By Kim Tae-gyu
President Park Geun-hye pledged Wednesday to make public the majority of data and information on state affairs in an effort to make her administration more transparent and accessible to the people.
Through the Ministry of Security and Public Administration, she announced a blueprint to upgrade methods of working with the aim of achieving a next-generation administration dubbed "Government 3.0."
"Currently, people have to knock on the door of a public agency to obtain data from bureaucrats. But they will be able to get it by opening the door themselves," said Jeong Byeong-wook, an official of the ministry.
"Up until now, around 300,000 pieces of public information were provided to citizens who asked for disclosure every year. This figure will jump to about 100 million down the road."
Jeong said that all data on daycare centers such as the numbers of children enrolled and staff employed, as well as daily menus and records of violating relevant regulations will be available.
"According to a recent report, Korea can create up to 150,000 jobs and chalk up economic benefits amounting to 24 trillion won by opening up its database," Jeong said.
"For one, the disclosure of the bus operations in Seoul prompted mobile developers to come up with more than 2,500 smartphone applications and many other regional governments are following suit."
In addition, the government aims to provide one-stop public services to citizens so that they will not need to visit several agencies in person to enjoy various public benefits.
People who suffer financial losses due to natural disasters currently have to apply to as many as seven departments in order to receive help. But this will now be available at one bureau because agencies will share data.
To find future growth engines for Asia's No. 4 economy, the government is looking to establish a dedicated system to help venture start-ups and entrepreneurs. Promoting cutting-edge technologies is also included on its priority list.
In an event held Wednesday to declare the new administration's willingness to realize Government 3.0, Park said that the initiative is about preparing for a better future.
"We are facing unprecedented challenges such as economic polarization, growth without jobs and a fast aging society. In this climate, we cannot make people happy unless we deal with all information in open and transparent ways," Park said.
"I hope that Government 3.0 will enable us to change society and make the lives of people happier and more affluent."