Ministry of Public Administration and Security

The Problem

The Korean e-government projects have achieved significant improvements in the quality of public services. However, as each government agency widened the scope of e-government services, information systems became more complex with high levels of investment. As a result, this created many problems for the government both internally and externally. Citizens experienced inconvenience as e-government systems were neither integrated nor aligned at the whole-of-government level. Therefore, Korea’s e-government encountered the following problems:

 Barriers between government agencies: It was very difficult to integrate government services when more than two agencies were exchanging the information. For example, a person had to visit multiple sites such as the Korea Food and Drug Administration for personal medical information, the Health Insurance Review and Assessment, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare for vaccination information.

 Strong need for single unified service delivery channel: The Korean Government consists of multiple levels of agencies including over 40 central government ministries and administrations, 246 local governments, and thousands of public agencies. From citizens’ perspective, the service which government provided needs to be unified and integrated. The service system has to be reformed with a focus on the users rather than the provider, which is, the government. Therefore, Korea’s e-government required an infrastructure to integrate the services for citizens provided by different government agencies.

 Competing e-government system investment: The e-government system requires a large scale investment. As the Korean e-government projects were executed by many different government agencies, it was difficult to examine investment decisions from the whole-government perspective. As a result, similar systems across government agencies were developed without control and there was a need for more effective investment.

 Seeking for solution to exchange public information resources: The information exchange among government agencies was not easy as it requires the whole-of-government approach. As Korea’s e-government was maturing, there were increasing requests for information from one institution to another and vice versa. Many issues were brought up for exchanging information among different government agencies, however there was no appropriate tool to facilitate the information flow among these agencies.

The Korean e-government encountered problems in terms of transparency, accountability, adaptability, and compatibility in internal management, as well as in citizen services. The enterprise architecture (EA) approach at the whole-of-government level was introduced to Korea’s e-government community. Enterprise architecture is a management tool applicable to whole enterprise by designing blueprints of enterprise business, information, and performance in systematic format. Each government implemented its own enterprise architecture but it was not encapsulating the whole government. Therefore, the whole-of-government EA is considered the master plan of a city, while the EA for individual agencies is regarded as the construction plan for buildings in the city.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
The Korea whole-of-government enterprise architecture, named GEA, approach was applied to provide integrated services to citizens, businesses corporations and government agencies. The GEA recognizes the information resources available at government organizations and the structure of the resource. This approach made it possible to improve the service quality by integrating the information resource, and making them more transparent among all governments.
1) The first achievement was the reduction of inter-ministerial barriers through the GEA. The GEA analyzed the e-government services and planned target service architecture for citizens. As a result, processing times have been shortened and quality of services has been improved. In the past, it took four weeks and seventy-five different stages for businesses to complete the international trade process. However, since the service integration using the GEA, the business procedures were reduced to only fifteen stages and only took one week to complete. Another dimension of customers for government services was those within the agencies. The automobile registration agency was able to provide the waiver service of car detention using the GEA. Before this service was implemented, more than 100 agencies processed the service separately. Therefore, the GEA contributed to improving the quality of government services and the business performance.
2) The second achievement can be summarized as the contribution to effective investments in information system. The GEA reduced the information technology investments by reusing hardware and software and saved the public budgets for new investment opportunities. The GEA reviewed individual information systems by checking its duplicability and incompatibility. It also helped to eliminate unsuccessful projects, as well as low priority ones. In particular, the information systems proposed had to be reviewed whether the systems were citizen focused, compatible with to-be target goals, and not duplicated with other government before approving the projects. As a result, approximately 240 million US dollars were saved over the last 3 years by eliminating unnecessary investments (88 million in 2009, 98 million in 2010, and 54 million in 2011), which helped secure financial resources for new investments.
3) The third performance result achieved was continuous efforts for service quality and transparent national information systems. The GEA was able to provide the to-be feature goals by services for each government agency, as well as the whole-of-government. The GEA suggested goals and criteria for services and data in 10 areas, which are in urgent needs for improvements in order to enhance convenience for customer (citizen, business, etc) not at government agency level, but the whole-of-government level. The GEA is also available at the government enterprise architecture portal (i.e., GEAP, and this portal has integrated EA information of each government agency by service classification. The information of individual agencies along with the whole-of-government was integrated and shared. As of October 2012, information on about 15,000 e-government systems of more than 1,400 institutions is shared through the GEAP. Furthermore, the dashboard shows the information on the current informatization-related projects of individual government as well as the amount of money invested.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The GEA is the output of all collaboration efforts by the President’s Council on National ICT Strategies (NICS), Korea’s central and local governments, agencies, and civil organizations. Since many parties were involved in building the solution, roles and responsibilities were clarified and divided for each group. 1) The GEA was first initiated by NICS, which consists of governmental and private sector experts and serves as the highest decision making body. The council proposed considered new ways of providing government services in order to increase citizen convenience. The GEA was selected as one of the national informatization agenda and the Council facilitated and coordinated the interests and conflicts raised by different government agencies, branches and departments.
2) Following this proposal, there was a need for making decisions for the implementation. The GEA was implemented by MOPAS, which was responsible for coordinating all GEA-related affairs, including formulation of laws and policies. In addition, the National Information Society Agency (NIA,, supporting organization dedicated to national informatization, has been managing the whole-of-government EA and research and development for the EA. Other government agencies, such as other central ministries, local governments, and public agencies, participated in this program to design future goals by service areas with numerous experts from different organizations. NIA has continuously submitted opinions for individual organizations and provided consultations under the guidelines and tools to upgrade the GEA.
3) The two key stakeholders were the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. The Prime Minister’s Office annually evaluates informatization performance of all governments by measuring each organization’s EA with the whole-of-government EA. In addition, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance uses the whole-of-government EA with the budgeting process for the national information system investment decision. Therefore, the whole-of-government EA may serve as a communication as well as a reference tool to evaluate feasibility, compatibility, duplicability, alignment, and appropriateness of investments for all government information systems.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The strategies for implementing GEA were first government service quality improvement for citizens, second the utilization of laws and regulations, and finally the incremental implementation by stages. The main goal of the EA was to provide better e-government services for citizens.
1) Service improvements were identified in service areas by considering level of their goals. The areas were identified by categorizing the service clients and we called the services as the whole-of-government services. The whole-of-government services were classified into 10 areas for public citizen services and 8 areas for internal government services, for a total of 18 areas. The project team considered the citizen group as public and internal stakeholders. In addition, the public was then classified into individual and corporate groups. After identifying the service areas by citizen groups, the project management office suggested an alignment and integration strategy, which contains business tasks, data, and other informational resources. The target service architectures were then drawn for alignment and integration. As a result, the patterns of service and data were defined and classified into 9 areas for alignment and integration by target service architecture. Therefore, the business related to alignment and integration of services and data has been shown by the GEA.
2) The Korean Government provided strong leadership for implementing the GEA by utilizing a legal basis. The Korean Government announced the EA law in 2004 and the NIA has been continuously providing criteria and guidelines for the GEA. Therefore, each government organization can refer to the GEA reference models and guidelines for the alignment and integration of its services and data. The law enforces every government organization to manage their EAs with the services provided by GEA and to register their EA information on the Government Enterprise Architecture Portal (GEAP). Therefore, the GEA can update and improve the architecture resources in a sustainable format.
3) The GEA adopted an incremental strategy to minimize risks at different stages. The strategy is to review the results of each stage and redirect the tasks for next stage. The project management office identified risks by the implementation stages, which were classified into three stages of planning, execution, and feedback. At the planning stage, the goals and strategies were set up for GEA. During the execution stage, the organization for implementing the GEA added the whole-of-government reference models and defined the administration services. In addition, meta-models explaining the alignment and interoperability among architecture resources were developed at the whole-of-government level. Finally at the feedback stage, the GEA implemented the EA maturity model to measure the degrees of maturity at individual organizations as well as at the whole-of-government level. These measures served as a reference to improve the e-government services. MOPAS announced the first phase plan of EA in 2007 and the second phase in 2011, which provided the basis for alignment and integration of government-to-government services for GEA. This project was designed by many experts such as government officers and information technology consultants.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
Korea’s EA law enforced the introduction of EA into the government organizations and the GEA used the individual as inputs. In addition, the GEA included architecture information of other government organizations which can be provided as the basis of alignment and integration. The GEA has a history of implementing several steps. The first stage is to implement the individual EA introduction by law. The second stage is to enable the GEA include the EAs of all Ministries. The last stage is to include the EAs of other governmental agencies.
As a first step, MOPAS implemented the EA law, such that the government should implement the EAs in order to manage and utilize the information resources of public enterprises. Since 2004, MOPAS has been revising the law, regulations, criteria, and guidelines by pilot projects for Korean central government. MOPAS has been stimulating the expansion of EAs to other government organizations and institutionalizing the organization to support this. As a result, the number of government agencies implementing the EAs has increased continuously and the total of 110 independent government organizations completed their EAs.
The second stage was to move toward the implementation of GEA management system. The quality improvement of administration services served as a criterion to structuralize the current EAs and to design the target EAs. Using the analysis results, in 2008 MOPAS designed the current and target EAs of whole-of-government and implemented the GEA management system and Government Enterprise Architecture Portal. In 2009, the management principle was set forth for registering in the GEA the current and target architecture information of EAs run by government organization. As a result, the GEA system was able to manage the government enterprise architecture resources in an aligned and integrative manner.
3) The third stage was to include all of the public agency EA information resources in the GEA. Therefore, the GEA has a hierarchy containing both individual EAs and the whole-of-government EAs, which aligned and integrated them. When the individual EA is changed, the GEAP updates the architecture information of individual organizations in real time and periodically. Even if the organization did not implement the EAs, they were encouraged to register the information resources into the GEAP at least one time per year. Therefore, it was able to manage the current EAs of all public organizations through the GEAP. In addition, the information resources in the GEAP were used to direct the strategy of information investment to improve the service quality and were shared among all government organizations.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
The main obstacles encountered by the GEA were a lack of understating of EA and the low level of capability at both a human resources level and at an organizational level. Accordingly, most individual governments were against the implementation of GEA. In order to resolve these problems, the GEAP and GEA supplemented the quality improvement program of EA information. As a result, information sharing and utilization was possible among all government organizations.
1) The first obstacle was a lack of understanding of EA and low level of EA capability. Since the EA is not easy to understand, most of information system experts in government organizations lacked understanding the EAs and this fact contributed to the unwillingness to implement the EAs in their individual governments. To solve this, the program office started education and training about EAs. A set of education and training programs was set up on annual basis with different curriculums such as students-oriented courses for ministry CIOs, both introductory level and expert level, online courses and customized courses. As a result, a total of 5,482 people have participated in the education and training programs of EAs from 2005 to 2012. Also, the conference has been held annually to provide seminars related to government policies and reference case studies as EA experts network.
2) The second obstacle is the resistance of individual organization against the implementation of EAs because it was new and required a change in how they do business. Specifically, the government experts considered the introduction of EAs in their organizations additional burden. To solve this problem, the Prime Minister Office evaluated the maturity level of individual government organizations with the Korea Enterprise Architecture Maturity Model and considered the results in the annual evaluation of government enterprises. In addition, MOPAS announces EA awards for excellent organizations with high performance. The cases of excellent EA organizations are reflected in the next year’s business performance and being shared among all government enterprises.
3) The third obstacle was to keep the information integrity between GEA and individual EA. The availability and reliability of EA information was essential but most organizations were not active in participating in the program. They had a tendency of registering only the minimum information of EAs required by the regulations. The alignment and integration of EA information was a key driver to make them compatible. The issue was how to collect the individual EA information for the GEA and thus it was possible to check the quality of EAs based on the GEAP. In addition, roles and responsibilities were set up to optimize the quality improvement and the GEA center is responsible for managing the quality of information and the results are distributed to individual organizations.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The strong leadership by the Korea National Information Committee served a critical role to initiate the project. Strategic assessment of cost ownership was made and thus the acquisition of financial budgets for the projects was very essential. The national governance structure was centralized to have the minimum funds necessary as well as to service alignment and integration. This approach benefits many government organizations in terms of building the reference models, setting up the benchmark of service quality, and sharing of results and experiences.
It was however not easy to get the funds for executing the GEA by itself and the strategy was to be connected to the Korea e-government projects. The reason was that the Korea e-government program has a history of more than 10 years but the EA implementation was new. With the support of NCIS, the GEA projects were executed in three phases and a total of 5.9 Million US dollars were invested. After 2009, 150 thousand US dollars were invested to maintain the GEA system. Also, the integration and alignment by target architecture as a result of the whole-of-government EA business has been annually funded by the independent e-government support business.
2) When the EA was introduced to Korea’s e-government community, there was confusion and a lack of EA experts. At the initial stage of the projects, the Korea governments conducted benchmark studies of both the US and British governments as well as large corporations who implemented the EA system in advance. Next MOPAS recruited EA experts from outside the government and established the basis of a public EA support agency. Currently the NIA organized the EA experts groups to provide education, training, and consulting for public EA needs. Both MOPAS and NIA are holding annual conferences with the Korean Enterprise Architecture Association (KEAA, Papers related to the e-government and the GEA have been discussed in these conferences for the last 10 years. These organizations have been providing leadership for many government organizations so that they can benefit from them. In addition, the annual EA awards were granted to individuals as well as organizations to laud them for their efforts and to share good examples among the government and individuals implementing EA.
3) The EA governance structure was critical to manage all guidelines and publications for the GEA as well as individual governments. Individual governments can benefit from the governance rule because this activity was supported by national law and therefore individual organizations do not have to obtain the sponsorship from their top management. In addition, this whole-of-government governance scheme is used as a reference for IT investment because each organization can evaluate its current and target architectures by considering information system blueprints provided by the GEA and GEAP. The funds granted for organization of information system investment can also be used by GEA to control new IT investment and thus eliminate inefficiency and increase the interoperability of service alignment and integration.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
The Korea government has been already sharing their experiences related to the whole-of-government information resources (i.e., service, data, and information systems) with international community. The GEA is a very effective tool for transferring its knowledge and experiences to the international community because it’s total output of not only e-government practices but also the whole-of-government practices. The GEA can provide the benefits to other countries in terms of the following perspectives.
1) The Korea GEA evaluates the current information resources to be reused or to be abandoned and provides a basis for integrating government duplicated information resources scattered. From the GEA and GEAP, it is easy to identify which government organization has what kinds of information resources in real time. These experiences and outputs could serve as references for other national governments. In summary, the GEA provides the complete picture for managing of information resources by any country. Also, other countries can use this as a template for managing the e-government for current systems as well as new systems. Furthermore, this whole-of-government approach can be used to leverage the roles and responsibilities between central ministries and local governments. Finally, the GEA can provide a project management method for IT investment in government organization by a series of activities in planning, implementing, operating, and evaluating.
2) The GEA cases were benchmarked by other countries such as the Asia Development Bank, Vietnam, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia and Japan. Many experts from those countries have visited Korea and learned about Korea’s whole-of-government approaches and its cases. This approach is different from that of the US Federal Enterprise Architecture and many countries have been showing great interests in the GEA. This approach can be used in any country for different purposes. It can be used for single e-government as well as the whole-government issues related to the planning, sponsorship, management, alignment, service quality improvement, integration, investment decisions, and communication among various stakeholders. The results of GEA can increase the transparency of government information resources, accountability of information management, and quality of government services and these experiences and results were transferrable to other countries because most of them are stored in architecture information.
3) The components of GEA can be shared and reused in other countries. The essential parts include the EA framework, reference models, meta-models, maturity models, and the whole-of-government EA management systems. These components can be applicable to other countries as a solution in a package format as well in an individual components format. The framework shows how individual government pursues the EA in connection with the whole-of-government. The meta-model shows how all the information lists can be managed by the government organization and their current goals as well as target ones. The maturity model shows the results of EA performances by individual organizations. Also, many architecture reference models provide individual organizations with business, process, service, and data models. Finally, the GEA management system shows EA information of individual as well as the whole-of-government.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
1) The impact of this business results in the improvement of transparency and accountability of e-government investments. Prior to the project implementation, the inter-ministerial barriers were very high and therefore the collaboration as well as the cooperation among government organizations was very difficult. Since Korea had already implemented e-government projects without the EA, it was very difficult to align and integrate government information resources. Advanced countries such as the United States and United Kingdom announced the interoperability standards and reference models at the federal level and therefore individual organizations decide whether or not to implement them. On the other hand, Korea’s e-government enforces the whole-of-government approach resulting in all governments becoming transparent and accountable for their services thanks to all architecture information by government shared among experts. As a result, any person in any organization can see how e-government systems were invested, thus increasing transparency as well as accountability of government organizations.
2) The first lesson learned from the GEA is to set up the common goal which is the creating governance of e-government investment. The GEA shows more than 15,000 information systems of 1,400 government organizations through a single window. The information about current situation of information system investment, costs, and results are available and make them transparent among government organizations. There could be multiple objectives in building the enterprise architecture but the clear objectives can further save the budget to bring positive outcomes. The second lesson from the GEA is to secure strong sponsorship. This is not related to the investment decision in information system, however more relevant to the overall management of e-government. It may be possible to plan and implement the GEA with strong leadership by Korea NCIS as the top decision maker. The third lesson is the importance of creating common value and cooperating government-wide. The barriers in governments were eliminated due to the endless efforts of communicating issues among government organizations. In addition, the top-down approach may not be successful since the EA requires effective communication among stakeholders. Therefore, a competent government ministry such as MOPAS is needed to stimulate horizontal as well as hierarchical communications. Each government organization can participate in seminars and conferences in order to exchange their information. The final lesson is the institutional ground for implementing the GEA. The governance rule of expanding EA in the government organizations is critical as this rule mandates and directs the workflows. The whole-of-government as one government service for citizens requires centralized governance for national information management. All government organizations are encouraged to introduce and operate the EAs and also utilize the EAs for evaluating the validity and appropriateness of tasks on national information system. It may not be possible without centralized governance rule. Therefore, connection with government budgeting process is very important for the successful building of EAs, however, this kind of work is reserved for future tasks since the GEA requires an ongoing commitment of work.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Ministry of Public Administration and Security
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Inhee Hwang
Title:   Expert Advisor  
Telephone/ Fax:  
Institution's / Project's Website:  
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