center, encompassing 251 employees in total.

    c. In July 2007, the National Records Center, complete with administrative support, collection and evaluation, and record preservation teams, was added to the NAK.

    d. e-Government Support Center

On March 11, 2004, the MGAHA renamed the Government Computer Center as the e-Government Support Center.

 

3) Organizations for office management at each ministry or department

Each ministry or department possessed a general management division and/or a management support team, as well as a policy promotion office with a legal affairs team or an informatization support team.

 

(3) Institutional and Statutory Support

1) Institutions and statutes supporting office management in Phase 5

Institutional and statutory support for office management in Phase 5 included: the OMR and the Enforcement Rules thereof; the Act for Promoting the Automation of Administrative Tasks for the Realization of an e-Government, and the Enforcement Ordinance thereof (renamed as the e-Government Act and the Enforcement Ordinance for the e-Government Act in January and July of 2007, respectively); and the Public Record Management Act (PRMA), and the Enforcement Ordinance and Rules thereof.

 

2) Enactment and amendment 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 August 7, 1999, under Presidential Decree 16521; on January 29, 2001, under Presidential Decree 17115; on February 14, 2001, under Presidential Decree 17334; on December 26, 2002, under Presidential Decree 17811; on May 24, 2004, under Presidential Decree 18392; on March 24, 2005, under Presidential Decree 18746; on March 29, 2006, under Presidential Decree 19413; on June 12, 2006, under Presidential Decree 19513; on April 4, 2007, under Presidential Decree 19985; on July 18, 2007, under Presidential Decree 20171; and on October 23, 2007, under Presidential Decree 20331.

  ii. The Enforcement Rules for the OMR, first enacted on September 30, 1991, under Prime Ministerial Decree 395, was partially amended on September 2, 1999, under MGAHA Decree 64; on December 30, 1999, under MGAHA Decree 78; on February 14, 2001, under MGAHA Decree 125; on July 15, 2003, under MGAHA Decree 203; on May 24, 2004, under MGAHA Decree 228; on March 29, 2006, under MGAHA Decree 324; and on April 5, 2007, under MGAHA Decree 380.

 

3) Enactment and amendment of the e-Government Act and the Enforcement Ordinance thereof

  i. The Act for Promoting the Informatization of Administrative Tasks for the Realization of an e-Government, originally enacted on March 28, 2001 as Law 6439, was partially amended on December 31, 2001, as Law 6585; on May 15, 2013 as Law 6871; and finally on October 4, 2006, as Law 8031, before it was renamed as the Electronic Government (e-Government) Act on January 3, 2007. The e-Government Act was then partially amended on January 3, 2007, as Law 8171; and on May 17, 2007, as Law 8448 (with the enforcement date fixed as November 18, 2007).

  ii. The Enforcement Ordinance for the Act for Promoting the Informatization of Administrative Tasks for the Realization of an e-Government, originally enacted on June 30, 2001 under Presidential Decree 17812, was partially amended on June 10, 2002, under Presidential Decree 17625; on December 26, 2002 under Presidential Decree 17812; on June 30, 2003 under Presidential Decree 18037; on May 24, 2004 under Presidential Decree 18392; on March 24, 2005 under Presidential Decree 18746; and finally on June 12, 2006 under Presidential Decree 18746, before it was amended and renamed as the Enforcement Ordinance for the e-Government Act on July 18, 2007.

*The e-Government Act mandates that administrative organizations process their main tasks electronically, using electronic documents and electronic signatures. The Enforcement Ordinance for the same Act defines the details of the OMR on the use of the latest information technology in government administrative tasks, including principles to be followed in designing electronic signatures, notification modes, and official document formats, etc.

 

4) Enactment and amendment of the PRMA and the Enforcement Ordinance thereof

  i. The terms of the PRMA underwent major overhauls on October 4, 2006, reflecting the creation of new systems for electronically producing and managing public records, the expanding scope of the records available for disclosure and referencing, and the need to standardize and systematize the management of public records.

  ii. The Act was originally enacted on January 29, 1991 as Law 5709 under the title, “Act on the Management of Records at Public Organizations,” and came to acquire its current name and saw the amendment of all its parts and terms on October 4, 2006, as Law 8025. The Act was partially amended on April 27, 2007, as Law 8395.

  iii. The Enforcement Ordinance for the Act on the Management of Records at Public Organizations was enacted on December 7, 1999 under Presidential Decree 16609, and was partially amended on December 29, 2000 under Presidential Decree 17050; on August 8, 2002 under Presidential Decree 17698; on February 11, 2003, under Presidential Decree 17901; and on March 17, 2004, under Presidential Decree 18312, before it was completely amended as the Enforcement Ordinance for the PRMA on April 4, 2007, under Presidential Decree 19985. The amended Enforcement Ordinance was again partially amended on July 18, 2007, under Presidential Decree 20171; and on July 26, 2007, under Presidential Decree 20191.

  iv. The Enforcement Rules for the PRMA were enacted on April 5, 2007 under MGAHA Decree 380, and have not been amended until now (December 2007).

 

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

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(4) Outcomes

This period in Korean history saw rapid advancement of office automation across Korean government organizations.

 

1) Starting and promoting office automation: September 1, 1999, to December 31, 2003

The Korean government completed the infrastructure for enforcing office automation throughout its organizations during this time period, and also developed the electronic government seal and an accompanying verification system with the goal of fostering electronic document exchange.

 

  i. Amendment of the OMR and the Enforcement Rules thereof (enacted on August 7, 1999, and effective on September 2, 1999): In line with the enactment of the e-Government Act, the Korean government developed the infrastructure for electronic document exchange, including its own security signatures and verification system. The Korean government made various improvements to the public record management system as well, including: (1) enabling the concurrent display of official records in both Korean and other languages; (2) implementing the Real-name Policy System under which the sponsors and reporters of new legislation were required to provide their real names on such legislation; (3) replacing post-policymaking reviews with post-enactment reporting; (4) transferring the duty to oversee and review documents from document divisions to processing divisions; (5) diversifying the shapes of electronic government seals; and (6) abolishing the requirement to seek consultation before making periodical reports on laws.

  ii. Electronic Government Seal Certification Center and the amendment of the OMR and the Enforcement Rules thereof (February 13, 2001): In an effort to prevent the unauthorized disclosure, forgery, distortion, and destruction of official electronic documents, the Korean government developed the infrastructure for exchanging and certifying electronic government seals. This involved: (1) expanding the range of documents requiring seal certification to include all exchanged between administrative organizations and citizens; (2) granting electronic government seals the same force as offline government seals; (3) renaming electronic signatures as “electronic government seals”[1] and requiring their use on all electronic documents issued in the names of administrative organization heads and renaming the existing electronic government seals as “electronic image seals”[2]; and (4) creating the Electronic Government Seal Certification Center as part of the MGAHA’s e-Government Support Center (amended OMR of June 20, 2001).

  iii. Working Style Improvement Project (MGAHA, 2004, 27-277): The MGAHA published the Guidelines on Working Style Improvement in July 2000, which introduced a number of changes, including: (1) revisions to the Delegated Decision-Making Rules (or the Office Decision Making Rules in the case of local government organizations) to endow officials in the lower rungs with greater scopes of decision making authority; (2) increases in the proportion of decisions made, and documents exchanged, electronically; (3) shortened meeting times, and the broader use of efficient electronic document forms and online reporting (the so-called “S.O.S. Campaign”)[3]; (4) distribution of the Supplementary Provisions on Working Style Improvement to introduce “intense work hours” and encourage employees to finish their work during normal work hours. Other changes around this time included providing information training for all government employees; fostering the use of e-mails; developing nationwide administrative and information networks; launching open processing of civil complaints on the Internet; and improving other online services for citizens (White Paper on Administration 3, 2001, 10-12). The Public Sector Management Innovation Competition, which was held for the first time in May 1999 to share and award exemplary cases of government and bureaucratic innovation, went on to be held for the second and third time in June of 2000 and 2001 under the President’s authority, and for the fourth time in June 2002 under the Prime Minister’s authority.

  iv. Computer use was a norm by 2002, and led to the development of the integrated e-Government website. In addition, the Korean government identified 11 major tasks or projects for establishing e-Government infrastructure, which included, realizing four social insurance information systems including the Government for Citizens (G4C) Project; providing national taxation services online; launching the government procurement service system known as “G2B” (Government to Business); developing the national fiscal information system; rooting electronic decision making and exchange of documents; and concretizing the electronic signature and government seal system. These initiatives together formed the comprehensive e-Government of Korea (www.egov.go.kr), launched on November 1, 2002 (White Paper on Administration 3, 2003, 3 and 9).

 

2) Advanced stage of office automation: starting on January 1, 2004

  i. Development and innovation of the electronic document management system (January 1, 2004, and onward): Beginning in 2004, all e-Government functions and services were centralized in the MGAHA, with the OMR and other such rules overhauled to make room for innovative changes to the electronic document management system. First, the entire process of handling electronic documents was redesigned to suit the needs of automation. Policy proposal and implementation forms were unified into a letter format, while the required items list and the document codification system were simplified (see Appendix 7 for more on document code changes). Second, the authors and supporters of policies were indicated on electronic documents, electronic access to administrative organizations was improved, and government organizations were now required to clearly display the domains or addresses of their websites and e-mails. Third, the government seal registration process was revised to grant greater autonomy to administrative organizations in this regard. The test certification of electronic documents, the use of electronic image and document signatures, and administrative electronic signatures were all introduced. Fourth, the persons finally authorizing certain policies or documents were no longer allowed to sign on behalf of the heads of their respective ministries or departments (see Appendix 8 for the signatures of former Presidents and the kings of the Joseon Dynasty). Instead, they were now required to sign in their real names as part of efforts to enhance transparency and the Real-name Policy System.

  ii. Introduction of the Government Task Management System (March 29, 2006): The Korean government also set up a new task management system to reinforce the automation of government tasks.[4] According to the amended OMR under Presidential Decree 19413, the head of each administrative organization was required to ensure the building and operation of an electronic task management system. Such a system had to include task or document management cards. Each card had to indicate the content of the proposal submitted, the feedback and instructions shared during the collective decision making process, and the final outcome. The first such system arose in the form of e-Jiwon at the Blue House in November 2004. The MGAHA followed suit by launching HAMONI (Harmonized Model of New Innovation) in July 2005, which integrated customer and performance management systems into a single portal. In April 2006, six other ministries, including the ministries of planning and budget, science and technology, construction and transportation, and information and communication, also joined the trial phase of a pan-governmental task management system called the On-nara System, which has been in official use across all central ministries and departments since January 2007.

  iii. Amendment of the PRMA: The amendment and renaming of the Act on the Management of Records at Public Organizations into the PRMA on October 4, 2006, led to a major overhaul of the record management agency organization which involved improving the record sorting system (see Appendix 9 on the changes in the sorting system), developing a new electronic record management system, and expanding the range of records available for public disclosure and view. The project, however, still requires active public relations and campaigning to reap genuine success.

 

3) Implications for the history of administration in Korea

The advancement of the IT industry, the modernization of public administration, and the progress of e-Government projects have together introduced new and innovative changes into the field of public administration. Cutting-edge technologies have been incorporated into organizational management, public personnel administration, fiscal administration, and even the making, implementation, and analyses of policies. Office management and automation are central topics of research in the area of public administration. Of the 2,831 published studies on public administration over the five decades between 1956 and 2005, 185 (or 6.5 percent) concerned administrative informatization; 51 (1.8 percent), administrative management; and two, office management (i.e., 238 studies or 8.4 percent in total; Park, 593-616). Of the 1,164 studies published in the Korea Journal of Public Administration over the 39 years between 1967 and 2005, 61 (5.2 percent) discussed administrative management (including informatization and office management). There is a clear upward pattern in these figures. The number of such studies published was 12 between 1991 and 1995, and increased to 16 between 1996 and 2000, and again to 26 between 2001 and 2005. Administrative informatization and office automation became significant research topics beginning in 2001, with 26 or 8 percent of the total of 326 studies published in the Korea Journal between 2001 and 2005 on those topics. More specifically, however, 39 (or 64 percent) of the 61 studies on administrative management concerned informatization, while only 14 (23 percent) dealt with theories of administrative management and six (1 percent) concerned office management and techniques (Kwon, 627-633).

 

[1] An electronic government seal codifies the identities of the individuals who have written, produced, and revised a government document on an electronic network.

[2] An electronic image seal refers to the electronic (scanned) image of a normal government seal that is used electronically.

[3] The S.O.S. Campaign aimed at simplifying the reporting process, encouraging more efficient decision making, and streamlining report contents.

[4] A task management system integrates, standardizes, and systematizes the official processes in which government organizations handle their tasks. The Korean version is known as the “On-nara BPS.” “On” is a Korean word that means whole, all, and total. On-nara therefore means “the whole country.” “On” in English also indicates that something is ready to work. The naming of the system thus indicates the Korean government’s determination to provide services that citizens need around the clock. “BPS” stands for “Business Process System.”

 

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