The survey is a biannual comparative report that has evaluated the e-government level of the 192 UN member states since 2002. It aims to facilitate global cooperation in e-Government and improve national competitiveness by comparing the e-Government level among countries. Korea jumped to the top from previously ranking in 6th place in the e-Government Readiness Index and 2nd place in the e-Participation Index in 2008. Specifically, the government was highly appraised for a systematic network for budgeting, taxation, civil complaints and other administration services.
E-government refers to an electronic system designed to improve government efficiency and competitiveness through a systematic network of public administration. It may sound natural for Korea, an IT powerhouse, to perform well in the electronic government system, but advanced technology alone is not enough to establish a top-notch e-government system. It requires advanced IT systems, public administration expertise and know-how, a sufficient budget and the government’s strong commitment.
The country’s prize winning e-government system is expected to serve as a model for many other countries planning to establish e-government systems. If the e-government system is a cutting-edge public administration system, then it can be said that South Korea has successfully transformed itself from an importer of administrative systems to an exporter of state-of-the-art administrative systems in the past six decades.
In fact, the country has signed contracts worth US$73 million with Indonesia, Sri Lanka and other developing countries during the first half of 2010, to export its know-how and technology for building e-government systems. The contracts signed exceeded the 2009 total of US$67 million.
South Korea is expected to lead the United Nations’ efforts to establish a global e-government system. It is also expected to help facilitate Korea’s efforts to transfer its e-government systems and expertise to underdeveloped countries through the United Nations Official Development Assistance or ODA for short.