[Letters] Korea taking the lead in e-Government

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[Letters] Korea taking the lead in e-Government

A few days ago, Korea was ranked first place in the e-Government survey by the United Nations conducted among 193 nations. The triumph once again confirmed Korea’s national brand as a strong IT nation. As a result, we can expect significant social and economic impact through the overseas expansion of the IT companies and a total of 2.5 billion dollars in export in the next five years, including 300,000 million dollars from the e-Government system export.

Daily lives of Korean citizens are already closely related to the e-Government. According to the statistics of the government’s online service portal, 140 million cases have been filed online in year 2010, and 100 million official documents and records have been issued. Also, by the National Statistics Office’s e-Government indicators, the administrative information sharing among this agency that was implemented in 2005 has drastically cut down necessary paperwork, reducing it by 70 million documents a year as of 2010.

Yet there are aspects that need improvement. First of all, the government agencies need to be more aggressive and proactive in integrating related projects with other agencies instead of adhering to their own interests or issues. The debate or trouble over the domains of the e-Government projects inspired by the self-centered attitudes of the government agencies should not hinder the development of the e-Government. Secondly, an e-Government is successful only when it is used by the citizens regularly. Therefore, the agencies need to prepare appropriate management and maintenance plans early on in the project and consistently apply them in order to enhance the quality of services provided. Thirdly, we also need to pay attention to the fact that the rapid distribution of smart environment may exacerbate the shadows of the information society. As the e-Government projects are expanded, the government needs to make sure that the existing digital gap does not aggravate into a smart gap. As the government promotes information technology in government services, it should also make active consideration for the alienated class that has little access to the smart environment.

Oh Cheol-ho, a professor of public administration at Soongsil University

*Letters and commentaries for publication should be addressed “Letters to the Editor.” E-mailed letters should be sent to eopinion@joongang.co.kr.
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