In July 2015, there was good news coming from Paris, France. South Korea ranked 1st in the Open, Useful, Reusable Government Data Index (the OUR data index) among the 30 OECD member nations, scoring 0.98 on a scale of 0 to 1(1 = greatest openness), much higher than the OECD average of 0.58.
South Korea was followed by France (2nd), the UK (3rd), Australia (4th), Canada (5th) and the US (9th). Japan, the other Asian OECD member, finished 14th with a score close to the OECD average of 0.58.
South Korea came out on top in the OECD OGD index thanks to the hard work done by the Open Data Strategy Council, the Ministry of the Interior, OGD chief officers, OGD Support Center, the Open Data Mediation Committee, etc.
Thus, this installment is intended to shed some light on this country’s OGD policy and implementation systems.
First is the Open Data Strategy Council (ODSC) which reviews and coordinates major government policies and examines action plans. In other words, the ODSC is the control power for the nation’s OGD policy.
The ODSC, under the Prime Minister's Office, has been co-chaired by the Prime Minister and a figure from the private sector. The ODSC was set up under the Open Data Act, aimed at securing the public’s access to government data and facilitating the public’s use of OGD for better life quality and faster economic growth.
Under the ODSC are the OGD Strategy Committee and the Working-level Committee, under which are five subcommittees: law& systems/ services; opening/quality; evaluations; startup promotion and OGD & big data.
In particular, the 2nd ODSC, launched last February, has arranged a big framework for opening and utilizing government data by reviewing and confirming the 2016 OGD implementation plan, a plan for the complete opening of government data in 22 key areas, a plan for streamlining overlapping data services between the public and private sectors and an action plan for OGD quality control.
The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) is a ministry in charge of implementing OGD policies. To realize the government’s new governance paradigm, i.e. Government 3.0: Openness, Sharing, Communication and Cooperation, the MOI has been laying the groundwork for OGD policy, the key to Government 3.0. Above all, the MOI created a government-wide portal (https://data.go.kr/) dedicated to OGD to encourage inter-ministerial concerted efforts to open up government data.
Furthermore, the MOI consolidated ministries’ scattershot approaches toward supporting OGD-based startups into the government-wide, OGD-based Startup Collaboration program. The MOI held OGD-based Startup Contest three times and opened startup accelerator Open Square D, thereby creating synergy between OGD policy and Government 3.0.
OGD chief officers take charge of providing OGD and promoting the use of OGD at ministries, municipalities and public institutions. They coordinate each organization’s OGD policy, manage the quality of OGD and upload OGD into the Open Data Portal (https://data.go.kr/).
The Open Data Mediation Committee (ODMC) is comprised of 25 experts from academia, legal circles and civic groups. Those who had difficulty using OGD can submit a complaint to the ODMC, and the ODMC will step in. Under the Open Government Data Act, the ODMC’s decisions carry the same force as judicial reconciliation. On top of that, the ODMC offers pre-mediation, consulting and education services for free.