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■ Achievements of the Participatory Budget System (PBS) in Seoul

  • Active reflection of citizen proposal in the budget: A total of 294 billion won was reflected in the budget as citizen proposals in 2012~2017
    • - The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) allocated a stable amount of approximately 50 billion won as the PBS budget annually since 2012, the year the PBS was first implemented, until 2016. Over those five years, a total of 250 billion won was reflected in the budget, suggested and decided by the citizens of Seoul.
    • - 50 billion won accounts for ⅓ of the SMG’s annual new business capital of 150 billion won. The new business capital is the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s annual budget of 27 trillion won (based on 2016) minus fixed/obligatory expenses such as labor costs, court duty fees, on-going business fees.
    • - Furthermore, in 2017, the budget for the PBS will be increased to approximately 60 billion won.
  • Unrestricted citizen participation: All citizens granted voting rights for the selection of businesses (Online voting implemented)
    • - Implemented a system of selecting PBS businesses through online voting by citizens since 2015 so that all citizens can join in the selection of businesses (Mobile and PC voting included)
    • - During the initial implementation of the PBS, only the 250 PBS committee members voted for the final selection. Since 2015, to reflect the opinions of the majority, the online citizen voting system was introduced.
    • - No. of citizens who voted: 2015: 103,579 2016: 112,171 2017: 116,943
  • Democratic organization and citizen-led operation of the PBS Committee: There are no special qualifications to become a member of the PBS Committee. Members are selected through an electronic draw.
    • - Diverse range of citizens represented: In addition to Seoul residents, students who attend a school in Seoul or work in Seoul are also welcome to apply. There are no restrictions in terms of age or nationality.
    • - Consideration of social balance when selecting PBS Committee members: Selection of PBS Committee members through electronic draw in consideration of sex, age and regional balance
    • - All PBS Committee members (quota of 300) are ordinary citizens to minimize administrative procedures
  • Continued efforts to secure citizen participation in the annual budget of the SMG
    • - Attach citizen review sheet when submitting the annual budget plan to the city council: Operation of an official program to disclose information to the PBS Committee and accept opinions during the process of budget compilation
    • - Implement citizen monitoring of the implementation of PBS businesses each year: Operation of a direct monitoring program of the PBS Committee regarding the execution and outcome of citizen-proposed PBS businesses
    • - Implementation of various activities including the monitoring of unnecessary budget allocation: PBS Committee members are active in the budget abuse reporting advisory council and promotion of PBS.
  • Transparent operation of the PBS
    • - Open meetings, draw up of minutes and their disclosure on website
    • - Real-time disclosure of PBS business evaluation status by stage and separate notification to each proposer
    • - Publication of annual PBS operation results white book and disclosure on website
    • - Transparent operation through annual open discussion on PBS operation evaluation and establishment of improvement measures
  • Active support for citizen capacity building: Operation of various citizen training programs including the PBS School open to all citizens
    • - PBS School: Required course for PBS training open to all citizens. PBS Committee members are selected through a draw upon completion of this course.
    • - Advanced training for PBS Committee members: Implementation of advanced training per major activity for the purpose of strengthening the capacity of PBS Committee members and providing effective support
    • - Continued expansion of citizen capacity building including ‘Visiting PBS School’: Continued expansion of citizen training through addition of PBS schools in more regions in Seoul

■ Operating System of the PBS in Seoul

  • PBS Committee
    • - Function: Decision-making organization for the PBS
    • - Quota: Maximum of 300 people
    • - Composition: 25 members recommended by the mayor and city council members plus citizen members (selected through a draw of citizens who have completed the PBS School; open to all citizens)
    • - Draw Method: Selected through electronic draw in consideration of sex, age and regional balance
    • - Term: 1 year (1 term extension for 1 additional year possible)

    < Table > Gender ratio of PBS Committee in Seoul (2012~2018)

    Table Gender ratio of pBS Committee in Seoul (2012~2018) – A table of categories, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
    Category 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
    Total 300 297 232 228 234 212 216
    Male 153 141 112 124 121 102 124
    Female 147 156 120 104 113 110 92
  • Private-Public Budget Support Committee
    • - Function: Evaluates PBS businesses for each business area
    • - Quota: Maximum of 27 per area
    • - Composition: PBS Committee members, Private-Public experts and civil officers from relevant departments (⅔ or more shall be PBS Committee members)
    • - Installed in 10 areas in 2018
  • Specialized functions
    • - Function: Citizen participation in the allocation of the SMG budget
    • - Composition Method: Application and draw of PBS Committee members
    • - Composed of 2018 total budget/settlement division, PR division, etc.
      • · Total budget/settlement division: Participation in citizen-participated settlement, citizen review of the overall city budget plan, Operation of the Budget Abuse Reporting Advisory Council and monitoring of PBS businesses
      • · PR division: PR activities for the PBS, etc.
    • - Members of specialized function divisions shall also evaluate the operation of PBS in autonomous districts.
  • Meetings in autonomous districts
    • - Function: Accept resident opinions from the 25 autonomous districts in Seoul and select regional businesses
    • - Composition Method: Autonomous selection per district (Autonomous District PBS Committee shall conduct PBS regional meetings)
    • - Composition: 16 to 156 autonomous district PBS Committee members as of 2017 (53 on average)
  • PBS Support Committee
    • - Function: Operational support of the PBS including citizen training, system operation evaluation and establishment of improvement measures
    • - Composition: 30 or less city council members, private budget experts, civic organizations, PBS Committee members and/or related civil officers (Less than ½ are civil officers)
    • - Composition Status: 1 city council member, 10 experts and civic organizations, 16 PBS Committee members and 3 civil officers as of 2018

■ Organization and Selection Process of the PBS

  • Structure of the PBS Business
    Structure of the PBS Business
    Category City Businesses Regional Businesses
    Participatory Governance Participatory Planned
    Autonomous District Dong
    Budget (Required Amount) 35 billion won 10 billion won 450~550 million won for each autonomous district 0.95~1.05 billion won for each district 2.7 billion won
    Selection Result for 2017 35.14 billion won 6.85 billion won 8.95 billion won 7.05 billion won 2.46 billion won
    Remarks Final selection by private-public PBS Council evaluation & citizen vote Comprehensive support of “Participatory + Incentive” to autonomous districts that select the planned regional business
    (11 autonomous districts qualified in 2018)
    Selection of 90 dongs in 2018
  • Selection process of a PBS business

    Receipt of citizen proposal: Applications received online, in-person visit or mail (Citizen proposal acceptance is concentrated at the beginning of the year)

    • - Administrative review: The received citizen proposed businesses are transferred to each business department and reviewed for their suitability and validity and submitted to the Private-Public Budget Committee.
    • - Suitability evaluation: The Private-Public Budget Committee evaluates the suitability of proposed businesses based on administrative review results (Unsuitable businesses are not included in the final evaluation)

      ● What counts as an unsuitable business?

      Businesses that cannot be executed due to violating the law or not being a part of works covered by the SMG

      Businesses proposed for private benefits including those that intend to support specific companies

      - Businesses that do not suit the purpose of the PBS including those that seek to increase the operational budget (labor costs, management fees, etc.) of an existing public institution

    • - Listening to proposer’s explanation: As the first stage of the final evaluation, members of the Private-Public Budget Committee listen to the explanation provided by the business proposer
    • - Site Check: Checking sites that required on-site check (facility improvement businesses, etc.)
    • - Evaluation for business refinement and merger: Refine the business in order to execute the citizen’s proposal and merge similar businesses
    • - Decide on businesses through citizen voting: After the final evaluation of business plans that completed the refining process, decide on businesses that will go through citizen voting (decision made based on the results of the voting by members of the Private-Public Budget Committee)
    • - Citizen voting: Online citizen voting open to all citizens over four weeks
    • * Method of Voting: Vote on your mobile phone, PC, etc. through the SMG Online Electronic Voting System (M-Voting)
    • * Vote Application Ratio: 30% PBS Committee members + 10% PBS School members (those who completed training) + 50% ordinary citizens + 10% Proposers
    • - Hosting of the PBS General Assembly: Announcement of citizen voting results and sharing of operational outcome of the PBS
  • PBS Business Selection Results (2012~2017)
    PBS Business Selection Results (2012~2017)
    Year Proposal Selection Finalized Budget
    No. of Cases Amount (100 million won) No. of Cases Amount (100 million won) No. of Cases Amount (100 million won)
    Total 14,399 40,946 2,801 3,093 2,740 2,944
    2017 3,432 8,329 766 593 747 542
    2016 3,979 5,399 804 500 804 500
    2015 3,593 4,652 524 498 510 487
    2014 1,533 7,560 352 500 352 500
    2013 1,460 13,017 223 503 202 448
    2012 402 1,989 132 499 125 467

■ PBS Projects

  • Installation of the Eunpyeong Item Sharing Center Activation of Sharing Economy
    • - Selected as a SMG PBS Business in 2013 (1.2 billion won) and established as an item sharing center in Eunpyeong-gu on a local government level for the first time in the nation
    • - Awarded 1st prize in the innovation category at the 2015 SMG Creative Awards
    • - Implemented various projects to promote a sharing economy and cultural prosperity
      • · Displayed and rented out tools and other daily supplies that are too large or not used frequently enough, making it difficult to have at a regular home
      • · Conducted training on sharing economy, sharing culture and tool safety education
      • · Operated talent-sharing programs for residents such as a DIY furniture class

    Installation of the Eunpyeong Item Sharing Center Activation of Sharing Economy

  • Mapo Salt Road Project Formed a foundation in communities
    • - Selected as a SMG PBS business with a budget of 100 million won in 2013 and 150 million won in 2014
    • - Established a community center (Sogeumnaru) at the Salt Road area of Yeomni-dong in Mapo-gu that suffered from a reputation as being a deteriorated neighborhood due to the concentration of old, run-down buildings and unsafe narrow alleyways as well as an Alleyway Cleaning Project using crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED)
    • - Project was carried out by residents; Part of the business cost was prepared through corporate funding and resident fundraising and the community center was operated by the residential community (Yeomni Village Community)
    • - Satisfaction increased for residential life and concern for safety decreased and the area is visited by thousands of domestic and overseas civil officers and local congressmen for benchmarking purposes

    Mapo Salt Road Project Formed a foundation in communities

  • Installation of a small library utilizing a discarded bus Improved the environment in areas with underdeveloped cultural life
    • - Selected as a SMG PBS business in 2015 (100 million won and 10 million won added from the autonomous district budget) and implemented as a similar project in other areas in Seoul
    • - Installation of a small library inside a discarded bus by Yongma Waterfall Park in Jungnang-gu to enhance the cultural life of residents who do not have a nearby library, especially in the area of children’s education
    • - Utilization of discarded bus and operation by resident volunteers to save costs
    • - Operate cultural programs including book concerts and book exchange events to become established as an important space for the cultural life of residents

    Installation of a small library utilizing a discarded bus Improved the environment in areas with underdeveloped cultural life

  • Village radio studio project – Activation of Village Media
    • - Selected as a SMG PBS business in 2013 (100 million won)
    • - Formed a village radio studio to operate a village broadcasting channel and conduct various village media activities
    • - Utilized underused space at the Arirang Cine & Media Center in Seongbuk-gu to form a studio and have resident volunteers conduct all processes of the broadcasting to save costs and realize a resident-led operation
    • - The studio is growing into a hub of resident activity by introducing the activities of various resident gatherings, civic organizations and social enterprises and encouraging their participation in media production.

    Village radio studio project – Activation of Village Media

  • Startup space for young people ‘Dojeonsuk’ support project – Supported the employment and startup endeavors by young people
    • - Selected as a SMG PBS business in 2015 and 2016 for a total of 200 million won
    • - Financial support for the development of technology and design, marketing, website construction, etc. for companies that will enter the Dojeonsuk project in Seongbuk-gu, an office and residential space for one-person startup companies
    • - Thanks to support through the SMG PBS etc., the Dojeonsuk project in Seongbuk-gu has installed four houses between 2014 and 2016. In 2017, two additional houses are scheduled to be built.
  • 10cm no-barrier project – Enhanced the rights of the socially disadvantaged (Guaranteed the right to move of the disabled)
    • - Selected as a SMG PBS business in 2016 (100 million won)
    • - Provided the installation cost to build ramps over the entryway of 300 shops in Yangcheon-gu that are inconvenient for the disabled to enter
    • - Conducted resident-participatory projects in which residents, including the disabled, work in the PR team to explain the project and persuade the shops to install ramps
    • - Other projects to promote the rights of the socially disadvantaged including women, the old, the infirm and the disabled

    10cm no-barrier project – Enhanced the rights of the socially disadvantaged (Guaranteed the right to move of the disabled)

    < Table > Number of PBS businesses for the socially vulnerable including women, the disabled, etc. (2013~2016)

    (Unit: 1 million won)

    Number of PBS businesses for the socially vulnerable including women, the disabled, etc. (2013 2016)
    Category Total budget The Socially Vulnerable
    Total compared (Ratio) Female Multicultural Seniors Disabled Homeless Teenagers
    Total 294,754 58,424 (19.8%) 7,848 2,983 16,347 12,121 1,463 17,662
    2018 54,183 6,307 (11.6%) 2,000 594 811 1,489 290 1,053
    2017 49,960 11,995 (24.0%) 2,095 998 3,847 2,127 136 2,792
    2016 48,656 7,676 (15.8%) 1,515 27 3,608 433 32 2,061
    2015 50,037 9,375 (18.7%) 530 224 4,080 2,713 45 1,783
    2014 44,811 12,412 (27.7%) 420 500 2,897 3,243 700 4,652
    2013 47,107 10,659 (22.6%) 1,288 640 1,034 2,116 260 5,3221

■ Other Operational Programs

  • PBS School
    • - Overview: Regular hosting of PBS School open to all citizens throughout the year
    • - Description of PBS School: Total of 6 hours (3 hours * 2 days) – Basic concept and procedure of budget, understanding of the PBS, introduction of the SMG PBS, guide to citizen participation, etc.
    • - Operation Method: Operated on weekday nights and weekends at different hours so that citizens can take classes conveniently
    • - Those who completed courses are registered as PBS School members and entered into a draw to select PBS Committee members (Completion of PBS School for Committee members is listed in the Ordinance )

    < Table > PBS School participants (2014~2017)

    PBS School participants (2014~2017)
    Category 2014 2015 2016 2017
    No. of annual participants 773 1020 1152 2,390
  • Advanced training and workshop for PBS Committee members
    • - Overview: Advanced training and workshop for PBS Committee members held throughout the year to promote better understanding of the PBS
    • - Description of advanced training: Mandatory training for all committee members. Training on the detailed operational procedures of the SMG’s PBS, work training for each division and workshop for Committee member discussion.
  • Total Budget activities
    • - Overview: Operation of the procedure of gathering citizen opinions of the SMG’s overall budget plan
    • - Gather opinions at the budget demand stage: Gather the opinions of the PBS Committee during the budget demand sheet preparation period which is one of the initial stages of the budget allocation procedure
    • ※ The SMG has created a system that discloses financial information such as Seoul Wiki to disclose all business plans, execution procedures and business outcomes for all citizens to see online.
    • - Draw up of the citizen review sheet of the SMG’s overall budget plan: The draft of the budget plan before finalization is disclosed to the PBS Committee and is attached to the citizen review sheet when it is drawn up and submitted as a City Council budget plan.
    • ※ The Local Finance Act of Korea obligates the attachment of a citizen review sheet when submitting the budget plan to the city council. The contents of the citizen review sheet differs greatly by region. Seoul is recognized as one of the autonomous districts in Korea that faithfully draws up citizen review sheets.
    • - Gathering of citizen opinions during the settlement process: The SMG operates the PBS and the Participatory Settlement System (PSS) simultaneously. The PSS is a participatory system that monitors settlement and guarantees submission of opinions. PBS Committee members are deeply involved in this process.
    • - Budget Abuse Reporting Advisory Council: PBS Committee members submit the opinions of the people on matters that demand in-depth investigation among budget abuse reports and play the part of the responsible citizen advisory council that participates in the evaluation for provision of rewards to outstanding reports.
  • Monitoring of the execution of PBS businesses
    • - Overview: PBS Committee members monitor the execution condition and outcome of the PBS business over two annual sessions (1 execution procedure session, 1 business outcome session)
    • - Operation Method: Monitoring of written material including the business plan, execution results and result report of the PBS business and on-site monitoring of businesses that require checkup
    • - Reflection of monitoring results: Committee members shall suggest opinions on the suitability and unsuitability of each business after monitoring them. Opinions on unsuitability are notified to relevant divisions so that they may reference them during their execution and evaluation of businesses. In the event that there are grave unsuitable conditions, that business may be placed under administrative sanctions.
  • Other PBS Committee activities
    • - PR activities of the participatory budget: PBS Committee members introduce the PBS, interview and write articles online on the activities of the PBS Committee
    • - Evaluation and discussion of improvement measures: Evaluation of the operation of the PBS and discussion on improvement measures centering on the PBS Committee for each year is combined with expert opinions to be reflected in the establishment of operational measures for the following year

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