A shift from passive, defensive minimal disclosure practices to maximum disclosure in a negative system

The City of Seoul upholds the principle of full disclosure of all administrative information. Under this principle, the city established the basic policy where the creation, management, distribution, and preservation of the information should be performed in a systematic manner, overhauling the disclosure culture and enhancing awareness about information disclosure. Also, the city improved the legal and administrative systems related to this policy, as well as the disclosure process.

Declaration of Governance 2.0 for Openness, Sharing, and Communication

All information created and managed by the City of Seoul result from the outcomes of the policies aimed at enhancing the welfare of the citizens. The City of Seoul promises to disclose all its information, unless such a disclosure would compromise the well-being of the public or injure innocent parties.

The City of Seoul will uphold the principle of sharing the information between the metropolitan government and the citizens as equal partners, instead of the unilateral provision of the information by the city government to the citizens.

Through the disclosure and sharing of the administrative information, all citizens will be able to participate in the governance of the city freely. This way, the citizens will become the true masters of the City of Seoul. As such, the City of Seoul announced the ‘Ten Principles for the Rights to Information,’ which the city will uphold in order for all 10 million citizens to participate in the governance of the city and enjoy the fruits of such efforts.

The City of Seoul has developed the Governance 2.0 Declaration and the 10 Principles of Rights to Information, in order to implement the disclosure policies from the perspectives of the customers through the establishment of the civil/public cooperation system. These measures were essential in minimizing the internal and external resistance to the innovative new paradigm and forming a consensus on the new system. Also, it was possible to use them as a Charter during the process of information disclosure. This is how the Nude Project of the City of Seoul was created.

Ten Principles regarding the Rights to Information

  1. 1. The Right to Information of the citizens is the Right to Life.
  2. 2. The information created and managed by the City of Seoul is the property of the citizens.
  3. 3. Any citizen should be granted the right to access and utilize the information of the city.
  4. 4. The City of Seoul should engage in its best efforts to ensure that the process of creating and disclosing information is convenient and effective for the citizens.
  5. 5. The City of Seoul shall disclose any information that is not designated as classified by the law. And, any classification and non-disclosure of information should be supported by the cause for such non-disclosure and accompanied by a set date for the disclosure of such information in a definite manner.
  6. 6. The City of Seoul should ensure the Right to Information of the citizens by disseminating the information regarding the content of information and how to access it, as soon as key information is created.
  7. 7. The City of Seoul should improve its systems and organizations continuously, so that the disclosure of information can be performed effectively and efficiently.
  8. 8. The City of Seoul should ensure cooperation and participation by the citizens in its key decision making processes.
  9. 9. The civil servants (including the employees of organizations funded by the city) shall be charged with the duty to fully cooperate with the demands for information disclosure by the citizens.
  10. 10. The civil servants shall be responsible for justifying any non-disclosure of the information and be protected from unfair treatment in the course of carrying out duties related to the disclosure of information to uphold the Right to Information of the citizens.

Preemptive disclosure and sharing of information rather than passive disclosure of information upon request

The City of Seoul sought to uphold the basic principle that the ownership of the administrative information lies with the citizens as the city established the policy strategies for Governance 2.0. With this, the city overcame provider-oriented ideas and introduced a new paradigm which was more focused on the citizens and users. Instead of the defensive disclosure processes which involved many steps, all the administrative information that is not classified by the law was now to be disclosed to the citizens as soon as it is created, so that the citizens could utilize such information without delay, as the key principle of our policies.

Preemptive disclosure and sharing of information diagram

Preemptive disclosure and sharing of information diagram

Information disclosure upon request
  1. 1. Citizens
  2. 2. Checking the list of information
  3. 3. Request
  4. 4. Evaluation
  5. 5. Disclosure, Non-disclosure

    Disclosure → Administrative information

Paradigm Change
Preemptive disclosure and information sharing system

Administrative information → Seoul Information Communication Plaza
Citizens → Seoul Information Communication Plaza

System-based automatic disclosure instead of manual disclosure by the person in charge or the departments in charge

The City of Seoul established a stepwise plan to expand disclosure through automated systems in accordance with the range and criteria of information disclosure and sharing. The main idea behind this is to minimize the discretion of the civil servants and the blind spots of the information disclosure program. Also, it is intended to minimize possible issues that could occur when the innovative information disclosure system is implemented across the whole city government at once. Through this systematic, automated information disclosure system, the administrative information, which was monopolized by the civil servants in the city government can now be disclosed to all the citizens automatically without anything being concealed. Based on this principle, it was possible to establish the basis for disclosing the information as it is.

System-based automatic disclosure diagram

System-based automatic disclosure diagram

Citizens → Seoul Information Communication Plaza

Seoul Information Communication Plaza
  1. 1. Work Process Management System, Meeting Minutes Management System, Budget Management System, Internal Administration System...
  2. 2. Privacy information filtering, Masking of the classified information, Converting to PDF files
  3. 3. Provides various classification systems, systematic total searching, and the overall context of the policies.

Having a single window for information disclosure and sharing instead of distributed, multiple windows.

Many citizens experienced inconvenience as they had to visit multiple departments and places to find the administrative information they needed. The City of Seoul became aware of this problem and planned its Information Communication Plaza in a fishnet network, so that the users may have access to various administrative information from a single place. The citizens can now access the documents and information they desire in the network of administrative information easily from one place, which maximizes accessibility and user convenience.

multiple windows diagram

multiple windows diagram

A System, B System, C System, D System → Common classification system / record types

Information Communication Plaza(All the administrative information of the city is now available over the network)
  • Electronic document, Documents in irregular formats (Meeting minutes, reports, etc….), Web records, Data Set
  • Process A, Process B, Process C, process D