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Mayor's Hope Journal

  • Mayor Park Won Soon’s Administrative Journal 53]Seoul bares all concerning the “seven issue” projects

  • Mayor's Hope Journal SMG 1600

    [Seoul’s “seven issue” projects disclosed at the Information Communication Plaza ]

    The city administration is pursuing full transparency in the public interest.

    On December 6, the city administration disclosed more than 1,000 sealed documents to the public. I have nicknamed this ‘the naked project.’ The papers concern seven controversial construction projects and incidents with which the city of Seoul has been involved, including Picity, Pinetree, Floating Island, the West Sea Waterway, Yanghwadaegyo Bridge (structural improvement), the Umyeonsan Landslide, and Seoul Subway Line 9. The disclosures concern all the facts pertaining to the seven issues from start to finish.

    Mildew grows in damp places. Corruption prospers under the umbrella of secrecy. “Disclose everything and all will be clean:” That’s my sincerely held conviction.

    I advocated the enactment of the Corruption Prevention Act in Korea when I was Secretary General for the PSPD (People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy), a civic group. Internationally, I have participated in Transparency International’s various anti-corruption conferences. I am perhaps more acutely aware of the importance of transparency in the fight against corruption than many others.

    I believe that now is the time for us all to act to secure the transparency of the city administration. I dare to believe that Seoul can and must be especially transparent during my term of office. As such, I have decided to disclose every piece of information about the city administration, be it a document, a database or a meeting. There have already been various live broadcasts of meetings related to the city administration.

    The seven projects or issues about which I decided to disclose everything recently were initiated during the previous administration. Not many things have been disclosed to the public. The city administration has made it a habit not to disclose so-called sensitive documents to the public on the pretext that further internal reviews are required before they can be disclosed, even when civic groups or individuals make strong calls for the information to be made public.

    The decision to disclose more than 1,000 documents met significant internal resistance. I admit that some of the information is indeed sensitive. Overall, however, I believe that revealing all of it would be in the citizens’ interest. For your information, I agree with the majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court about the NYT’s revelation of the Pentagon’s Vietnam War papers. I believe that the public is entitled to know even the most sensitive military information in principle.

    The city administration has disclosed a total of 1,090 documents (12,000 pages) including internal proposals and reports. Unlike any previous disclosure of information, this is not a partial disclosure of requested information as it even includes the deliberation results of the Urban Planning Committee, its safety inspection results, and the minutes of the committee’s meetings. Since December 6, the information has been available at the Information Communication Plaza (gov20.seoul.go.kr) in the form of an e-book, so anybody can check all the information on the seven issues very easily.

    Furthermore, the city administration recently increased the amount of administrative information that has to be disclosed in advance from 64 to 150 documents. In 2013, all the papers approved by the Director-General will be made available to the public, followed by the documents approved by the Director in 2014. It is my strong aspiration to make our municipal government the most transparent, the purest, the most trustworthy and the most respected of all municipal governments.

    Details of Disclosure of the Seven Projects

    (1) Picity (Yangjae-dong Distribution Facilities): 164 documents (589 pages) produced between 2002 and 2009 regarding changes in the original urban development plan, the deliberation of the urban planning committee about the project, and the relevant MOMs (minutes of meetings).

    (2) Pinetree (Bukhansan Ui-dong Amusement Park): 20 documents (872 pages) produced in 2008, including changes in the original urban development plan, the site survey and review reports, and MOMs of the Urban Planning Committee.

    (3) West Sea Waterway (Establishment of a Shipping Lane to the West Sea) Project: 24 documents (453 pages) produced between 2008 and 2010, including project plans, the results of public hearings on the environmental impact statement, design modifications, and the post-environmental impact statement.

    (4) Floating Island Project: 21 documents (187 pages) produced between 2007 and 2011, including project plans, the advisory board’s recommendations, the selection process for prequalified bidders, and the initial contract and modifications.

    (5) Yanghwadaegyo Bridge Structural Improvement Project: 439 documents (845 pages) produced between 2009 and 2012, including project plans, reports on project suspension and project duration extension, design modifications, and the allocation of emergency funds to the project.

    (6) Umyeonsan Landslide: 354 documents (8,382 pages) produced between 2011 and 2012, including landslide investigation and proposed countermeasures, urgent flood damage financing plans, the plan to use emergency funds, the feasibility study plan, the plans to make improvements in the vulnerable areas, MOMs of the private-public sector T/F Team, the recovery project plans, the pending issue reports, the plans for the improvement of dangerous slopes, and work progress reports

    (7) Subway Line 9 (the 1st Phase): 67 documents (736 pages) produced between 1999 and 2009, including the basic construction plan, the basic plan to attract private investment, the basic plan for the private investment facility project, and MOMs of the negotiating team’s advisory board.

    Information Communication Plaza > Administration Information > Social Interest Projects: http://gov20.seoul.go.kr/archives/category/pub-issue