저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
e-government initiative under way President Roh Moo-hyun has generated much more interest than any other Korean president in the past and is being watched closely to see how he puts his words into deeds. An e-government initiative to transform the national seat of government into a 'Digital Blue House' is currently his biggest topic of conversation these days. As this initiative is rated fifth most significant of its type in the world, the government's e-government construction efforts are becoming the object of international interest. First of all, President Roh's 'Digital Blue House' concept is designed to change the mode in which the civil administration works from a mass-produced approach that it has adopted since the 1970s to one characterized by customized service. Namely, the Digital Blue House project can be summarized as a system, which allows citizens to interact with their government through digital electronic communication.
Under the direction of President Roh, the project's construction team has deployed systems to permit the digital management of meetings, serve as virtual notebooks, and provide services online.
A Blue House official who spoke on conditions of anonymity, explains that the project, an initiative of President Roh is not only designed to deliver services with greater convenience, but also to demonstrate what the government is doing in transparent fashion.
High marks to Korea's endeavors in web service
The policy of the Roh Moo-hyun Administration to establish an e-government has won international recognition.
The Republic of Korea ranked 5th in an overall assessment of e-government conducted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs of its 191 member countries.
Every year the UN announces the international e-government ranking levels as expressed in the e-Government Readiness Index. The Republic of Korea was ranked 15th in 2002 and 13th in 2003; in 2004 it jumped to fifth with a 0.8575 on a scale 1.000.
A Blue House high-ranking official, said, "In the evaluation, the UN gave high marks to Korea's endeavors in the web service sector. In particular, the electronic civil affairs service called G4C (Government for Citizens) was cited as a model of e-government."
The United Nations selected Korea's G4C as a major subject for analysis as it is the representative site for the Korean e-government. The United Nations said that the G4C, which provides systematic access to on-line government services, represents one of the best-organized e-government sites in the world.
Moreover, it enables users to obtain major documents such as copies of resident ID cards through their personal computers. The service maximizes convenience and is of a standard rarely found in other countries.
"The high standards of the Korean e-government illustrates how the project has substantially contributed to improving not only the efficiency of administrative procedures but also services for citizens", this official points out.
He went on, "The improvements of Korea in the e-Government Readiness Index thus reflects the capabilities of Koreans in using the Internet, government endeavors to build an e-government and an active publicity drive about the government is seeking to accomplish".
Through his remarks too at the Opening of the Sixth Global Forum on Reinventing Government held on May 24, 2005, President Roh underscored that the goal Korea pursues in initiating innovation in government is to create a government that is efficient, a government that serves, a government that is transparent, a government that respects its citizens, and a government that is decentralized. In this way, it is the national goal to make government perform well, matching the competitiveness of the world's 10th largest economy, the President added.
Subsequently, he stressed to the participants of the Sixth Global Forum on Reinventing Government, "Substantial improvements will be made continuously in regard to the e-government initiative, to which I am very committed".
Commit yourself as an IT president!
President Roh expressed confidence about Korea as an IT power through his remarks at the Seoul Digital Forum 2005 and World ICT Summit held on May 19, explaining that as many are aware, Korea is ahead of most countries in the progress of the digital revolution, a major transformation of the time that we live in.
As a result, more than two-thirds of Korean citizens are using the Internet, and Korea is unrivaled in broadband Internet subscriptions, the President emphasized.
What's more, memory chips, CDMA cell phones and other diverse IT products from Korea are leaders in the world market. President Roh said, "For the first time in the world, hand-held Internet technology, WiBro, has been developed as a result of extensive development of core technologies and this very month, we opened the age of Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB)".
Concerning the ability of e-government to enhance efficiency and transparency, Roh said that the presidential staff and he engage in protracted discussions online, and all reports and records are managed digitally. This does not simply eliminate paper, but changes the working method altogether.
Now that the Republic of Korea is recognized around the world as a dynamically developing information and communication powerhouse, let's hope that President Roh also commits himself more as an "IT president".