Achievable or Ambitious?: A Comparative and Critical View of Government 3.0 in Korea

Achievable or Ambitious?: A Comparative and Critical View of Government 3.0 in Korea

Taewoo Nam (Department of Public Administration, Sungkyunkwan University, Jongno-gu, South Korea)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJEGR.2017010101
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Government 3.0 emerged as a new paradigm of the government workings in Korea. The previous administration's (2013–2017) strong pledge for public sector reform through the Government 3.0 initiative envisions a transparent, competent, and service-oriented government. The paper, with comparison of the Government 3.0 initiative with Government 2.0 as a precedent paradigm and national initiatives of other countries, discusses what kind of challenges the initiative faces and how the government could overcome the challenges. Government 3.0 seems like a policy package of diverse programs. Novel is how the policy package is labeled rather than what the substance is. The initiative delivers normative messages to public employees. Prioritizing quantitative transparency may cause such a side effect as extra tasks of public employees and failure in guaranteeing information security and accuracy. Since a policy package differs and varies with the administration and political parties, what the initiative sheds light on may not last long after the presidential term.
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Government 3.0 In Korea

According to the National Information Society Agency of Korea (2013), future governments are expected to advance toward Government 3.0 as a customized and intelligent government using Semantic Web technology (a smart web that thinks for itself), which “enables computers to define, understand, and logically deduct the meaning of information, further to help better search of requested information” (National Information Society Agency, 2008). The Korean government defined Government 3.0 as a “Semantic Web-based government that personalizes all government services according to the conditions and preferences of each individual” (National Information Society Agency, 2008). This earlier definition constrained Government 3.0 to adoption of new technological potentials, but the Park Geun-Hye administration of Korea (2013–2017) embraces it as a new paradigm and umbrella initiative for public sector reform, as addressed in her speech: “Government 3.0 is a new paradigm for government operation to promote active sharing of public information and removal of barriers existing among government ministries for better collaboration” (see

Table 1.
Korean e-government paradigms
Government 1.0
Government 2.0
Government 3.0
• World Wide Web• Web 2.0• Real-World Web
• First stop• One stop• Customized portal
• One-way service• Bilateral interaction• Customized intelligent service
• Time and place restrictions for services• Mobile services• Seamless services anytime and anywhere

Note: Adapted from the homepage of Government 3.0 (

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