The Information Disclosure System is designed to disclose information held and managed by public institutions to the general public to allow people to understand what kind of works are carried out at or by public institutions, such as national agencies and local governments, and how they execute their budgets.
The Official Information Disclosure Act was enacted and promulgated in 1996 to ensure the public’s right to know and to increase transparency in the operation of state affairs, and entered into force on January 1, 1998.
The Official Information Disclosure Ac was enacted and promulgated in 1996 to ensure the public’s rights to know and to increase transparency in the operation of state affairs, and entered into force on January 1, 1998.
Information held and managed by public institutions is disclosed to members of the public upon their request.
Information that is related to important policies, project and budget execution, and which is held and managed by public institutions, is officially announced in advance via the information and communication network.
Every Korean national has the right to request information disclosure by public institutions either by themselves or through their agent.
Corporations & Organizations
Corporations and organizations may also request information disclosure by public institutions in the name of their representative.
Foreign nationals who reside at a permanent fixed address in Korea, or who are in Korea on a temporary sojourn for academic or research purposes, and foreign corporations or organizations with an office in Korea may also request information disclosure by public institutions.
- The term "information" refers to all matters recorded in the form of documents (including electronic documents), drawings, pictures, films, tapes, slides, and other media corresponding thereto, which are made or acquired, and managed by public institutions for the performance of their duties.
- Relationship with legal records on the management of public institutions’ records: All types and forms of records and information such as “documents, books, registers, cards, drawings, audiovisual materials, and electronic documents produced and/or received by public institutions for their works” are available upon request for information disclosure.
In the event that an applicant wishes to obtain or view certain information, he/she should fill in the request form for information disclosure and submit it to the public institution which holds and manages the relevant information.
- The applicant’s name, ID number, and address.
- The details of the information desired by the applicant, including the contents, type of information, type of disclosure, etc.
Public institutions shall record a request for information disclosure in the Information Disclosure Processing Register and issue a receipt to the applicant, after which the department receiving the request shall transfer it to the relevant department or agency in charge of information disclosure.
- A public institution shall, upon receiving a request to disclose information, decide whether or not to disclose the requested information within “ten days” of the date on which such request is received. Due to inevitable grounds, such public institution may extend the fixed period for up to ten days.
- Where a public institution recognizes that information, the disclosure of which is requested, pertains to a third party, the public institution shall inform the third party thereof without delay and may, if necessary, hear his/her opinions on its disclosure.
Request Made by Third Party for Keeping Information Concealed: When a third party or entity is notified of the fact that a request to disclose information has been made, it may request the relevant public institution not to disclose the information pertaining to itself within “three days” of receiving such notification.
- A public institution shall, when it decides to disclose information, notify the relevant applicant of its decision, explicitly indicating the date, time and place of its disclosure, etc. within “ten days” of the date on which such decision is made.
- When it is judged likely to significantly obstruct the performance of duties due to the excessive quantity of information to be disclosed, a public institution may provide copies or replications of the requested information to the applicant after dividing it on a periodic basis, or may furnish such copies within two months while allowing the public to peruse them at the same time.
- When it decides not to disclose such information, a public institution shall promptly notify in writing the applicant of such fact by indicating the grounds for its decision not to disclose the information, and the methods of and procedures for raising an objection in a concrete manner.
- Document, drawing, photograph, etc. : perusal or provision of a copy.
- Film, audio and video cassettes, etc. : viewing or provision of printed or reproduced articles.
- Microfilm, slide, etc. : viewing, perusal, or provision of a copy or reproduced article.
- Information, etc. kept and managed in electronic form : reproducing files and forwarding to the information disclosure system through the information and communications network, provision by storing in media, and perusal, viewing, or provision of a copy or output.
Prior to disclosing information to an applicant, the public institution concerned shall identify that person or his/her legitimate representative. However, where it is unnecessary to identify an applicant upon receiving a request for information disclosure, the approval document may be sent as a copy, printout, or replicated file by post, fax, or e-mail.
Where any information, the disclosure of which is requested, consists of a part subject to non-disclosure and another part which may be disclosed, the information shall be partially disclosed provided that it is possible to separate the two parts without being contrary to the purpose of the request for the disclosure thereof.
Any of the following information, which can be immediately processed, shall be disclosed to the public without undergoing the foregoing procedures: 1. information prepared for the purpose of disclosure to the public under the relevant statutes, 2. various publicity materials, and 3. information, the disclosure of which has already been determined and which does not take a long time.
The Applicant’s Right to Raise an Objection
When an applicant is dissatisfied with a public institution’s decision not to disclose information or its decision to partially disclose information, he/she may submit an objection in writing to the relevant public institution within “30 days” of the date on which he/she receives a notice on whether or not to disclose the information.
How to raise a formal objection
- A formal objection should be written and submitted. (Objections submitted via the Internet are accepted.)
- The following matters should be stated: name, resident registration number, address and contact details of the applicant; contents of the decision on whether or not to disclose the information subject to the formal objection; and the intent of and reason for the formal objection.
Decision on formal objection
- The relevant public institutions shall decide on an objection raised within “seven days” of the date on which such objection is received; and in the event that a public institution cannot make a decision within a fixed period due to inevitable grounds, such period may be extended by up to seven days.
- In the event that a public institution decides to dismiss or reject an objection, it shall notify the applicant of his/her right to file for an administrative appeal or administrative litigation.
Requests Made by Third Party and Protection of Rights
- Notwithstanding a request by a third party not to disclose information, if a public institution decides to disclose such information, the third party may raise an objection in writing to the relevant public institution within “seven days” of the date on which notification of such decision is received.
- The relevant public institution shall leave an interval of at least 30 days between the date on which a decision is made to disclose the information and the date on which the information is to be disclosed. During this period, the third party may file for an administrative appeal or administrative litigation, and the suspension of execution at the same time, to prepare for information disclosure.
Filing an administrative appeal
In the event that an applicant is dissatisfied with a decision made by a public institution in connection with information disclosure, he/she may file an administrative appeal without going through the procedures for raising an objection and/or filing an administrative appeal.
Period of filing
- When a public institution makes a decision, or an administrative litigation has been filed in connection with information disclosure, the applicant should file an objection within 90 days of the date on which he/she receives the delivery of the original copy of the written verdict.
- The applicant shall not file an objection again after one year from the date on which the public institution concerned makes a decision, or on which a verdict is given.
- Official Information Disclosure Act
- Enforcement Decree of the Official Information Disclosure Act
- Enforcement Rule of the Official Information Disclosure Act