3 Ways E-Governance is Shaping Smart Cities in South Korea

Opinion01.11.2016
Seoul

E-Governance or “Digital Government” holds the future of local governments in building smart cities around the world. Governments in Asia are increasingly looking to set up smart cities in their countries, with big nations like India already looking to be ambitious with its smart city planning. Smart cities revolve around the use of technology to deliver goods, reduce costs for service providers, and allow cities to be better managed. With smart cities, e-governance offers the opportunity for governments to make their management of cities more timely and beneficial to citizens mainly through the delivery of information and services.

South Korea is no stranger to E-governance. Starting all the way back in the 1960’s and 70’s, the government has been working towards full implementation of E-Government since 2000. Here are three ways e-governance is shaping smart cities in South Korea today:

  1. Increased efficiency and transparency of administrative work.

All decision-making processes of the government have become increasingly digitized, allowing for administrative transparency.  This has also meant that all paperwork has also become digitized and the country has experienced an overall improvement in its efficiency of government administration.

  1. Enhanced delivery of information and services to businesses and the general public.

The government has made significant strides in revolutionizing civil service processing at home. With their integrated digitized civil service processing channels, businesses and citizens can now receive important notifications, file all their paperwork and transactions online, and make all tax payments via the Internet. For the corporate sector, businesses are supported through a single window system where critical business functions like logistics, customs clearance, and trading can all be managed and tracked online.

The general public can also engage in government policies and decision making through digital channels. This is also done through a single window that links all administrative agencies that provide public services. Alternately the government can also receive public suggestions through this single window system. With administrative information being comprehensively available, citizens can for example check national records anytime, anywhere.

  1. Improved management of information resources.

With all administrative systems digitally integrated, the government’s computing center can efficiently management all information systems therefore improving the capability to respond to all system errors and security threats in a timely manner. The government also established an Enterprise Architecture, which is basically a comprehensive information blueprint that enhances the systematic management of the country’s E-government.

It therefore comes as no surprise why the South Korean E-governance model is often evaluated as one of the world’s best by the international community and often sought after as a blueprint for other nations in creating their own smart cities. Some of the major best practices that other governments look upon are: the provision of electronic procurement services, electronic customs clearance services, comprehensive tax services, internet civil services, patent services, online petitions and discussion portals, single window for business support services, business processing systems, integrated administrative information accessibility, and national computing and information services. The country has gone further down the road of reconfiguring vital processes around the new technologies to improve efficiency, transparency and citizen’s involvement in public affairs. There can be little doubt that the future lies in that direction.