The Seoul Metropolitan Government received a special contribution award for its top ranking in an international municipal e-governance survey conducted by the E-Governance Institute of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark and sponsored by the UN. The Global E-Governance Survey, first launched in 2003 and carried out again in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2012, evaluates 98 criteria (on a 100-point scale) in five categories: Services, Citizen and Social Engagement, Privacy and Security, Usability, and Content.
Seoul retained its top ranking in municipal e-governance for five consecutive surveys conducted in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2012. Awarded in recognition of Seoul Metropolitan Government’s contributions to municipal e-governance around the world, the first special contribution award was presented to Mayor Park Won Soon, who was visiting the US at the time, at 8:45 EST on September 22.
In the most recent survey, conducted in 2012, Seoul was ranked first place with a score of 82.23, 18 points higher than Toronto, which was ranked second place with a score of 64.31.
As the founding member and first and second chair city of the World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments (WeGO), Seoul has shown great leadership in e-governance around the world. The Seoul Metropolitan Government is working hard to spread its excellent policies, such as Mobile Seoul (m.seoul), Big Data, 120 Dasan Call Center, Oasis, free WiFi network, and GIS portal.
“I want to share with the world the policies, including the e-government policy, that the Seoul Metropolitan Government has developed and enacted throughout our city’s process of growing into a major city, with a population of 10 million people, within such a short period of time,” remarked Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon at the award ceremony. “I want to create opportunities for all cities around the world to work together toward mutual development.”
Prior to the ceremony, Mayor Park launched the “New York Seoul Club,” comprised of fifteen foreigners and Korean Americans. Seoul Club is an international, region-based network that offers advice to the City of Seoul. Currently, there are Seoul Clubs in Beijing (launched in 2013, 11 members), Manila (launched in 2013, 13 members), and Berlin (launched in 2014, 17 members).
Members of the Seoul Clubs are granted positions as honorary volunteer ambassadors, and they are tasked with providing ideas for the administration of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Members of the New York Seoul Club include 15 influential figures in various sectors, including Dean Marc Holzer of the School of Public Affairs and Administration, New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim, Professor Sue Mi Terry of Columbia University, and ABC Anchor Juju Chang.
At a breakfast meeting with the members of the New York Seoul Club, Mayor Park Won Soon spoke about his idea of “expanding the number of Seoul Clubs around the world following the establishment of the New York Seoul Club.” He also spoke about his wish to “communicate with think tanks around the world through the Seoul Clubs, which are comprised of influential leaders in various sectors.”
In addition, Mayor Park also met with about 70 members of the Korea Society at 12:00 EST on September 22, and revealed his thoughts about world peace and municipal diplomacy.
The Korea Society is a non-profit organization established to build understanding and promote cooperation between Korea and the US. It was launched in 1957 by a group of prominent Americans at the suggestion of General James Van Fleet, and is based in New York. Every year, the Korea Society hosts an annual dinner in New York to help improve Korea-US relations.