Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tips from Korea's award winning e-government initiatives

This week GridCast will be reporting from the eChallenges conference which takes place this year in the picturesque city of Lisbon. The three-day conference attracts delegates with diverse backgrounds in research, government and business from 35 countries across the globe.

This morning attendees of the plenary session heard from Seung Chul Ha, who works for the Ministry of Public Administration and Security in the Republic of Korea. Since the late 1970s, Korea's public service has been one of the early innovators in e-government solutions. E-government makes the best use of IT and other web-based telecommunications technology to boost the effective communication between government and individual citizens, other government organisations, and private businesses.

Offering a wide range of e-services from e-Customs to National Disaster Management Systems, Korea has been officially recognised on a global scale, and is currently ranked first in e-government services by the United Nations. So whether you are filling in tax returns or wanting to find out whether you can bring bananas into the country, Korea's centralised online services provide a complete answer. Another example is the SOS Public Relief service, which offers people the opportunity to notify the police of emergency situations using non-verbal cues (e.g. location tracking from mobile phone use). Since its launch in 2011, the system has resolved 24 criminal cases.

A growing number of countries worldwide have adopted Korea's e-government systems. During the session, Chul Ha outlined seven strands to an effective e-government strategy. One being a sustained investment (1% of budget is invested into e-government in Korea).

For more on the e-government achievements from Korea, you can view this short video and/or check out the official website at (in Korean).

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