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South Korea Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

South Korea’s third action plan saw an inclusive co-creation process and addressed some priority areas such as open data and access to information. However, the action plan was vaguely formulated and included commitments with low ambition. The next action plan would benefit from clearly defining commitments’ objectives and intended results, and addressing issues such as conflict of interest and money in politics.

Highlights

Commitment Overview Well-Designed? *
2a. Disclose high-demand data This commitment resulted in the government’s collaboration with civil society to select and disclose impactful areas of open data, such as financial information and national procurement data. This commitment seeks to disclose datafiles within these areas. No
3a. Citizen participation in policy development This commitment aims to expand the operation of the Citizen Design Group, which is an award-winning model that allows for direct citizen participation in the development of policy. No

*Commitment is evaluated by the IRM as specific, relevant, and has a transformative potential impact

Process

South Korea had a consultation process with an active, but limited number of CSOs. While the newly established OGP Forum Korea is made up of diverse CSO representation, it was established 11 months after the implementation of the action plan and had little influence on it.

South Korea Did Not Act Contrary to OGP process
A country is considered to have acted contrary to process if one or more of the following occurs:
• The National Action Plan was developed with neither online or offline engagements with citizens and civil society
• The government fails to engage with the IRM researchers in charge of the country’s Year 1 and Year 2 reports
• The IRM report establishes that there was no progress made on implementing any of the commitments in the country’s action plan

 

Performance

Nearly all commitments are substantially or fully implemented. Commitments could, however, be better defined to clearly identify the commitments’ objectives and intended results

Commitment Title Well-designed (Year 1)* Starred (Year 1) Overview
1a. Expand coverage of information disclosure system No No All but six private universities transitioned into using the integrated system, which provides a standardized procedure for the disclosure of information. The website (www.open.go.kr) and the instructions provided to request information are convenient and user-friendly.
1b. Improve disclosure of public information No No This commitment is vaguely formulated and does not specify what information will be selected for disclosure or how best practices will be promoted to improve publication.
1c. Standardize pre-release of information No No The targeted percentage of local governments (55 percent) now use the standardized model for the pre-release of information. The government should establish a platform for citizen feedback, given the proliferation of system errors.
2a. Disclose high-demand data No No Although the government did not specify the 22 highly-demanded areas to be disclosed, datafiles on all areas have been disclosed on the Open Data Portal and the number of total downloads has increased.
2b. Open data quality management No No Although substantially complete according to the self-assessment, the commitment activities largely address an internal government quality control process, and the text does not specify which datasets will undergo quality evaluation or what the baseline for evaluation is.
2c. Expand provision of open format No No This commitment’s objective to increase the current share of disclosed data in open format from 38.9 percent to 70 percent has been fully implemented. Representatives from CODE agreed that this expansion benefits data-users.
2d. Common standards for data disclosure No No MoIS developed additional standards for data disclosure and an automatic self-assessment tool. To improve the tool, the government needs to gather user feedback through workshops or surveys.
3a. Citizen participation in policy development No No This commitment aims to expand the innovative Citizen Design Group, an award-winning participatory policy model. However, the commitment text is vaguely formulated and does not specify intended changes of the existing model.
4a. Remove ActiveX No No The government developed Government24, a user-friendly service portal, that integrates the online services of central government ministries and public agencies. While this improves citizens’ access to public services, it is not related to OGP values.
4b. Integrate egovernment service portals No No The government developed Government24, a user-friendly service portal, that integrates the online services of central government ministries and public agencies. While this improves citizens’ access to public services, it is not related to OGP values.
4c. Develop public services application N/A N/A The need to develop a service notification application to access government services became obsolete after the government implemented Government24’s mobile application (Commitment 4b). This commitment has been officially withdrawn by the government.
5a. Improve anticorruption survey No No The ACRC added an additional question on their anti-corruption survey to evaluate the experiences of public officials regarding improper solicitation. Due to the limitations of this method in measuring corruption in the public sector, other methods must be sought to actively fight corruption.
6a. Disclose international aid information No No The government has fully disclosed program information required by all IATI member countries. However, stakeholders have stated that the disclosed information is basic and does not effectively promote transparency of Official Development Assistance (ODA) activities.
6b. Improve information on ODA projects No No There is a disparity between the action plan text and the activities implemented by the government, as stated in the self-assessment report. The government should clearly state the aim of its commitments and, more specifically, make the ODA statistics system accessible to the public. *Commitment is evaluated by the IRM as specific, relevant, and has a transformative potential impact

*Commitment is evaluated by the IRM as specific, relevant, and has a transformative potential impact

IRM Recommendations

  1. Include highly specific, ambitious and relevant commitments
  2. Improve co-creation during the development and implementation of the next action plan
  3. Leverage the OGP platform to advance ongoing reforms initiated by the Moon administration
  4. Develop strong commitments on addressing conflict of interest and money in politics
  5. Modernize existing open government policies and practices

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Filed under: IRM Report

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