The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is launching an exciting new pilot program designed to more proactively involve subnational governments in the initiative. OGP is a 69 country partnership aiming to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. OGP is looking for subnational governments with committed political and working level reformers, and engaged and energetic partners in civil society, to take part in a pilot program designed to advance open government reform.

Seoul, South Korea was one of the subnational governments that successfully applied to engage directly with OGP in a pilot 'pioneer' program. Participants will receive dedicated assistance and advice from the OGP Support Unit and OGP Steering Committee to develop and fulfill independent open government commitments in action plans, in partnership with civil society organisations. They will actively contribute to peer learning and networking activities with other subnational governments. The commitments and short action plans developed by the pioneers will be assessed by OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM). The pilot will give OGP the opportunity to test and assess the IRM’s capacity to act as the accountability mechanism for subnational government participation.

The following text is from Seoul's application letter, available in images below:

 

110, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul 04524, Republic of Korea www.seoul.go.kr

Phone: +8.2–2–2133-2925 ΕΑΧ: +82-2-2133-1070

February 23, 2016

Dear the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership,

First, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Open Government Partnership for your efforts to promote and develop Open Government Initiative around the world in order to achieve open, transparent, and responsible governments which communicate and cooperate with people.

As the capital of the Republic of Korea, a member of Open Government Partnership, Seoul Metropolitan Government is one of the leading electronic governments of world cities, providing public services focused on involvement, communication, and sharing based on high-tech IT environments and infrastructure, and a solid administration system.

Since Seoul scouted an outside specialist as CIO in 1999, the first time for any local government in Korea, the city has been developing a strong electronic government under the CIO-leadership system. The government is also making efforts in many ways to cooperate with civil society and to promote citizens’ involvement in policy-making process.

For example, in order to be the best city in digital application, Seoul establishes a Digital Master Plan every five years in accordance with the framework ordinance on Seoul Informatization. Before establishing the Digital Master Plan, Seoul City is conducting public hearings and surveys of citizens, officials, and specialists to collect extensive views. Especially, on/off-line surveys have been conducted of one percent of Seoul citizens (100,000 people) to establish the vision and strategy of Digital Seoul.

Based on these outcomes, Seoul City is enforcing various policies and initiatives to realize an open government that communicate with the people. In July 2015, in order to help citizens understand the status of fiscal payment of the city and to improve transparency of budgets, the city started a service of changing data on daily public expenditure into image formats (infographics) and provided them to the citizens. By visiting the website (http://stat.seoul.go.kr/inter/ko/tax/index.html), clicking on the clock-shaped images on the Seoul Statistics website and clicking on public screens in subway stations, the citizens are able to check amounts of budgets spent to categories such as welfare, education, and transportation.

Seoul City is the first local government which discloses all non-confidential data on administration including approvals by executives, meeting information, a variety of service results, statistics, and public data through Seoul Information Communication Square(http://opengov.seoul.go.kr/). Since 2013, approximately 8,790,000 cases of administration information have been disclosed and average 8,029 users visit the website and the document views have reached 22,860 on a daily basis.

The government processes and provides public data in a service format with high social and economic values through Seoul Open Data Plaza. A wide range of the processed data in open API, chart, map, sheet, link formats are developed into subway real-time alarm, various applications and visual contents by citizens and private companies and helps creating jobs and developing public services in the private sectors.

To share these best practice cases of electronic government with other cities around the world and to promote development and cooperation of electronic governments in the world, Seoul Metropolitan Government initiated the establishment of international organization called WeGO (World eGovernments Organization of Cities and Local Governments) in 2010. The WeGO has 95 cities and 2 governmental organizations as members and Seoul has been serving as the chair for three times in a row.

If Seoul participates in the pilot program of OGP, Seoul will be able to encourage local governments in the world to take part in OGP based on the existing e-government city network, as well as to be a mentor for other local governments even after completion of pilot program to contribute to development of the program continuously.

Seoul has a team that can commit to the participation in the OGP pilot program and is ready to go forward as the transparent and people-oriented government, while respecting the open government principles articulate in the Open Government Declaration and working with city society.

I would appreciate if you could look favorably on Seoul's participation in the OGP pilot program. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Park Won-Soon, Mayor of Seoul

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