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South Korea

Encouraging the Private Sector to Utilze Public Data (KR0021)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: South Korea Second Action Plan for 2014-2016

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: NA

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Open Data, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: South Korea End of Term Report 2014-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

At the second Open Data Strategy Council held in April 2014 and composed of enterprises, civilian experts, etc., the “Execution Plan for the Provision and Promotion of Public Data” was passed. According to the plan, 504 types of key public data (identified through agency assessment and public feedback, notably via consultative/advisory bodies and user communities which most central and local government organizations have, with examples such as Open Data Partnership of the Gyeonggi Provincial Government and open data user community of the Ministry of Education), which are expected to have high demands and relatively a bigger impact on the society, will be selected and disclosed first. Not only that, a private-public consultative body whose members include the companies that use public data for their business will be operated in order to get feedback from the private sector and reflect their views on data sharing policies.
In this regard, the “Grand Open Forum for Public Data” was held in May 2014 along with about 400 experts from the private and public sectors. At the Forum, a private-public data-sharing task force team for each of the 16 strategic areas will be officially launched. The 16 task force teams are expected to act as communication channels between the government and civil society. The task force teams are headed by chief open data officers of government agencies involved who are responsible for releasing open data and nurturing companies that use open data in collaboration with the “Open Data Ecosystem Group.” The task force teams are coordinated by the MOSPA, the lead ministry on open data, and they are expected to hold meetings periodically (e.g. bi-monthly) and conferences (at least once a year) in an effort to analyze demanded data from the private sector and to consider the private sector’s opinions.
In addition, the Korean government will continue to work on evolving the best practices of the use of public data among private enterprises such as Naver (Naver Map), Daum (Daum Maps), SK Planet (security cameras, public transportation information, etc.), and Solideo Systems (building information) in a hope that more and more companies will utilize public data for their businesses.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

III. Efficient Management of Public Resources

Commitment 3e. Encouraging the Private Sector to Utilize Public Data

Commitment Text:

“The Basic Plan for the Promotion of the Provision and Promotion of Public Data (2013 – 2017)” (Open Data Master Policy Plan) is the key policy plan for achieving OGP commitment and is an important component of Korea’s Government 3.0 policy.

The key components of the Open Data Master Plan are opening up of public data and building open data ecosystem. Regarding opening up public data, the total of 12,654 types of data are planned to be disclosed in order to achieve the open rate of 60%, a significant increase compared to 2013, which recorded only 3,395 types of data disclosed and the open rate of 16.1%. Relevant milestones for opening up public data are also set with 7,653 types of data and the open rate of 36.3% for 2014, 10,016 types of data and the open rate of 47.7% for 2015, and 12,654 types of data and open rate of 60% for 2016. Regarding open data ecosystem, one-stop open data provision framework is to be deployed through open data portal. In addition, government-wide and public-private open data ecosystem support framework is to be implemented.

The main implementing agency is the MOSPA, and the lead ministry on open data, and also a supporting agency, is the National Information Society Agency (NIA), which also operates the national open data portal (data.go.kr)….

At the second Open Data Strategy Council held in April 2014 and composed of enterprises, civilian experts, etc., the “Execution Plan for the Provision and Promotion of Public Data” was passed. According to the plan, 504 types of key public data (identified through agency assessment and public feedback, notably via consultative/advisory bodies and user communities which most central and local government organizations have, with examples such as Open Data Partnership of the Gyeonggi Provincial Government and open data user community of the Ministry of Education), which are expected to have high demands and relatively a bigger impact on the society, will be selected and disclosed first. Not only that, a private-public consultative body whose members include the companies that use public data for their business will be operated in order to get feedback from the private sector and reflect their views on data sharing policies.

 In this regard, the “Grand Open Forum for Public Data” was held in May 2014 along with about 40 experts from the private and public sectors. At the Forum, a private-public data-sharing task force team for each of the 16 strategic areas will be officially launched. The 16 task force teams are expected to act as communication channels between the government and civil society. The task force teams are headed by chief open data officers of government agencies involved who are responsible for releasing open data and nurturing companies that use open data in collaboration with the “Open Data Ecosystem Group.” The task force teams are coordinated by the MOSPA, the lead ministry on open data, and they are expected to hold meetings periodically (e.g. bi-monthly) and conferences (at least once a year) in an effort to analyze demanded data from the private sector and to consider the private sector’s opinions.

In addition, the Korean government will continue to work on evolving the best practices of the use of public data among private enterprises such as Naver (Naver Map), Daum (Daum Maps), SK Planet (security cameras, public transportation information, etc.), and Solideo Systems (building information) in a hope that more and more companies will utilze public data for their businesses.

Editorial Note: Four milestones were derived from this commitment. The text of the commitment was abridged for ease of reading. Please refer to the action plan for the full text of the commitment.

1. Disclose 12,654 types of data by 2016, achieving an "open rate" of 60%, with yearly milestones until then, achieving an "open data ecosystem" and "open data framework."

2. Disclose 504 types of public data identified through a public-private consultative body and public feedback and prioritize high-demand and high-impact information first. 

3. Sixteen task force teams will act as communication channels between the government and civil society, holding regular meetings and conferences to gauge public-sector opinion on which information should be disclosed.

4. Expand best practices of the use of public data among private enterprises.

 

Responsible institution: Ministry of the Interior

Supporting institution(s): Open Data Strategy Committee

Commitment Aim:

The commitment fell directly under the government's pre-existing Government 3.0 vision, first introduced in June 2013 and codified into law in October 2013 through the Open Data Act, and aimed to improve access to information, civic participation and public accountability. At the time the commitment was adopted, the government was already making strong progress in changing disclosure practices to favor the principles of transparency over secrecy. Specifically, the commitment aims to:

  1. Disclose 12,654 types of data by 2016, achieving an "open rate" of 60%, with yearly milestones until then, achieving an "open data ecosystem" and "open data framework."
  2. Disclose 504 types of public data identified through a public private consultative body and public feedback and prioritize high demand and high impact information first.
  3. Sixteen task force teams will act as communication channels between the government and civil society, holding regular meetings and conferences to gauge public sector opinion on which information should be disclosed.
  4. Expand best practices of the use of public data among private enterprises.

Mid-term: Substantial

Since late 2013, MOI had been implementing Government 3.0 through the release of the datasets in progressively larger numbers each year as specified in this commitment. It has also held forums and discussion with the private sector and CSOs, with an emphasis on locating disclosures that would be useful in business and technology, such as the Grand Open Data Forum. Milestone 3.e.1 to release 12,654 datasets by 2016 is complete; according to the OGP point of contact as of the end of November 2015 a total of 15,894 datasets had been released.[Note 46: E-mail correspondence with the MOI point of contact, December 12-16, 2015.]

Milestone (3.e.2) was also complete. In 2014, the government released 504 of what it calls “key datasets,” which it refers to in the action plan as “data types.” According to the government point of contact, individual agencies in “consultations with the private sector” determined the 504 “key datasets.”[Note 47: Ministry of the Interior, email correspondence, 7 December 2015.] However, it was unclear—from the self-assessment and follow up correspondence— the breadth and extent of the “consultations” with 16 stakeholder groups on identifying data priorities as pledged the commitment. As a result of the limited information provided, it has been difficult to determine how stakeholders were selected, how data priorities were identified, or whether consultations were open to the public.

The third milestone (3.e.3) had been verified as completed. The sixteen task force teams, launched in May 2014 at the Open Data Korea Grand Forum, were led by the relevant ministries and agencies in weather, transportation, land, food and medicine, agriculture and livestock, culture and tourism, disaster and safety, health and welfare, procurement, patent, maritime and fisheries, law and justice, science and technology, labor and employment, environment, and ICT.[Note 48: Open Government Partnership. “South Korea 2014-2015 IRM Progress Report,” pp. 35-39.]

The fourth milestone (3.e.4) made progress expanding best practices for private use of public data. The government delivered a website with examples of private sector best practices in construction administration,[Note 49: http://open.eais.go.kr/%5D and on fiscal data best practices.[Note 50: http://www.openfiscaldata.go.kr/.%5DThis is in addition to the Open Data portal, data.go.kr, which has thirty-nine examples of best practices as evidence of progress. The website lists a number of improvements in health, technology, and the environment—that show open data being used effectively.[Note 51: Ministry of the Interior, email correspondence, 7 December 2015.]

End of term: Complete

Completion at the end of term built upon strong advances leading up to the mid-term report. The commitment is substantially completed, despite some shortcomings in the process and transparency of disclosures that fell outside the commitment scope.

3.e.1 Increase data disclosures by 2016 (Complete)
The government surpassed its goals and hit 16,000 datasets opened by 2016, as evidenced by metrics recorded on the data.go.kr website that show live updates and indicate 15,894 datasets were released by November 2015.
[Note 52: E-mail correspondence with the OGP point of contact, December 12-16, 2015. The researcher also kept track of the number of releases as regularly updated on the data.go.kr website. ] (The government originally pledged to release 12,654 datasets, or a 60 percent “disclosure rate,” by 2016).[Note 53: This number is reported live on the data.go.kr website, tied to the actual updates being posted in the database, which is also accessible and transparent right below the number.] Accoring to the 2016 self-assessment report, the government released data by category, focusing first on 11 types with “significant industrial demand and socioeconomic impact.”[Note 54: Ministry of the Interior, Republic of Korea, Open Government Partnership Self-Assessment Report, September 2016, p.44 https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/South-Korea_End-of-Term_Self-Assessment_Report_2014-2016.pdf%5D Examples included building information, licenses and permits issued by local governments, and real-time updates on water service. According the the government report, an additional 22 types of data including national disaster management, national spaces, and real estate transactions were yet to be disclosed but were planned for release in 2016.[Note 55: Ibid.] Implementation of this milestone has exceeded its targets as written and is complete.

Some CSOs were concerned over what they believed to be an excessive release of local datasets without consistently merging them into more representative national datasets. This means that there may be a relatively small number of national datasets when compared to the committed number of 16,000 unique datasets.[Note 56: E-mail correspondence with Kyung-sin Park, Director of Open Net Korea and Professor of Law at Korea University, October 25, 2016.] Some CSOs raised concerns during the stakeholder forum regarding the greater quantity of local as opposed national datasets released, because local datasets are viewed as lacking the breadth and scope of data collected at the national level.[Note 57: IRM stakeholder forums, September 2015.]  Kyung-sin Park of Korea University also expressed the concern that local datasets are crowding the platform, making it difficult to locate useful aggregate datasets from numerous local or redundant sets. 

Milestones  3.e.2 and 3.e.3 were complete at the midterm.[Note 58: Ministry of the Interior, Republic of Korea. “열린정부파트너십자체평가보고서,” (Translation: Open Government Partnership Self-Assessment Report), June 2016, pp. 25-28. The researcher cross-checked the claims in this report by viewing the data on the data.go.kr website and doing searches for datasets in random fields such as bicycle paths and health-care services.]

 3.e.4 Expand best practices (Complete)
 in its June 2016 report MOI listed numerous examples of mobile apps that made use of the datasets, and were developed either by the government or private firms. One strong example is the Korea Expressway traffic app, which offered live traffic information that reached 5,000,000 downloads during the implementation period, and was purchased by the software company Kakao.
[Note 59: Ministry of the Interior. “Open Government Partnership Self-Assessment Report,” June 2016 (Korean).] Another app, developed by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, allowed users to check the ingredients of cosmetics for safety purposes and to ensure it was the ideal type for their skin. Finally, the Everybody’s Parking Lot App offered a Seoul parking lot database, with 140,000 downloads, and is now being expanded nationwide.[Note 60: Ibid.] In addition to the projects completed at the time of mid-term, these additional and strong examples of government data services used in the private sector make the milestone “complete.”

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

Civic participation: Did not change

At the starting point of implementation, large-scale efforts were already underway to improve open data access with the passing of the Open Data Act of October 2013, and stakeholders had high expectations for its implementation in the coming years.[Note 61: First and second IRM stakeholder forums, Oct. 2013 and Sept. 2015.] This commitment was focused primarily on the “access to information” side of open government; stakeholders were in agreement that impacts could be substantial, despite concerns over the occasional use of obscure file types, such as Hanword filetypes (.hwp, used by the South Korean word processor Hanword), rather than .docx or a similar, more globally accessible standard. Of concern was the possibility of degrading the quality of releases, since file conversions from .hwp to .docx could tamper with formatting and readability.

One stakeholder, Jennifer Kang, a member of the Open Data Strategy Council, said this challenge continues to limit the impact of this commitment. She cites as an example the data category, “city planning facilities information” (“도시계획 시설정보), where a .CSV file should be available, but instead the government website links to a non-readable PDF document. Kang believes this and similar examples[Note 62: Examples of non-machine readable .hwp files “보건복지부 http://data.go.kr/dataset/3074575/fileData.do, and “보건복지부http://data.go.kr/dataset/3033511/fileData.do%5D illustrate that the data format continues to lack standardization, and points out many instances of .HWP or .PDF formats being used, rather than .CSV or readable Excel formats. She also called for a stronger system of eliciting user feedback, which she believes has been lacking on the current MOI web system.[Note 63: Interview with Jennifer Kang, April 21, 2017.] The government self-assessment report also indicates that improving data quality and standardization remains an ongoing challenge.[Note 64: Ministry of the Interior, Republic of Korea, Open Government Partnership Self-Assessment Report, September 2016,p.46  https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/South-Korea_End-of-Term_Self-Assessment_Report_2014-2016.pdf%5D The report states that “the shortage of quality data continues to impede the private sector’s productive use of public open data” and identifies next steps to introduce a quality management system for improving the usability of large-scale public data, creating standard formats, and introducing an automated tool for assessing the standardization of data uploaded on the Open Data Portal.[Note 65: Ibid.]  

In practice, the changes were marginal in the area of access to information. Initial optimism was high when the government, implementing the Open Data Act of 2013, switched its disclosure policy from one of default secrecy to more openness, with more datasets tagged for release without first requiring a FOI request,[Note 66: Republic of Korea. “Open Data Act of 2013.” A copy of this legislation is in the possession of the IRM researcher.] and this point was universally lauded by stakeholders during both the first and early part of the second action plan implementation periods.[Note 67: First and second IRM stakeholder forums, Oct. 2013 and Sept. 2015.]  Hwang Sungsoo, associate professor of public administration at Yeungnam University, believed that open data has seen “meaningful progress” throughout the action plan implementation period, although he admitted progress was slower than many hoped. While CSOs saw improvements in the release of high priority datasets in areas such as transportation, land use, and weather,[Note 68: https://www.data.go.kr/emphasisData/index.do%5D and an overall increase in data disclosure, challenges remain for improving standardization, organization, and usability of the data.

Carried forward?

This commitment has been included under commitment 1b in the next action plan for 2016-2018, which focuses on publishing more original information that is useful to citizens. Two CSOs, OpenNet Korea and IndiLab, believed that the government needs to more effectively coordinate resources to take a unified approach in implementing data disclosure. This could allow for more consistent data disclosures and standardization across categories.


South Korea's Commitments

  1. Public-Private Anti-Corruption System

    KR0036, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  2. Management System for Performance Venues

    KR0037, 2018, Open Data

  3. Real-Name Policy System

    KR0038, 2018, E-Government

  4. Safety Inspection System

    KR0039, 2018, Health

  5. Public Diplomacy System

    KR0040, 2018, Public Participation

  6. Open Communication Forum

    KR0041, 2018, E-Government

  7. Citizen Participation in Policy-Making

    KR0042, 2018, E-Government

  8. Disclosure of the Amount of Harmful Substance Contained in Foods

    KR0043, 2018, Environment and Climate

  9. Open Data

    KR0044, 2018, Open Data

  10. Discosure of Cultural Heritage Resources

    KR0045, 2018, Infrastructure & Transport

  11. Open National Priority Data

    KR0046, 2018, Environment and Climate

  12. Public Data Qulity Management

    KR0047, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  13. Voluntary Compliance Customs Administration

    KR0048, 2018, Capacity Building

  14. Organization Information Disclosure Online

    KR0022, 2016, E-Government

  15. Information in Original Form

    KR0023, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Standard Model for Pre-Release Information

    KR0024, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. National Data Disclosure

    KR0025, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  18. Public Data Quality Management

    KR0026, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  19. Free Open Format Use

    KR0027, 2016, Open Data

  20. Open Data Standards

    KR0028, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Citizen Groups Government Service Design

    KR0029, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. e-Government Service Environment

    KR0030, 2016, E-Government

  23. Citizen Service Portals

    KR0031, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Citizen Services Application

    KR0032, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  25. Public Sector Corruption Research

    KR0033, 2016, E-Government

  26. Citizens' Accessibility to ODA Statistics

    KR0034, 2016, Aid

  27. Disclosing Information on International Aids

    KR0035, 2016, Aid

  28. Strengthening Public-Private Collaboration

    KR0017, 2014, E-Government

  29. Providing Customized Services

    KR0018, 2014, Marginalized Communities

  30. Enhancing Information Disclosure

    KR0019, 2014, Public Participation

  31. Strengthening Public Service Ethics

    KR0020, 2014, Asset Disclosure

  32. Encouraging the Private Sector to Utilze Public Data

    KR0021, 2014, Open Data

  33. Provision of Diverse Public Services

    KR0001, 2012, E-Government

  34. Strengthening Citizens’ Monitoring of Government

    KR0002, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  35. Use e-People to Promote Public Input in Policy Development

    KR0003, 2012, Public Participation

  36. Promote the Proposal System for Receiving Public Input Electronically

    KR0004, 2012, E-Government

  37. Develop a Manual on Consensus Building Among Various Stakeholders

    KR0005, 2012, E-Government

  38. Conduct Field Visits to Interact Directly with Stakeholders

    KR0006, 2012, E-Government

  39. Simplify Online Civil Affairs Application Forms

    KR0007, 2012, E-Government

  40. Refine the Portal to Be More User Friendly

    KR0008, 2012,

  41. Customise Online Services for Business

    KR0009, 2012, Private Sector

  42. Establish an Online Civil Affairs Hub to Provide 24-Hour Services

    KR0010, 2012, E-Government

  43. Disclose Critical Information on Food, Environment, and Education

    KR0011, 2012, E-Government

  44. Engage CSOs on Relevant Information to Be Disclosed

    KR0012, 2012, Public Participation

  45. Strengthen Asset Disclosure for Public Servants

    KR0013, 2012, Asset Disclosure

  46. Monitor Restrictions on Post-Public Employment

    KR0014, 2012, Asset Disclosure

  47. Release Public Information for Private Sector Use on the Data Sharing Portal

    KR0015, 2012, E-Government

  48. Engage Citizens in Administrative and Budget Processes

    KR0016, 2012, E-Government