Civil services resume after network system recovers in Korea

2023.11.21 13:19:02 | 2023.11.21 16:20:30

[Photo by Han Joo-hyung]이미지 확대

[Photo by Han Joo-hyung]

South Korean public agencies resumed administrative services on Monday following the restoration of the government’s administrative computer network system, which was inaccessible last week.

On Monday, there were no access issues or sudden spikes in service requests, except for a mild increase in citizens urgently needing civil services queuing up at agencies.

“We expected a queue since it’s the first day after the network was normalized, but the number of civil service requests remains at a similar level as usual,” said a public official at a community service center.

According to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, the government has been operating a monitoring unit and the National Information Resources Service and the Korea Local Information Research & Development Institute have been observing the network system’s operation.

“As of noon on Monday, there were about 530,000 logins at the government’s Saeol administrative network, with no sign of access issues,” said Interior Minister Lee Sang-min.

He added that the government’s online civil service portal Government24 is also in normal operations, processing about 260,000 civil service requests.

Lee also announced a plan to launch a task force to improve administrative computer network systems on Tuesday, consisting of private sector experts, the government, and local governments, to analyze the cause and establish measures to prevent recurrence.

Originally, Lee was scheduled to visit the U.K. but canceled the trip due to the network failure.

“The reliance on the e-government system has increased following the improved availability of electronic services, but risk management was not thorough,” said Professor Choi Heung-suk from Korea University, calling for the establishment of a backup system.

Insiders from the information technology industry attributed the network failure to the government splitting orders of its computing network system.

The government has been taking an approach to hire multiple small- and medium-tier contractors for its networks instead of hiring a large corporation to protect small- and mid-sized businesses.

However, some industry insiders argue that restricting the participation of large companies with superior technical capabilities and involving multiple companies in related tasks make it more challenging to identify the causes of a technical glitch.

By Chung Seok-hwan, Kwon Oh-gyun, Jin Young-hwa, Lee Ji-ahn, and Chang Iou-chung

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