In 2009, Korea became a member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, distinguishing itself as the only nation that has gone from being an ODA recipient to an ODA donor. Recently, Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG), as one of the UN-member ODA donors, hosted an international workshop in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN agency for developing countries.
The SMG and UNDP co-hosted the “International Workshop for Public Construction Transparency: Sharing Korea’s Clean Construction System and Initiatives around the World” for three days, from December 2 to December 4, at the new Seoul City Hall.
The workshop brought together a total of 120 people, including 70 overseas participants, comprising senior government representatives, members of civic organizations from some 20 developing countries, and professionals of prominent international networks, such as CoST (Construction Sector Transparency Initiative), the OCP (Open Contracting Partnership), and private sector networks related to international transparency, as well as 50 individuals from domestic organizations.
Introduced at the workshop were the SMG’s information disclosure policy and anti-corruption measures for the construction industry, including One-PMIS, a system for the efficient sharing of overall information regarding construction; “Construction Info,” a system that informs citizens of major construction projects that are being carried out; and the “Immediate e-Payment System,” which solves the problem of late payment of wages by subcontractors.
Also, the Anti-corruption and Civil Rights Commission and the Public Procurement Service introduced Korea’s anti-corruption policy and public procurement service policies, highlighting Korea’s clean, transparent, and accountable administration, while CoST and the OCP shared the anti-corruption and transparency promotion activities of various countries around the world.
In addition, government officials and specialists with civic organizations from the Philippines, Thailand, Ukraine, Uganda, Zambia, Mexico, Honduras, and Arab nations presented the practices and experiences of each of their respective nations.
Through the workshop, the SMG promoted its policies worldwide and helped developing nations in their efforts to benchmark and apply its policies to their own construction industries.
Anne Marie Sloth Carlsen, director of the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, said: “Endemic corruption in public infrastructure projects continues to damage the development potential of many, many countries. Therefore, we need more solutions like Seoul’s Clean Construction System all around the world to ensure that taxpayers’ investments in infrastructure actually lead to development dividends for all citizens.”
In his keynote speech, Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon said: “By disclosing all information of public institutions, including information on public construction projects, which citizens have the right to know, we will be able to build a fair and just society and contribute to the international community by spreading our transparent, clean, and accountable construction administration system to developing nations.”