Public Management System

Date 2014-06-11 Category Housing Updater scaadmin
Housing Policy Office
Last Update


In an effort to address the corruption and civil conflicts that had plagued refurbishment work for the past forty years, SMG officials started to work on a public refurbishment program based on the “Seoul Residential Environment Improvement Policy Plan” announced on July 1, 2009.

Suggested by a consultation committee composed of refurbishment professionals, the plan was concretized by the SMG

In April 2008, the SMG formed a consultation committee composed of professionals from diverse fields to analyze and resolve the problems caused by old refurbishment works. After undergoing studies for nearly one year, the committee provided the results and their recommendations, based on which the SMG concretized the plans.

Inducing public enthusiasm for public management including legislation and website for information disclosure

Following the announcement of the “Seoul Residential Environment Improvement Policy Plan” on July 1, 2009, many hearings and briefing sessions were held, and various tasks including introductory business, creation of an information disclosure system, early shared cost estimate programs, and the preparation of standards for public management were completed. The district office mayor announced support for the formation of the committee for the Seongsu Strategic Refurbishment Areas on July 1, 2009, which was completed as of October 27, 2009 with active civil support. Public hearings were held in five areas in August 2009, and civil briefings and staff training were held around the area throughout 2010 to help promote understanding of the new system.

On January 14, 2010, the information disclosure management system for guaranteeing civil rights (clean-up system for refurbishment) was opened to disclose the relevant business processes transparently; and, on April 15, 2010, a revised legislative bill was announced as the legal basis, while the revision and standards were prepared for full implementation. A shared expense estimate program has been under way since June 1, 2011, following the introductory process.


Under this system, a ward office chief provides administrative and financial support to enhance transparency and efficiency in urban refurbishment projects.

Major roles of the public manager

  •  -To assist the project host with organizational support.
  •  -To assist with the election of the residents’ representatives.
  •  -To assist with the selection of a method of choosing the implementing agency.
  •  -To assist in the disclosure of information and set the amount of expenses residents will be required to pay.

Background and Goal

Trial Strategy

The public management system was first drafted on July 1, 2009 as the “Seoul Residential Environment Improvement Plan.” Its purpose was to protect the rights of all civilians by enhancing transparency and improving efficiency; and the plan was put into action based on three strategies in spite of resistance from committee members and participating companies.

  • First, twenty-five autonomous gu-districts were grouped into five areas, and public hearings, briefing sessions and a wide range of discussions were held in each area to induce the sympathy of residents and public officials in those areas.
  • Second, a total of twelve visits of the residents were made to the National Assembly and major authorities after introduction of the legislation on July 13, 2009 to ensure a stable process. Such efforts, including individual meetings with congressmen, resulted in a revision of the law on April 15, 2010. The final revision of the regulations were completed on July 15, 2010, despite strong resistance from construction companies, and were enacted the following day.
  • Third, a transparent and shortened process by the District office mayor’s steering committee even before legislation started won civil consent, which helped to overcome the strong resistance from construction companies.

Obstacles and Solutions

Association members and construction companies attempted to hinder the implementation of the legislation on the grounds that too much intervention of the authorities would interfere with civil autonomy. The officials responsible for public management felt overwhelmed with the workload increase and were passive about joining training programs and submitting materials for the establishment of standards. However, widespread support from the public sector, the enactment of legislation, and the successful execution of the introductory works led the opposing parties to understand the true meaning of protecting civil rights and the public interest, resulting in their affirmative acknowledgement of the system.

Used Resources

Funding is required for the operating costs and human resources of each step of the legislation process to avoid the illegal intervention of the interested companies and allow participating companies to work on their own and manage the process by themselves. To this end, the SMG and gu-district governments have shared the costs of setting up a committee, with the funds coming from the SMG’s own foundation. As of September 1, 2010, the SMG has opened the department of public management with fourteen members for legislation and implementation. Each district has also formed a public management team with 3~5 members for work support, process review (such as company selection), and information disclosure management.


In particular, estimating the shared costs in the early phases and determining feasibility dramatically increased the forecast for residential areas. The information disclosure system allowed any member of the public to view information on the refurbishment works transparently, thus increasing public trust. The public sector reviews the entire processes in advance for greater transparency and efficiency and to reduce costs and delays caused by lawsuits. In the end, the perception that civilians are the true subjects in the process has led to active participation including the offering of opinions.

The implementation of the public management system has united the public, interested parties and the government, and has encouraged citizens to play a more active role in line with the idea that they are the true owners who can maximize the effects of the refurbishing works.


Demand for expansion of the public role in refurbishment initiatives is steadily increasing. The standards for support comply with the regulations of local governments so that each area can operate the system according to their own situation. Moreover, acknowledgement is spreading that the system is not for specifically protecting a certain group of people, but all members of the community, and that it is designed to improve transparency and efficiency so as to maximize sustainability.

The SMG was the first and only city government to adopt the public management system on July 16, 2010 according to the revised law of April 15, 2010, but other governments including those of Gyeonggi province, Incheon, Busan, Daegu, Ulsan and Gyeongsangnam province are now considering the implementation of similar systems. Gyeonggi province revised its regulations for implementation in October 2011.

Department / Contact

  • International Relations Division  /  82-2-2133-5264  /  international@seoul.go.kr
  • Global Future Research Center  /  82-2-2149-1418  /  ssunha@si.re.kr