"To meet citizens' growing demands for online communication and effectively cope with rising demand for green IT services and green growth, the city government is actively pushing ahead with the e-government vision," said Song Jung-hee, Assistant Mayor for Information Technology (CIO) of Seoul Metropolitan Government.
"To achieve the e-government vision, which is essential in an era of mobile environment, such as smart phones, we have set four policy targets," she said.
"First of all, we are propelling a project to help underprivileged people have easier access to the digital society and offer life information services to citizens through up-to-date information media, including mobile phones and IPTV. Along with this, we are pushing for GOV2.0 by providing Apple developers with development space through the Seoul App Center, and make a public life information database," said Song.
“Secondly, the Seoul city plans to expand wireless Internet zones at public places and establish U-shelter, which uses sophisticated technology to collect weather & atmospheric environmental information from sensors at bus stops, then make this life information available to citizens. For safety of children, the city is also moving to establish U-Seoul children safety zones near primary schools in Seoul by using CCTV, sensor networks and mobile phones.” Song added.
"Thirdly, to realize convergence and green IT administration, we built a mobile office by making the best use of smart phones. By doing so, we have a comprehensive management system on budgets, accounts and personnel affairs of Seoul city-invested institutions and have optimized the business process.”
"Meanwhile, we will upgrade administrative portals to provide customized information centering on communication and cooperation. We will also build a public infrastructure for administrative information database, as well as create an environment-friendly green data center, armed with advanced technology high efficiency," said Song.
Fourth, the Seoul city established the World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments (WeGO) in September of this year to lead the global e-government and strengthen IT governance.
Seoul Metropolitan Government has been making a strong push for a citizen-oriented e-government and the world's top smart Seoul, a high-ranking city official said.
"We will push for e-government cooperative projects through expansion of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with global cities and establish the U-city model as a means of actively fostering next-generation growth industries. IT-Complex to be built by 2012, will house a city integration management center, a media center, and an e-sports stadium, becoming the IT landmark of Seoul," she said.
Inaugural General Assembly of WeGO
"Seoul City will lead in the development of e-government based on state-of-the-art technologies and the WeGO, an organization of e-governments established in Seoul," the Assistant Mayor said.
The Inaugural Genreral Assembly of WeGO was held at Grand Hyatt Seoul from Sept. 6 to 8 for sustainable city development and promotion of citizens' quality of life through exchanges and cooperation between e-governments of global cities.
The meeting was sponsored by the United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG) under the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Mayors and IT experts from some 50 cities participated in the conference.
WeGO is based on the Seoul e-Government Declaration adopted at the World e-Government Mayors Forum in 2008. The declaration suggested forming a consultative body to exchange e-government information and narrow the information gap among cities.
Seven cities, including Barcelona, Berlin and Frankfurt, presented cases of successful e-government under the theme of "e-Sharing for All."
"Through WeGO, Seoul will promote its advanced Information Technology, policy and companies pioneering a new market, based on its up-to-date methods," said Song.
"For example, the Seoul city plans to lead the campaign to narrow the global information gap by implementing such projects as spread of best e-government cases, e-government consulting, supply of PCs and education on the e-government program for public servants of developing countries," she noted.Seoul ranks first in appraisal of e-government
Seoul ranks first in Rutgers Global E-Governance Survey
Seoul has been ranked as the top city for e-government in a survey of websites of the world's 100 cities.
"The nation's expertise in the digitalization of administrative work procedures and citizen services through IT applications has been highly recognized in the survey," she said.
The survey examined websites of 100 municipalities worldwide and evaluated them in terms of privacy, usability, content, service and citizen participation and ranked the cities on a global scale.
"Seoul ranked first in the world in four categories, except the usability, with a total score of 84.74, followed by Prague with 72.84. We will continue exercising global leadership in narrowing information gap by supporting the IT projects of developing countries," she said.
In the field of citizen participation in particular, the Seoul city has been operating the "dialogue with the city Mayor" online, expanding the city's communication with citizens and students, Song explained.
"Thanks to the selection of Seoul as the world's No. 1 e-government, a growing number of experts in IT, public servants and professors from global cities are visiting Seoul city to study the city's excellent e-government system. Related to this, Seoul has concluded MOUs with 11 cities, including Barcelona, for e-government exchanges and cooperation," she commented.
"In particular, we carried out a feasibility study for application of e-government in major cities, including Hanoi in Vietnam, Nairobi in Kenya, and Kathmandu in Nepal, helping the cities map out an informationization master plan," said Song.
"Through WeGO, launched in September 2010, we plan to activate exports of the city's advanced e-government system in the future," she added.