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Republic of Korea

Real-Name Policy System (KR0038)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Republic of Korea Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Information Disclosure Policy Division, Ministry of the Interior and Safety

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Open Data, Open Parliaments, Participation in Lawmaking, Public Participation, Regulatory Governance, Social Accountability

IRM Review

IRM Report: Republic of Korea Transitional Results Report 2018-2020, Republic of Korea Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: No IRM Data

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Strengthening the System Recording and Managing the Name and Opinions of Those in Charge of Making and/or Executing Policy (Hereinafter Referred to as the Real-name Policy System)
Commitment Start and End Date
September 1, 2018 ~ August 31, 2020
Lead Implementing Agency/Actor
Information Disclosure Policy Division, Ministry of the Interior and Safety
Commitment Description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
The real-name policy system, in accordance with Article 63 (Implementation of Realname Policy System), Presidential Decree ’Effective Operation of Administrative Work’, is intended to ensure transparency in policy and accountability of those in charge through recording real names and opinions of those in charge and participants in the process of deciding on and implementing policies and systematically managing them. However, the subject of disclosure has been solely decided by the relevant organization disregarding the public’s demand. Also, critics have pointed out that the effect of online disclosure has been rather limited.
What is the commitment?
The purpose of this commitment is to strengthen the existing real-name policy system to guarantee democracy and accountability from the public’s point of view, and the primary content is as follows: 1) to adopt and operate a procedure where the public’s application is received and reviewed (the public-application real-name system) when selecting a real-name policy system instead of leaving it all up to a relevant organization; 2) to make the project overview and real names in relation to the Moon administration’s policy tasks publically available with an exception of nondisclosure cases specified in Official Information Disclosure Act; 3) to expand the range of those whose names must be revealed from working-level personnel (the directorlevel or lower) to those who grant final approvals; 4) the relevant information, which used to be offered separately by an organization in charge, will now be integrated and comprehensively provided at http://www.open.go.kr
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?
The detailed implementation methods are as follows: 1) ‘The operational guidance on the real-name policy’ should be drafted and distributed to each organization to raise the level of awareness and boost implementation; 2) If needed, the e-government system should be used to make the real-name recording and disclosure process more convenient.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
Transparency and Accountability
Exchange and Peer Learning
N/A
Additional Information
N/A
Milestone Activity with a Verifiable Deliverable
Inspecting the enhanced real-name policy system (e. g. the impact of introducing the public application real-name system)
Drafting the operational guidance on the real-name policy system and distributing it
Enforcing the public application real-name policy system
Selecting main subjects and disclosing relevant information
Evaluating the real-name policy system and Providing feedback
Contact Information
Name of Responsible Person from Implementing Agency
Purna Kim
Title, Division
Deputy Director, Information Disclosure Policy Division
Email and Phone
kprn1103@korea.kr, +82-2-2100-4484
Other Actors Involved,
N/A

IRM Midterm Status Summary

3. Real-name Policy System

Commitment Text:

"Strengthening the System Recording and Managing the Name and Opinions of Those in Charge of Making and/or Executing Policy"

The purpose of this commitment is to strengthen the existing real-name policy system to guarantee democracy and accountability from the public's point of view, and the primary content is as follows: 1) to adopt and operate a procedure where the public's application is received and reviewed (the public-application real-name system) when selecting a real-name policy system instead of leaving it all up to a relevant organization; 2) to make the project overview and real names in relation to the Moon administration's policy tasks publicly available with an exception of nondisclosure cases specified in Official Information Disclosure Act; 3) to expand the range of those whose names must be revealed from working-level personnel (the director level or lower) to those who grant final approvals; 4) the relevant information, which used to be offered separately by an organization in charge, will now be integrated and comprehensively provided at http://www.open.go.kr

The detailed implementation methods are as follows:

1) 'The operational guidance on the real-name policy' should be drafted and distributed to each organization to raise the level of awareness and boost implementation;

2) If needed, the e-government system should be used to make the real-name recording and disclosure process more convenient.

Milestones:

  • Inspecting the enhanced real-name policy system (e. g. the impact of introducing the public application real-name system)
  • Drafting the operational guidance on the real-name policy system and distributing it
  • Enforcing the public application real-name policy system
  • Selecting main subjects and disclosing relevant information
  • Evaluating the real-name policy system and providing feedback

Start Date: September 1, 2019 End Date: August 31, 2020

Commitment Overview

Verifiability

OGP Value Relevance (as written)

Potential Impact

Completion

Did It Open Government?

Not specific enough to be verifiable

Specific enough to be verifiable

Access to Information

Civic Participation

Public Accountability

Technology & Innovation for Transparency & Accountability

None

Minor

Moderate

Transformative

Not Started

Limited

Substantial

Completed

Worsened

Did Not Change

Marginal

Major

Outstanding

3. Overall

Assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.

Assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.

Editorial Note: For the full text of the commitment, please see Korea's 4th National Action Plan 2018-2020 at https://bit.ly/2JvQr98.

Context and Objectives

In accordance with the Presidential Decree (Regulations on Administrative Efficiency and Promotion of Collaboration), the 'real-name policy system' seeks to promote transparency and accountability by recording the real names and perspectives of public officials involved in deciding and implementing government policies.

The stated purpose of this commitment is to strengthen the real-name policy system through increased disclosure of information. Such disclosure could be leveraged to advance accountability provided the existence of a public-facing enforcement mechanism. In line with the stated purpose, the commitment proposes to draft and distribute operational guidance to: introduce and enforce a mechanism for citizens to demand real-name disclosure; expand the scope of the system to include more categories of public officials; and publish comprehensive real-name information on an integrated web platform (http://www.open.go.kr). Prior to this commitment, the Presidential Decree stipulated the scope and operation of the existing system, including the scope of names to be disclosed, relevant management procedures, and regulations on the evaluation of government offices' operation of the system (Articles 3 and 63).

The milestones under this commitment are verifiable. They outline comprehensive activities to strengthen the real-name policy system, primarily centered around the drafting and distribution of operational guidelines. However, despite being generally verifiable, some milestones lack specific details to understand intended results. For instance, it is unclear how real-name system inspection procedures will differ following the introduction of the guidelines. Similarly, while the development and distribution of operational guidelines can be verified, the commitment does not clearly specify how the guidelines will be distributed, implemented, or enforced.

The commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information as it aims to strengthen the disclosure of real-name information in relation to policy decisions and provides a mechanism for citizens to demand such disclosure. However, the commitment does not clearly define whether such a mechanism will mandate a government response and, thereby, is not relevant to the OGP value of public accountability. However, the publication of information on the integrated web platform means that this commitment leverages technology and innovation for transparency.

At the time this commitment was developed, despite the regulations, the existing real-name policy system was limited in scope. According to the action plan, while real-name information from some policy programs was available and open to the public, many others were not. Similarly, the public officials who were to be subject to real-name disclosure were decided solely by the governmental organization drafting the policy, without considering public interest or demands. The action plan also notes that the impact of online disclosure had thus far been limited, as different organizations provided real-name information through different websites and channels.

This commitment stands to have minor potential impact on strengthening the real-name policy system through increased transparency and public accountability. The successful implementation of the operational guidelines can better enable the public to hold officials accountable for policy decisions, and facilitate convenient access to a consolidated, current web platform. This would, in itself, represent a notable improvement from the status quo.

However, as the milestones under this commitment are of limited specificity, it is difficult to provide an accurate assessment of the scope of this commitment. For instance, the commitment does not specify the reach of the operational guidelines nor the scope of policy programs covered. There is also no clear indication of how the public will be able to demand real-name disclosure, and thereby compromises the proposition that the commitment will advance public accountability. In addition, the extent to which the commitment will enable public accountability is further uncertain, as there is no indication of the mandatory nature of the operational guidelines.

Next steps

The increased disclosure of information and provision for public accountability should strengthen the real-name policy system. If this commitment is carried forward into future action plans, the IRM recommends that stakeholders improve the specificity of key milestones in order to facilitate better understanding of objectives and stronger appraisals of impact.

The IRM also encourages future commitments in this policy area to consider:

  • Clearly specifying the policy programs that will be subject to information disclosure under the real-name policy system; and
  • Expanding the scope of the real-name policy system—with a legislative amendment—to include the disclosure of real-name information of other key stakeholders (i.e., beyond government) that may also be involved in the process of deciding or implementing public policies.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

3. Real-name Policy System

Complete:

Information on almost 3,000 central government policy tasks (2018–2020) subject to real-name disclosure is available at open.go.kr. Gwanghwamoon 1st Street website now offers applications for, and submissions, to the real-name policy system. There is no publicly available information on the type of submissions received and how they have been considered, or if there have been any policy outcomes. The IRM requested information about the number and nature of submissions and subsequent results from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety but did not receive a response.


Commitments

Open Government Partnership