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Koreas E-government Best Practices
Date : 2017.05.31 Read : 3833

Since the 1990s, Korea has introduced diverse e-government services utilizing the world’s best ICT infrastructure.

Introducing e-government has enhanced efficiency and transparency of public administration, allowed citizens to enjoy convenient and high quality services and improved national competitiveness.

Korea’s e-government today provides some 19,000 G2G and G4C services.

1. Effects of Introducing E-government

How has the introduction of e-government impacted the Korean society?

In this program, we will look at how e-government has changed our society by reviewing the effects of Korea’s introduction of e-government and best practices that have been adopted.

Improved efficiency of public administration

To improve efficiency of public administration, Korea developed multiple systems. These include On-nara BPS, which processes the government’s work online; a digital fiscal information system called dBrain, which integrates all government financial activities for management; and the Government Integrated Data Center, which performs integrated management and operation of IT resources on a real-time basis. By using these systems Korea has digitized government processes and expanded information sharing, resulting in tremendous cost, manpower and time savings and enhanced work efficiency.

In the mean time, public officials and citizens do not need to meet in person for procurement or customs services any more. Instead, they save time by using online services. Since this process is online and open to the public, it further reduces the chance of corruption. An e-participation portal called e-People was also developed to improve communication with citizens on policy issues. This helps give citizens opportunities to participate in policy-making as well as improves transparency of public administration.

Improved services for citizens

Other systems developed include an online portal for G4C services called Minwon24, an Internet tax system called HomeTax and an intelligent transport system called ITS.

With these systems, citizens do not have to visit public office buildings and wait in long lines. They can now use online services whenever it is most convenient for them. These changes provide greater convenience for citizens and allow the government to be more effective and helpful to citizens.

2. Cases of enhanced efficiency of public administration

Now, let’s examine various cases individually to see how Korea has achieved success in e-government implementation.

The Korean government is greatly enhancing efficiency of government work and information resources management through On-nara BPS, dBrain and Government Integrated Data Center among others.

[ On-nara BPS ]

Background and Service Overview In the past, public officials in Korea were challenged by unreasonable and inefficient procedures. Often times they would have to repeat the same work using multiple forms or even line up for in-person reports.

On-nara BPS, which manages the way government works On-nara BPS standardizes and integrates business procedures of central and local governments using BRM-Business Reference Model. It manages all administrative procedures online, shares the progress and results in real-time and records every step in the process accurately and timely.

Major Service Areas

On-nara BPS has multiple functions.

'Document Management' is one of the most widely used functions of On-nara BPS. Public officials can create, share, report and approve documents online. This speeds up decision-making within the organization and implementation outside the organization.

With the 'MemoReport' function, stakeholders can share information and their perspectives on internal affairs without having to go through an approval process. Opinions can also be easily collected using this function. With the 'Schedule Management' function, users can upload important schedules in advance and record and manage performances.

The 'Meeting Management' function allows them to register agendas, hold online meetings and record offline meetings.

The 'Directive Management' function lets government workers register directives they have received and facilitates real-time updates and management of their work on these directives.


On-nara BPS has 850,000 users from over 230 central and local government organizations. On-nara BPS is gaining popularity and adding new users each year.

Its capacity to process business promptly and efficiently has cut down the average time required for public officials to handle a standard documentation workload. It has decreased from 6 hours and 32 minutes to less than 3 and one half hours.

It also enables public officials to record and share the policy-making process in real-time and manage all government work online and in public view. This contributes to enhancing the transparency and efficiency of public administration.

Awards and Recognition

On-nara BPS was selected as one of the top 10 e-government services in the 2007 World e-Democracy Forum in France. Today, five countries, including Indonesia, are considering implementing Korea's On-nara BPS in their countries.

On-nara BPS is a shortcut to transparent and efficient work.

[ National Financial Information System - dBrain ]

Background and Service Overview

In the mid 2000s Korea suffered from a lack of efficiency and transparency in handling government expenditures. This deficit, along with rapid changes in the global economy, generated urgency for Korea to develop an financial information system that could manage national financial activities more transparently. This national financial information system was developed and is called dBrain.

dBrain is a system that integrates and manages the entire range of government fiscal activities, from tax revenues management to budget formulation and execution, settlement and performance management, all on a real-time basis.

Major Service Areas

(Budget management) ** The title in the brackets are for the reference only. Not part of the script.**

One of the most widely used services of dBrain is budget management, which integrates all fiscal activities, from budget formulation, to execution and settlement to performance management, into a single system.

(Real-time management of public finance information) dBrain also allows instant sharing of information on public finances like revenues, expenditures, national assets and public debts.

(Efficient management of projects’ financial information) Public officials are assigned to current projects and are responsible for recording all financial information in dBrain. This information includes budget formulation, project progress, background and past progress. With real-time updates all users can track project information at a glance.

(Electronic bill payment and money transfer) dBrain also enables online management of national financial activities through electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) and electronic funds transfer (EFT).


The greatest benefit of introducing dBrain is the increased efficiency in managing national finances and operations. This efficiency is enhanced by dBrain’s interconnection with 63 other systems from 46 institutions, like the Public Procurement Service, the National Tax Service and the Bank of Korea for affairs regarding contracting, tax collection, and fund transfer.

dBrain is also used to determine whether national funds are appropriately used and to track budget spending. This makes it possible to suspend ineffective projects and commence new projects systematically and thus maximize the nation’s fiscal assets.

Thanks to electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) and electronic funds transfer (EFT), users can make payments remotely and conveniently. This reduces the risk of fraud and corruption.

Also by eliminating potential waste elements, dBrain helps us understand public financial activities more accurately and achieve efficient budget management.

Awards and Recognition

Many countries and international organizations recognize dBrain as an ideal fiscal information system. In 2010, Korea exported a 50-million-dollar fiscal information system to Indonesia.

dBrain is the digital partner of public finance.

[ Government Integrated Data Center ]

Background and Service Overview

Since the 1990s, when Korean government ministries began adopting e-government systems, there have been many achievements and accomplishments. However, problems caused by redundant investment in computing resources, lack of expertise, poor computing environment and security vulnerabilities have arisen along the way.

In 2005, to comprehensively address some of these issues the Korean government established a data center dedicated for government use. This center was the first of its kind in the world.

The Government Integrated Data Center (GIDC) integrates, operates and manages over 1400 e-government systems. These systems had previously been operated individually by 44 central government organizations. Data Center 1 was established in Daejeon in 2005 and Data Center 2 in Gwangju in 2007.

The first thing that GIDC did was relocate all the servers and hardware to one place. Gradually, it integrated the software and services together, and now even provides customized services to users.

Major Service Areas

(Integrated operation of e-government systems) GIDC integrates, manages and operates over 47,000 hardware and software components for 44 central government ministries. Such a large-scale system is managed on a real-time basis using 'n-TOPS', which is an integration and operation system developed with Korea's own technologies.

(Integrated security against cyber threats) GIDC protects national IT resources from various cyber threats. By using ‘e-ANSI Sung’, an integrated security system developed internally,

GIDC is able to block hacking attempts, viruses, DDos attacks and other forms of cyber threats from accessing e-government systems.

(Information resource integration and sharing) GIDC developed a resource pool through integrated purchases of all IT resources that each government organization needs. Simultaneously, it developed a cloud-computing environment, where government organizations can borrow hardware or software through the Internet.


Integrated operation of e-government systems significantly reduced the average monthly failure time per piece of equipment, decreasing it from 67 minutes before GIDC was built to only 4 minutes in 2014.

Also, integrated security measures make it possible to protect against cyber threats, from DDos attack detection to blocking, in only 20 minutes.

Now that government ministries don’t have to develop and operate their own systems, but can rely on systems put into place by e-government and access information resources as needed, the cost for development and operation has decreased by 30%.

Awards and Recognition

GIDC is being evaluated as an ideal e-government model by the international community. It won the FutureGOV Award in the area of data centers in 2010, and the 'IT Governance Excellence Award' from IT Service Management Forum in 2011.

About 400 high-level public officials learn about GIDC each year. GIDC was exported to Mongolia and Nepal in 2007 and to Vietnam in 2011.

GIDC is the core infrastructure for information resource management.

3. Cases of enhanced transparency of public administration

The Korean government has been greatly increasing transparency of public administration by introducing two new systems: an online procurement system called KONEPS, and a citizen participation portal called 'e-People’.

[Korea Online E-procurement System, KONEPS]

Background and Service Overview

Before KONEPS was developed, suppliers had to visit public offices in person and waste valuable time finding out bidding information and preparing bidding papers.

However, thanks to KONEPS, a transparent procurement process has been introduced. This saves public organizations and private sector businesses both time and money.

KONEPS is the world-class, one-stop e-procurement system. It processes entire procurement procedures online from bidding to contracting, ordering and payment.

manages product or service purchases, construction project contracting, raw material stockpiling and government commodity and asset management seamlessly online.

Major Service Areas

(Single window for public procurement) KONEPS offers a single window for public procurement. Businesses can easily join bidding by submitting a one-time registration of their licenses and qualifications in KONEPS. They can also check all bidding information of public organizations through KONEPS.

(One-stop service based on system interconnection) KONEPS offers one-stop shop services.

KONEPS interconnected the procurement information from 156 organizations. This has enabled supplier businesses to complete the procurement process at 'one-stop' without having to submit separate documents or certificates.

(Entire procurement process handled online) KONEPS has digitized all procurement procedures.

Steps in the procurement process, such as bidding, contracting and payment, are handled conveniently on the Internet. In fact, 166 types of document forms have been digitized for faster processing. This has enabled both public organizations and supplier businesses to operate more efficiently.


KONEPS has eliminated the need for businesses to make in person visits to office to get bidding information or submit papers. This alone led to a cost saving of US$8 billion. Specifically, businesses saved US$6.6 billion and public organizations saved US$1,4 billion. (Cost savings of businesses: KRW 6.6 trillion; Cost savings of public organizations: KRW 1.4 trillion)

According to Anti-corruption and Civil Rights Commission, procurement transparency has been increased by 20% from 6.8 points in 2002 to 7.92 points in 2013. This improvement can be attributed to real-time disclosure of procurement information and implementation of standard procedures.

By digitizing the public bidding process, more players have more opportunities to participate. This feature especially helps SMEs as their increased participation in public procurement has significantly enhanced their competitiveness. (SMEs make up 96.9% of the 280,000 businesses registered in KONEPS)

Awards and Recognition

KONEPS won the United Nations Public Service Award in 2003 and the Global IT Excellence Award in World Congress on Information Technology in 2006.

As a ground-breaking e-procurement system, KONEPS was adopted as an online public procurement model by Mongolia in 2010, Tunisia in 2012, Cameroon in 2004 and Jordan and Rwanda in 2015. 21 countries have signed MOUs with Korea. KONEPS is the world's best cyber marketplace.

[ e-People ]

Background and Service Overview

In the past, citizens often felt confused by the process to file petitions or suggestions. Some even hesitated filing one for fear that they might be penalized when doing so.

Now citizens no longer need to worry. They can file petitions and suggestions on 'e-People' anytime and anywhere.

e-People is the major online communication window between the government and citizens. Citizens can simply file all government-related petitions, suggestions, reports and policy-related discussions and check their progress online.

It is interconnected with service systems from more than 840 government organizations, as well as educational organizations, diplomatic offices and judicial branches. Once a citizen files a petition on e-People, the system delivers it to the right organization.

Major Service Areas

‘what does e-People do?’

(Petitions) When you have any complaint about a government organization, you can report it through e-People. It delivers your petition to the best suited organization for one-stop processing.

(Suggestions) If you have input on policy issues, you can make suggestion on e-People. It collects user responses on government policies and systems, integrates them into policy-making and even offers awards for the best suggestions.

(Policy engagement) e-People allows any citizen to become a policy-maker. Anyone can bring up topics for official agendas, join discussions on government policies and attend e-hearings.


As e-People enables real-time online collaboration between government organizations and individuals, the service quality and administrative efficiency of the government has dramatically improved.

As a result, it now takes less time to process services, citizens are more satisfied with the service quality and there is an increasing number of citizens using e-People.

Because the government can monitor what citizens are saying with filings through e-People, it can find out which complaints are most common, analyze the complaints and transfer them to the organizations that can best handle the issues. In this way, the government is now able to respond to citizens in a comprehensive and holistic manner, rather than just solve lower impact, isolated problems.

e-People has been well received and highly utilized. Since 2006 the number of filed complaints or petitions has more than quadrupled while the processing time has dramatically decreased.

Awards and Recognition

e-People won the 'Best Demonstration Stand Award' at the '2008 e-Challenge Conference' held in Sweden, and the United Nations 'Public Service Award' in 2011 in the category of 'advancing knowledge management in government'. e-People is a major e-government service that is improving transparency of public administration.

Tunisia and Korea reached an agreement in 2014 to cooperate on building an online participation system.

e-People is an online communication window between the government and citizens.

4. Cases of improved services for citizens

The Korean government is greatly improving citizen convenience through a government for citizen(G4C) service called Minwon24, an Internet tax system called HomeTax, an intelligent transport system called ITS.

[ G4C Portal - Minwon24 ]

Background and Service Overview

In the past, citizens had to deal with many inconveniences, like having to visit public offices or submit additional documents to receive a government service.

With the creation of Minwon24, citizens no longer need to visit offices in person and submit duplicative documents to receive services.

Minwon24 is a government portal where citizens can simply request and receive certificates or check various kinds of information through the Internet 'regardless of time and space'.

Because Minwon24 is interconnected with systems from each administrative organization, like the resident registration management system and local government administration system, citizens can enjoy a wide range of online services.

Major Service Areas

What kind of services does Minwon24 offer?

G4C Information Service provides detailed information on 5,000 types of government services. Citizens can use the service to find out for example, how to register a new move or how to check tax payments.

Also with a G4C Service Request, citizens can ask for any of the 2,800 types of certificates and proofs online without having to visit public offices. Approximately 1,100 certificate types can be issued and printed out upon request.

To meet new demands brought on by an increase in smart phone users and an evolving technological environment, Minwon24 launched 10 mobile services in 2010, including authenticity verification of resident ID cards. In 2015, Minwon24 launched 34 new mobile services, including services to report loss of resident ID card and services to request certificates for university studies.


Since Minwon24’s launch in 2002, it generates 1.5 billion dollars(trillion won) of economic and social savings each year. Most of this savings comes from reduced need to travel to public offices.

Minwon24 also eliminated about 22,000 tons of CO2 emissions by reducing the use of transportation and paper. Minwon24 is constantly developing and providing new and useful services for citizens and the number, engagement and satisfaction of users is continuously increasing.

Awards and Recognition

Minwon24 won the United Nations Public Service Award in 2011. That same year, citizens chose Minwon24 as the top-ranking service in 'Citizen-select Best 10' survey conducted by the Prime Minister's Office.

Minwon24 is Korea's representative online G4C service portal.

[ Internet Tax Service - HomeTax ]

Background and Service Overview

Since the 2000s, tax transactions, like tax returns and payments, have significantly increased. With the spread of the Internet, there has been an increasing demand from citizens to develop tax services that could be used at home or work.

It became clear to the government that tax services needed to be modernized.

In 2002, the Internet tax service called HomeTax was developed. After going through several phases and upgrades, HomeTax now makes it possible for taxpayers to complete their taxes without having to visit a tax office. Users simply login and are provided access to all tax-related services on the Internet. HomeTax now acts as the primary tool citizens use to interact with the National Tax Service.

Major Service Areas

HomeTax provides many convenient services.

With HomeTax, users can file returns and pay taxes on 13 types of taxes including: income, corporate, value-added, donation and real estate holding taxes.

Also, through the Internet users can print out any of the 16 types of tax-related certificates. Some examples of these certificates include: business registration, tax payment and amount of income. Recently, HomeTax was integrated with 7 other systems, including the cash receipt system and the simplified year-end tax adjustment system. It also provides services through a mobile application, which has improved the convenience of taxpayers to a great extent as well as enhanced the transparency and reliability of tax administration.


The number of online tax returns through HomeTax in 2014 reached 22 million, which accounts for 93% of the total tax returns made in Korea. 5.19 billion cash receipts were issued, totaling US$91.5 billion, and 510 million e-tax invoices were issued, totaling US$2,876 billion.

With HomeTax the government no longer needs to spend money designing, printing and mailing forms and flyers. This savings totaled US$150 million. Citizens have saved about US$400 million, by no longer having to travel to offices. These savings have an enormous overall impact on the economy.

The use of HomeTax has reached a high penetration rate has generated large economic savings and is greatly benefiting Korean citizens.

Awards and Recognition

OECD chose HomeTax as an example of the best electronic tax administration in 2006. HomeTax finally received ISO/IEC20000 certification in 2008.

HomeTax was exported to Sri Lanka in 2010 and Mongolia in 2011 and is being used as a benchmark for electronic tax administration service for the global community.

HomeTax is convenient for the taxpayer and keeps tax administration clean and transparent.

[ Intelligent Transport System - ITS ]

Background and Service Overview

With only 100,000 square kilometers of geographic area, and a population of 50 million, 20 million of who are concentrated in the Seoul metropolitan area, Korea has had to deal some serious traffic-related issues.

Many difficulties were caused by increasing numbers of automobiles on the road and insufficient numbers of parking spaces in cities. This factors exacerbated already poor conditions for road construction, traffic congestion, accidents and air pollution.

However, to respond to these new needs, Korea actively developed the intelligent transport system, or ITS which facilitates user safety and convenience and maximizes transportation efficiency.

ITS is state-of-the-art transport system that applies information, communication and control technologies to transportation vehicles like cars, trains, ships and airplanes and to transport facilities like roads, railways, seaports and airports. It also optimizes and automates traffic management and even provides mobility information that is customized to each traveler.

Major Service Areas

What are the major services that ITS offers?

ITS basically operates lights to control traffic flow based on real-time traffic conditions for smoother flow on roads. Automatic change of traffic lights based on the amount of traffic at intersections is one of the major examples of ITS.

ITS collects real-time operational information of public transportation for traffic operation and management and provides the information to citizens for more convenient use of public transportation. One of the best examples is the bus arrival information system, which can be easily viewed at bus stops.

ITS automated toll payment on toll roads to reduce inconveniences to drivers. It also allows passengers to pay bus, subway and taxi fares using the same payment card.

Additionally, the National Transport Information Center serves as the hub that systematically and efficiently interconnects, integrates, and manages information. This way, traffic information that has been collected from different transportation vehicles and facilities throughout the country can be shared.


With the introduction of ITS, traffic conditions in Korea improved dramatically.

Traffic congestion decreased by more than 20% and the cost savings total approximately 360 million dollars every year.

Citizens no longer need to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Real-time traffic and detour information is available and easily accessed so drivers can choose a faster route.

Awards and Recognition

32 countries around the world, including Bangladesh, Vietnam and Columbia have either imported the system or consulted with officials on how to adopt the technology.

ITS is a cutting-edge transport system that creates faster, safer and smoother mobility.


The Korean government has introduced approximately 19,000 e-government services, many of which have received global praise and recognition.

Korea’s e-government has enhanced the efficiency and transparency of public administration, improved services for citizens in a significant way and expanded opportunities for citizens to participate in the policy-making process.

The Korean government will continue to make its best efforts to provide user-oriented, customized e-government services in an integrated manner, and actively share with the international community the experiences and expertise accumulated during e-government service implementation.