The Korea IT Times’ interview with Jeon Seong-tae, head of the Creative Government & Organization Management Office at the Ministry of Interior.
South Korea scored 71.19 and ranked 8th among 92 countries in the World Wide Web Foundation's 2015 Open Data Barometer (ODB).
The UK finished 1st with a score of 100 (full marks), followed by the US (81.89) and France (81.64). South Korea was the only Asian country to make it into the top 10.
The South Korean government has entered the 4th year of opening up government data for the creation of new markets, services and jobs, which got The Korea IT Times curious about where Government 3.0 stands now.
“In 2013, the central government and municipalities put forward Government 3.0 as a new governance paradigm aimed at creating new markets and jobs by making government data available to the public.”
“We’ve been focused on gradually opening up government data in 36 areas to make available data of great relevance to the public and industrial vale,” said Jeon Seong Tae, head of the Creative Government & Organization Management Office at the Ministry of Interior.
Last year, the government opened up government data in 11 areas (such as real estate, commercials districts, municipal permits and licenses), thereby giving the public better access to government data highly relevant to their daily lives (e.g. multi-family housing maintenance fees, medicine and medical supplies, real estate).
All the open government data has been uploaded to the Open Data Portal (data.go.kr). As of May 17, the Open Data Portal has a total of 16,907 open data listings.
Jeon said: “It is very encouraging to see a rise in apps or web services using open government data posted on the Open Data Portal.
As of the end of last year, the number of cases of utilizing OGD stood at roughly 700, which increased to 800 as of the end of April this year. OGD has been heavily used in the areas of cultural tourism, transport & logistics, the environment and weather information services.
Cases in point are the KWeather app (based on air pollution data provided by the Korea Environment Corporation (KECO)); the Red Table (an app for finding good restaurants which taps into standardized data held by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and the Korean Food Foundation (KFF)) and Modu Parking (an app offering real-time information on parking space availability by using access to municipalities’ parking lot data).
“Above all, last January, President Park Geun-hye was briefed on best-performing Government 3.0 OGD startups. Among them was Yellow Mobile’s Goodoc, a hospital and pharmacy search app using data disclosed by the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA). The Goodoc app has been downloaded approximately 3 million times and already made inroads into the Japanese market.
In January, startup accelerator Open Square D opened its doors to startups. The first batch of six startups, including Modu Company (developer of the Modu Parking app) moved in to Open Square D. In March, the second batch of five teams moved in.
The government was scheduled to open up government data in 25 new areas by 2017. However, as the number of startups using OGD (e.g. weather information, transportation, logistics) has grown, the government has changed its plan so as to fully open up government data in 22 out of the 25 new areas this year. Therefore, government data on food & medications, actual property transaction prices, national disaster management, municipal finances will be made available to the public this year.
Data quality assurance facilitates the creation of startups using OGD
“First of all, we will introduce a system for evaluating data quality management in order to help the public make use of high-quality government data to a great degree,” Jeon said.
The quality of government data in 21 areas will be assessed and quality controlled government data will be grouped into ‘OGD standard datasets.’ In addition, data quality evaluation centers staffed with professional data experts will be set up to address problems and offer continued consulting services.” Jeon added.
Furthermore, as many point out that the government’s services overlapping with those offered by the private sector resulted in stunting the growth of startups, the government plans to streamline overlapping services using OGD.
The government also looks to ramp up the prior consultation system for services being newly developed, with a view to preventing the public sector from overlapping with the private sector in producing services. In addition, the government is planning to receive reports of overlapping services through the Open Data Portal.