| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Strategic objective for innovative improvement of the legal information system
The project on the integration of national legal information was established with the purpose of realizing a society of trust where rules and principles are obeyed by raising service standards for legal information so that the general public can conveniently look up and utilize legal information.
Under such a goal, establishing a service foundation has been set as an important promotion strategy to provide fast and convenient searching of relevant legal information for the public, offer legislative service for easy understanding and utilization of legislation in everyday lives, overcome limits in text-based legal information service, and actively respond to the changing living environment of future society and different user demands.
MOLEG’s delivery service on integration of national legal information
The MOLEG, which manages all legal information in the Republic of Korea, has prepared a “plan for improvement of legislative information service” from 2007 to 2008 and reviewed all matters required for project promotion by conducting a pilot project. In 2009, integrated national legal information service plan was established and as a part of e-Government projects, the project for establishing integrated legal information service and developing new services was implemented.
The project was directed at MOLEG creates a database the administrative agencies of different levels can catalogue and manage administrative their respective rules and that makes it possible that all of the administrative agencies could to archive their regulations and manage them within the system.
In 2009, court decisions, treaties and cases of administrative adjudication were systematically integrated with cooperation from the Consitutional Court, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Central Administrative Appeals Commission in order to integrate all legal information related to Korean current legislation and provide linked service on subordinary regulations and every court’s precedents.
Since 2010, the integration of administrative rules officially began and this was connected to the existing statute to provide an integrated service. The database on local government legislation was built around this time. Also, a dictionary for legal terminology was compiled by extracting legislative terminology from legislative contents.
In 2012, administrative rules were integrated to include affiliated agencies of central administrative organizations. In addition, the scope of cases of administrative adjudication was expanded to include cases of the tax tribunal’s administrative judgments and the rulings of the Fair Trade Commission and Financial Services Commission. Developing an edit-and-review system, which can establish and update accurate legal information promptly, make its access possible through internet as soon as that is reported in the official gazette.
The integrated data has earned a user satisfaction rating of approximately 84% and an average monthly hit of approximately 140,000,000.
Initiate a new mobile-service on legal information tailored to social trend
In 2010, a smartphone application service was launched to allow access to legal information anywhere in response to the social trend of increasing smartphone users. Through this application, all legal information provided on the KLIC can be searched on smartphones at any time. This has contributed to providing the general public with legal information, and 1,000,000 downloads have been made so far.
Development on consumer-oriented practical law service center
With widespread rule of law, there has been an increase in demand for legal information infrastructure that allows citizens to easily find relevant legislation in case of legal problems in daily lives. In response to such demand, a service project for offering practical law information contents by topic, classified into 220 categories such as “starting up a restaurant,” “apartment dweller”, “divorce” and “succession”, was initiated in 2008 to make complex legal information easy to understand for the people.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Users of legal information: Ordinary citizens, civil servants, lawyers, working-level corporate employees
The project for establishing the KLIC was promoted by various demands and ideas for improvement of legal information service from frequent users of legal information including ordinary citizens, lawyers, civil servants and judges who are responsible for trial work at the judicial branch.
In particular, the national legal information center was established in an effort to offer accurate legal information to the public, the biggest legal information consumer, with tremendous effort and continuous development of the system by legislative officers and the Legal Information Division of the MOLEG.
Supply and cooperation of legal information: The Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, Central and Local Government
Prior to the establishment of the KLIC, there were difficulties in integrating legal information as it was produced by various administrative organizations.
However, administrative organizations of different levels started to combine and provide more legal information in the KLIC with the integration of legislative history, administrative rule, judicial precedent, and legal terminology, thus enabling easier search and utilization as well as higher satisfaction on legal information.
Therefore, the KLICs’ vast pool of information and high accuracy is a result of participation from administrative organizations of different levels, the Supreme Court, and local governments.
Expansion of information sharing in KLIC: 400 organizations including administrative organizations and private corporations
In the early stages of forming the legal information DB, there was strong opposition from private companies that offered legislation services for a fee. However, as the MOLEG began to provide reliable and up-to-date legal information service to administrative organizations of different levels and private corporations through the KLIC at no cost , each organization started to utilize legal information provided by the KLIC and developed an overall trust towards legal information.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Budget acquisition and execution for projects
The project on integration of national legal information has been categorized into legal information integration project and practical law information content service project by topic. Every year, the yearly e-Government budget was secured, and the early establishment plan was supplemented by predicting technological advancements and then reflected in the e-Government budget.
From 2009 to 2012, a total budget of USD 4.8 million(KRW 5.1 billion) was spent for the legal information integration project, including USD 2.1 million for establishing the KLIC, USD 2.7 million for integrating the legal information scattered in different administrative organizations into a DB. Also, a total budget of USD 4.1 million(KRW 4.4 billion) was spent for the practical law information content service project, including USD 1.7 million for developing the practical law information service system and USD 2.4 million for creating legal information contents.
The total project budget for improving legal information service was approximately USD 8.9 million(KRW 9.5 billion), which was supported from e-Government budget of Republic of Korea as the government realized the importance of integrated legal information service.
Labor force and technology from diverse fields involved in the project
The collection and analysis of user demands, project planning, logical design, and project management were conducted mainly by the legal information Division within the MOLEG. The physical design and implementation of the system, testing and management, establishment of legal information and contents production were realized through external private corporations specializing in ICT and legal information.
In early 2007, a project was initiated for project examination, planning, and launch of a demonstration service by forming a TF team with 8 internal workers in the MOLEG. This laid the foundation for easy management and distribution of legal information including legislative management guidelines for delivering the content and definition of legislations with the effort of Legislative Officers in the MOLEG who are in charge of legislation reviewing/interpretation and administrative judgement, discovering cases for application, and the explanation of technical terms. It also enhanced fairness and reliability of the legal information service business with IT professionals of the legal information Division supervising the management and operation of the system.
Currently, related to law information service, patents have been obtained on two cases from the Korean Intellectual Property Office regarding technology acquired through operating the KLIC, also other patents are being applied on two cases of diagram charts and reviewing function of legislation.
Promotion method of project and strategy for securing resources
In the early stages of the project, it was difficult to explain the project content to secure work force and budget or provide grounds for the project’s necessity. However, as the project was successfully launched and stabilized, it began to receive favorable support from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, which oversees budget of the Republic of Korea. The Korea National Assembly, which is a legislative branch, also agreed on the importance of this project and supported the smooth operation of the project through budget acquisition.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Providing laws and regulations free of charge by establishing of the KLIC
The first result that contributed to successfully achieving the goal of the project is the establishment of the KLIC, which integrates the vast legal information scattered throughout the administrative organizations of different levels and allows unified search of legal information.
The KLIC allows easy public access to legal information and reduced the time taken in searching for legal information by solving the inconvenience of having to visit websites of each different administrative organization or purchase paper statute books to retrieve practical law information.
The average daily number of legal information users was 70,000 in 2008. After the project was complete, the number of users increased by approximately 270% to about 260,000.
Automated system for fast and accurate legal information management
By automatizing the update process and accuracy testing of legal information, it became possible to provide legal information with speed and accuracy, not taking more than the day of law amendment promulgation. Before the project, legal information was manually updated into a DB, making it vulnerable to errors. By using the system, however, leading to an increase in public trust towards legal information.
Thanks to the automatization of the legal information management process, no additional manpower is required for managing legal information although the amount of legal information is rapidly increasing, reaching about 40,000 cases every year.
Various additional services including mobile application development
The main difference of the KLIC from other foreign websites is that it offers various additional free services on legal information. It links legislation names or provisions mentioned in the main text of the laws and provides function for comparing lower/higher level provisions and new/old legislations.
Also, a smartphone service has been developed to allow users to look up legal information anytime and anywhere. This has been available to the public since 2010 and enjoys a high popularity with 1,000,000 downloads so far.
Practical law information content service by topic
Lastly, another factor for the KLIC’s success is the practical law information service that organizes, categorizes, processes and provides legal information in daily lives at a level that can be easily understood by ordinary citizens.
Legal experts and professionals are in charge of creating contents, including data collection, organization, and interpretation, its advantage lies in going beyond simply providing legal information to processing and providing high-quality legal information for free.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Procedure and monitoring of promotion of the e-Government project of the Republic of Korea
The informatization business of administrative organizations of the Republic of Korea must be carried out with reference to various guidelines and manuals such as “Management Guidelines for e-Government Service Project,” “Operation Guideline for e-Government Service project,” published by the Ministry of Security and Public Administration(MOSPA), which is responsible for the e-Government project, and the National Information Society Agency(NIA), a specialized organization for management of the informatization project.
The project on integration of national legal information was conducted in the order of securing project budget according to various guidelines and manuals provided by the government, establishing project plan, selecting project operator, planning, designing, implementing, testing, system inspection by ICT specialist, reporting of project completion, and project evaluating.
The project on the integration of national legal information was promoted by establishing a yearly project plan based on the project content included in the framework plan for national informatization, which was established in 2009.
The project was reported to organization employees and stakeholders through a initial report, intermediate report, and final report in the project promotion process, and various opinions were collected and reflected in the project.
Establishment of performance goal and project execution according to related legislation
Evaluation of the project on the integration of national legislation was conducted every year by establishing sectoral performance goals and performance indicators from the planning stage to the finishing stage of the informatization project.
The sectoral performance goals set in this project were evaluated by measuring the daily number of visitors, the number of organization supplied with legal information, and the time taken to update legal information, and user satisfaction of the KLIC.
The yearly performance goals were set by considering the performance and trend during the past 2 years, and then confirmed through the mediation process involving an evaluation meeting attended by internal and external specialists in legislation and ICT. Also, the performance of informatization project was examined through the experts’ meeting, and the various opinions obtained during the evaluation process were reflected in the project in the following year.
“Regulations on the Provision and Management of legal information” was created to improve professionalism and efficiency in the process of legal information update and management, and also to allow consistent and stable servicing of legal information.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Resistance to integration of legal information
In the past, due to lack of awareness that legal information was public property, there were no related regulations or compulsory measures on the management or publicization of legal information. There was a general tendency to resist disclosing administrative information to the public as there were possibilities of complaints or administrative delays if administrative rules and regulations were revealed. Most regulations of central and local government, which is made to dispose of each government’s undertakings, were stored in the form of paper documents or hardly managed.
To solve the aforementioned problem, the MOLEG developed and supplied a standardized system for convenient registration and management of legal informaion, thus allowing integration of all legal information under the KLIC.
Difficulty of securing on financial support
The legal information service sector is perceived as a complex and hard area to improve, which made it difficult to obtain project approval and budget.
To solve this problem, various tasks were derived by organizing and analyzing user demands that were systematically collected during past legal information service. A consensus was reached through confirming and explaining yearly project plans with identification of potential needs.
Lack of implementation technology and manpower for legal information service
There have been difficulties in that entirely new projects had to be executed due to the lack of domestic or international reference cases, where legal information was integrated and legal information contents were developed.
In particular, there was a shortage of manpower for standardizing and integrating various legal information, and most were inexperienced in creating legal information contents.
The above issue was overcome by producing various models for the process of establishing and managing the legal information DB, as well as the process of implementing legal information contents, and planning and designing each stage of the project.