Publication Details

This article was originally published as Lee, KR and Lee, K-S, The Korean government’s electronic record management reform : the promise and perils of digital democratization, The government information quarterly 26(3), 2009, 525–535. Copyright Elsevier 2009. Original journal article available here


Recently, the Korean government instituted a reform in its archives with the goal of increasing transparency in government and meeting the challenges of the new digital environment in records management. President Roh's administration focused on a “process and system” reform through a shift from paper-based records management to electronic records management. The E-jiwon task management system of the Office of the President, invented by President Roh himself, served as the archetype for the reform. This study explores and critiques the administration's choice of a “process and system” reform over institutional reform, examines the legal framework used to enact the reform and its shortcomings, and analyzes the benefits and deficiencies of the E-jiwon as a tool for democracy in the archives. It concludes that while the new digital environment can assist in promoting government transparency, technological change by itself is inadequate; ultimately, institutional change is necessary for true reform.



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