The Korea Herald


[Contribution] OECD recognizes Korea’s competitiveness in digital government

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 3, 2020 - 12:27

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Ambassador Ko Hyoung-kwon. (Korean Delegation to the OECD) Ambassador Ko Hyoung-kwon. (Korean Delegation to the OECD)
At the recent e-Leaders 2020 meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Korea ranked first in the Digital Government Index, which the OECD conducted for the first time.

The latest result, a consecutive achievement after the OECD ranked Korea first in the OUR (Open-Useful-Reusable) Data Index in 2019, showed that Korea is leading the world’s digital government transition and innovation.

The Digital Government Index measures the level of digital transformation and maturity of digital government in member countries. It evaluates six factors, including whether the government well reflects and designs digital technologies in creating and innovating public services (“Digital by Design”), how much the government contributes to the public interest by revealing its data (“Open by Default”), and whether citizens are actively involved in creating and revising policies (“User-Driven”).

Korea ranked first in the overall index thanks to its efforts to change the traditional administrative system and procedures through active communication with the public and through digital-based production and innovation of public services.

Examples of innovative public services include the one-stop application system for childbirth allowances and the mobile service that allows users to conveniently obtain electronic certificates of resident registration through their smartphones.

This achievement is a worldwide recognition of Korea’s longstanding efforts.

In the late 1990s, even in the midst of a devastating financial crisis, the Korean government laid the foundation to become a digital powerhouse by preemptively fostering the information industry, such as building a high-speed Internet network and implementing the world’s first e-government law.

On that foundation, Korea has continued promoting the digital transition in the public sector, as well as providing safer and more convenient public services.

As concerns over the second wave of COVID-19 spread, online requests of the government and the public sector are rapidly expanding, further accelerating the digital transformation.

In order to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and lead in this global digital megatrend, Korea is also promoting an “intelligent government” that uses artificial intelligence as one of the representative tasks of the Korean New Deal.

The Permanent Delegation of Korea to the OECD has shared Korea’s response to COVID-19 with OECD member countries since this spring, and will actively continue to introduce Korea’s experience and know-how related to digital government services. We hope that Korea’s experience can contribute to overcoming the pandemic crisis and implementing useful government services for citizens worldwide.

By Ko Hyoung-kwon

Ambassador Ko Hyoung-kwon, former first vice minister of economy and finance, currently serves as permanent representative of the Republic of Korea to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The views reflected in the article are his own. -- Ed.