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Yoon’s committee starts work on digitizing government work

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol. (Yonhap)
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol. (Yonhap)
The transition committee working for President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday discussed digitizing government work with outside experts after being briefed on digital efforts under the current Moon Jae-in government.

A task force -- launched by the committee to deliver on Yoon’s promise to change the way the government works by embracing digital technology, mainly big data but also artificial intelligence -- held its first meeting to facilitate the digital shift before Yoon takes office on May 10.

“The meeting and meetings to come will do more than just raise the levels of efficiency in government work. We are looking for a paradigm shift in every way government work gets done. Details will be discussed,” the committee said before the meeting took place behind closed doors.

For the past month since the March election, the task force has run an independent survey to establish how the digital efforts could best help the public as well as companies.

South Koreans have recently stepped up calls for greater access to their information held by the government, while companies have asked that the government allow them to use more of the undisclosed personal data so they can roll out better services to a greater number of people.

In January, financial institutions -- including banks, brokerages and credit card companies -- launched an all-in-one banking service, called “MyData,” with help from financial authorities. The launch was welcomed, though some flagged concerns about the possibility of data breaches.

Meanwhile, speculation is mounting over whether Yoon will expand Statistics Korea, a data arm of the Finance Ministry.

Discussions have taken place many times over promoting the agency to make it more independent, but they never came to fruition because any change to the organization would need the National Assembly’s approval to revise the law. Moon’s Democratic Party of Korea holds a clear majority in the parliament.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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