The Ministry of Public Administration and Security (MOPAS) and the National Information Society Agency (NIA) have been staging a joint campaign to build up a creative and dynamic information culture since 1988.
In relation, the government has designated June of every year as the "Month of Information and Culture" to push for a campaign to carry out a sound information culture based on confidence and communication.
"NIA and MOPAS are also propelling a "sunfull" campaign with the Sunfull Movement Campaign Office. "Sunfull" is a Korean word that refers to positive comments on message boards and anti-cyber bullying," a NIA spokesman said.
"In addition, NIA is pushing ahead with a digital knowledge sharing campaign with Creative Commons Korea to create a dynamic information culture," the spokesman said.
"We can divide the chronology of Korea's information efforts into the four stages: the quickening period, the proliferation period, the stabilization period and the maturing period," he said.
"In the early 1990s, the government stressed the necessity and convenience of informatization. Entering 1995, the start of the proliferation period, it created a social climate to accelerate informatization. In 2002, it entered the stabilization period, concentrating its efforts on preventing side effects and dysfunction of informatization. In 2008, it exerted efforts to solve informatization-based social problems, entering the maturing period," he explained.
Characteristics of the 2011 event for the Month of Information and Culture
Under the topic of "Let's make a happy digital world all together," MOPAS and NIA are holding a variety of events in June across the country to realize a "warm and fair society," the core value pushed by the government in the informatization field.
"About 30 institutions, including government agencies, local governments, private groups, and IT companies are to participate in the events during the period from June 1 to 30," the spokesman said.
For instance, NIA and MOPAS held a ceremony to celebrate the Month of Information and Culture and launch the digital happiness sharing service corps at the ministry building in Seoul on June 13.
The 2011 informatization festival was held on June 14-16 to help the disabled, the elderly and multi-cultural family members promote their informatization ability.
"In addition, the u-service activation seminar, the sunfull campaign and the digital knowledge sharing festival will be held in June to create a happy digital world," he said.
Status of Korea's e-government
Since 2000, the government has pushed for a pan-national campaign to achieve e-government maturity. Thanks to such efforts, Korea ranked first in the U.N. appraisal of e-government in 2010, realizing the top e-government system.
"However, we need to propel smart e-government to preemptively cope with changes in the informatization paradigm and future society environment and tide over the limit of the existing e-government," the spokesman said.
"We are required to preemptively cope with the rapid spread of mobile environments such as smart phones and smart pads, changes of the inforamtization paradigm and the convergence of IT technology," he said. "In addition, the government should solve such pending issues such as the changes in population structure and labor population in the wake of low birth rates, as well as to curb carbon dioxide emissions. It also needs to positively cope with future environmental changes such as centering on human beings, social welfare, the strengthening of safety, and social integration to remove polarization," said the spokesman.
Noting that there are still limits in the efficiency of information resource operations, including the government-led service, which centers on suppliers-- not consumers, and duplicative investment, he said, "Demands for information security is growing following a series of information security-related accidents, including DDoS attacks."
Plans to activate e-government
The MOPAS, along with NIA, mapped out a plan to push for smart e-government in January of this year. "What is different from the existing e-government and the new e-government is that we are focusing on open, integration, collaboration and green areas," he said.
"Also, we have established five criteria, such as the realization of the world's best mobile e-government, achievement of a safe and warm trust society, activation of smart work for harmony between work and living, offering tailor-made communication-based services to people, and the realization of a solid e-government infrastructure," he explained. "To realize the world's best mobile e-government, the Ministry and NIA plan to shift e-government from the existing PC-centered one to a mobile-centered one, particularly in the administrative business sector," he noted.
"By using smart IT in preventing disasters, crimes and food incidents, we can realize a safe, warm and trusting society. Along with this, we can activate smart work through the operation of a smart work center, digital administrative cooperation, and by improving working conditions," said the spokesman.
In addition, the Ministry and NIA plan to strengthen people's participation and communication with the government by using social media and the opening of information, while developing e-government services into a tailor-made integration service by customer. "Finally, we will build a solid e-government infrastructure to provide people with a stable and persistent e-government service," he commented.
The government plans to spend a total of KRW 130.4 billion for the 2011 e-government supporting project, which will break down into KRW 20.2 billion for the promotion of people's convenience, KRW 15.1 billion for economic activation, KRW 48.3 billion for enhancing administrative efficiency, KRW 13.3 billion for social security, KRW 23.8 billion for strengthening inforamatization, and KRW 9.7 billion for new technology.
Status of Internet-using educational consolidation programs
Since 2002, the government has so far poured KRW 24.5 billion into a project to help youths and the general public to enhance their ethical information consciousness. For instance, the Ministry and NIA carried out education on ethical information consciousness for 4.54 million young people through the development and supply of relevant textbooks.
They also opened the "information ethics academy" for parents to help them teach their children the right direction towards Internet use. At the same time, they implemented education to prevent dysfunction of informatization for some 110,000 general people by using non-profit educational institutions, including lifelong educational schools and social welfare institutions.
To activate information ethical education for youths, they developed on- and off-line training programs for teachers and have carried out such education programs for 75,000 teachers since 2002.
Strategy to propel information culture movements
Commenting that the world is entering into a smart era, beyond the digital era, the spokesman said, "Now is a time which requires a new social contribution and sharing movement. By doing so, Korea can further develop as an advanced country based on fairness and confidence.
"Korea is one of the world's top IT powerhouses. By creating an ecosystem of a new social contribution and sharing service based on the merits of being an IT powerhouse, Korea can jump into top position in the world, not only in e-government, but also in social contribution and sharing service sectors."
Related to this, he continued, NIA has proposed the "Smart Angels Korea Movement," a pure private level campaign to create an ecosystem of new social contribution, donation and sharing.
According to Statistics Korea, the volunteer service participation rate in Korea was 19.3 percent in 2009. This is much lower than the 26.4 percent in the US in 2008, 59 percent in the UK in 2008, and 36 percent in Canada in 2007.
Smart donation and sharing platforms
Smart donation and sharing platform refers to an open-type ecosystem of donation and sharing through open cooperation, sharing, adjustment and communication. Smart means serve, mentoring, ability, rights-sharing and teaching.
"Through the platform, individuals, enterprises and groups can open and share their ideas for social contribution and sharing service resources, enhancing synergy effects of the sharing service through free solidarity and cooperation," said the NIA spokesman.
For instance, the platform connects mentors with language teaching ability and mentees hoping to receive language guidance. "Through such open platforms, dynamic social contribution and sharing service activities will be made in all society fields, including language teaching, piano lessons, sports and recreation guidance, construction of homepages, and UCC," he added.