The On-nara System for Task and Document Management: Scaling Up Back-Office e-Government Across the Korean Government

The On-nara system originally developed and used from 2004 as an administrative information system in the presidential office is a primary back-office information system in government through which Korean public officials could handle task and document management on a daily basis. The system allows government officials to be more effective and accountable by easily communicating and sharing documents with other public officials as well as by identifying those who work with and change documents in the course of administrative work in governments. Despite the potential usefulness of the system, it was not welcomed by many public officials and faced the bureaucratic resistance that is often seen toward e-government systems. This case study highlights how the Korean government effectively coped with delivery challenges such as lack of coordination and poor engagement of public officials particularly in the course of scaling up a new ICT system in the public sector. Delivery challenges were effectively overcome through strategic use of performance management in the scale-up process, promoting positive examples and stimulating leadership, swift and effective responses to technical problems, and provision of helpdesks and training programs to ease bureaucratic resistance and complaints about the new system.