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Office automation: beginning

Phase 3 (1984 to 1991): Office Automation Begins

 

(1) Administrative Management Environment

1) Later Fifth Republic (Chun Doohwan administration): November 1984 to February 1988

Democratization Declaration of June 29, 1987 à Constitutional Amendment of October 29, 1987, introducing the direct presidential election system and limiting each President to a single five-year term.

2) Early Sixth Republic (Roh Taewoo administration): February 1988 to September 1991

Creation of the Administrative Reform Committee (ARC) on May 13, 1988 (active until July 1989).

 

(2) Organization for Office Management and Automation

1) Main organization

Very few changes occurred in the main organization for office management during this period, although the President did commission research on international cases of office automation, the results of which appeared in A Study on Promoting Office Automation, published in May 1983. The research findings prompted the Office of the Secretary to the Prime Minister for Administrative Coordination, the Ministry of Government Administration (MGA), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI), and the Ministry of Postal Services (MPS) to launch a joint task force to develop a long-term plan for government-wide office automation.

 

2) Main units of the MGA’s organization for office management and automation:

  i. Government Archives and Records Service (now the National Archives of Korea): no major changes or reforms

  ii. Government Computation Center (GCC, now the e-Government Headquarters): came to include the Computer Training Division (admitting up to 15 persons/per session) on August 2, 1985

 

3) Office management units of other ministries and departments: no major changes or reforms

 

(3) Institutional and Statutory Support

1) Institutional and statutory support for office management and automation in Phase 3

Phase 3 began with the systematic compilation and integration of diverse statutory provisions on government documents (e.g., Government Document Regulation (GDR), Government Document Keeping and Preservation Regulation, etc.) into a single GDR, published on November 23, 1984. This compilation was used until the Office Management Regulation (OMR) was put into effect on October 1, 1991 (enacted on June 19, 1991). The OMR integrated all office management rules pertaining not only to government documents, but also to report control, the management of official stamps, office environments, etc. Specifically, the main legal support for office management during Phase 3 can be found in the GDR and the Enforcement Rules thereof; the Report Control Regulation (RCR) and the Enforcement Rules thereof; the Official Stamps Regulation (OSR); the Rules on the Sorting Codes and Preservation Periods of Government Documents, and the like. (Please see Appendix 5 for changes made in the rules pertaining to official stamps.)

 

2) History of the GDR and the Enforcement Rules thereof

  i. The GDR was first enacted on September 13, 1961 under Cabinet Decree 137; amended in its entirety on November 23 under Presidential Decree 11547; partially amended on December 27, 1986, under Presidential Decree 12020; again partially amended on August 1, 1987, under Presidential Decree 12222; and finally repealed on June 19, 1991, as it was absorbed into the OMR (Presidential Decree 13390).

  ii. The Enforcement Rules for the GDR was first enacted on November 14, 1985, under Prime Ministerial Decree 305; partially amended on August 1, 1987, under Prime Ministerial Decree 326; and finally repealed on September 30, 1991, as it was merged with the Enforcement Rules for the OMR (Prime Ministerial Decree 395).

  iii. In the amendment of the entire GDR on November 23, 1984, under Presidential Decree 11547, all rules on government documents were integrated towards creating a more systematized document management system that reflected evolving office automation technology, changes in the administrative environment, and the development of new techniques for keeping, processing, storing, and preserving official documents.

 

3) History of the OSR

The OSR, which was enacted on April 10, 1962 under Cabinet Decree 644, was partially amended on November 27, 1986, under Presidential Decree 12020, and again partially amended on February 1, 1991, under Presidential Decree 13282, before being repealed on June 19, 1991, as it was absorbed into the OMR under Presidential Decree 13390.

 

4) History of the RCR

  i. The RCR, which was enacted on December 26, 1961, was partially amended on December 27, 1990, under Presidential Decree 13187, and again partially amended on February 1, 1991, under Presidential Decree 13282, before being finally repealed on June 19, 1991, as it was absorbed into the OMR under Presidential Decree 13390.

  ii. The Enforcement Rules for the RCR, which was enacted on February 21, 1973, under Prime Ministerial Decree 118, was partially amended on October 4, 1984, under Prime Ministerial Decree 288; on December 2, 1985, under Prime Ministerial Decree No 306; on November 24, 1986, under Prime Ministerial Decree 319; on December 14, 1987, under Prime Ministerial Decree 332; on December 31, 1988, under Prime Ministerial Decree 346; and finally on February 4, 1991, under Prime Ministerial 380, before being repealed on September 30, 1991, under Prime Ministerial Decree 395.

 

5) History of the Rules on the Sorting Codes and Preservation Periods of Government Documents

The Rules on the Sorting Codes and Preservation Periods of Government Documents was first enacted on December 31, 1984, partially amended on September 30, 1991, under Prime Ministerial Decree 395, and finally repealed and absorbed into the Enforcement Rules for the OMR on December 31, 1992, under Prime Ministerial Decrees Nos. 415 and 416.

 

(4) Outcomes

1) Substantial development of systematic office management

The blind pursuit of growth that had consumed the nation since the 1960s came to be questioned during this period, with a shift in attention away from quantity of growth, to quality. Statutory and institutional grounds for government office management were reviewed and consolidated to promote substantial productivity improvements, while office automation began to be more fully connected to the expanding administrative computer system (Jo, 1987, 550-551). The computer training curriculum for government employees also gained more rigor, with a new computer training division added to the GCC in August 1985.

 

2) Publication of Administration Guidelines[1] and the Simultaneous Use of the Nebeolshik and Dubeolshik Typewriters

The Five-Year Plan for the Publication of Administrative Guidelines established in 1982 saw 450 types of administrative guidelines published under its umbrella from 1983 to 1987, all of which advanced standardization of administrative tasks. In addition, dubeolshik-type (computer) keyboards were introduced into administrative organizations and government employees were encouraged to use them alongside the existing nebeolshik-type (typewriter) keyboards in preparation for office work automation and the expansion of public service information systems.

 

3) Creation of the Korea Institute of Public Administration (KIPA) and Abolition of the Office of Administrative Research

  i. The Office of Administrative Research (OAR) (with 36 members, including one Grade 1 official as director, two Grade 2 officials, and seven Grade 4 officials) was set up as part of the MGA on November 2, 1981, to perform the functions of the earlier Administrative Reform Committee (ARC). The OAR, however, faced increasing criticism for the lack of professionalism and continuity in its research, a situation caused by frequent turnovers in personnel and the rigidity of the organizational operation that limited the OAR to short-term, practical-themed research only. Demand began to rise for a more professional think tank to support administrative reforms with solid research.[2] In response, OAR Department 2 devised a plan for the creation of a new administrative research agency in April 1990, and soon after drafted the bill for the establishment of the Korea Institute of Public Administration (KIPA), a bill enacted into law with support from the then Minister of Government Administration Lee Yeontaek.[3] The process also benefitted from the advice of leading scholars, including Professors Park Dongseo and Jo Seokjun of Seoul National University and Professor Roh Jeonghyeon of Yonsei University.

  ii. The KIPA Act was proclaimed on January 14, 1991, and the institute officially opened its doors, with Professor Roh Jeonghyeon as its inaugural president, on October 5 of the same year. Responsible for the legislative and preparatory work leading up to the institute’s creation were the then Vice Minister of Government Administration, Jeong Munhwa, and Choi Seokchung. The establishment of the KIPA led to the abolition of the OAR on August 24, 1991, with former OAR staff members now assigned to the organizations at the MGA (with the Efficiency Bureau, the Civil Service Examination Training Bureau, and the position of the System Review Officer at the Organization Bureau all newly created).

 

4) Implications for the history of administration in Korea

The 1970s and 1980s represented time periods of adaptation and naturalization of modern public administration to Korea’s particular circumstances. These decades were spent broadening the scope of public administration research to include organizational management and other aspects, and developing the grounds for theories better suited to Korea (Park, 99-101). Beginning in the mid-1980s, public service information systems became a new and central topic for administrative and office management researchers.

 

[1] Administrative guidelines refer to the standard instructions or manuals to which multiple administrative bodies and administrators refer in the course of carrying out tasks. The OMR provides for two types of administrative guidelines: institutional and job-related or departmental ones.

[2] A host of government-invested research institutes came into being circa 1990, including: the Korea Institute of International Economic Policy (KIEP, 1989); the National Economic System Research Institute (1989); the Korea Legislation Research Institute (1990); the Korea Institute of Public Finance (KIPF, 1991); the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH, 1989); the Korea Labor Institute (KLI, 1989); the National Youth Policy Institute (NYPI); the Korea Institute of Sports Science (KISS, 1989), and others.

[3] Objectives of the KIPA: (1) monitoring the overall affairs of government management and conducting wide-ranging investigations and research; (2) researching, developing, and adopting advanced administrative systems and management techniques; (3) developing and evaluating comprehensive policies on major issues involving multiple or all ministries and departments; (4) serving as a central and professional think tank for the long term (KIPA, 2001, 39-41).

 

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