The Promotion State and Measures to Improve the Record Information Disclosure System
The right to know is not satisfied merely by making or improving laws or systems. The right to know is a matter of culture rather than system. Nevertheless, consistent system improvement measures are required.
There are many laws relating to the right to know. In particular, at the core are the Official Information Disclosure Act, the Record and Archives Management Act, and the Presidential Record Management Act. The fact that systems relating to official record management and presidential record management are related to the right to know is understood by the promotion of records and archives management reform after the year 2004, as a result of which the national archives management innovation road map was established. Reflecting the many opinions of the “Information Disclosure System Improvement Task Force” composed with participation of the government and the press after the participatory government's announcement of “Measures to Advance the Support System for News Coverage,” amendments to the Information Disclosure Act have come forward with system improvement measures in connection with issues that had arisen until then. Such improvement measures have not resulted in actual improvements.
This thesis proposes several system improvement measures, focusing on those that have arisen until now but have not been reflected in discussion, such as converting the concept of information non-disclosure into disclosure postponement, preparing and disclosing particular information disclosure standards, specifying personal information for non-disclosure, specifying and strictly applying any information that has not been disclosed for purposes of internal review, deleting non-disclosure items in stenographic records that do not have a reason to exist, and establishing limits and terms of non-disclosure.
Of the most remarkable system improvement measures that have been made until now is our recognition that the right to know is not limited to the information disclosure system but that the “cause” of archive management should be systematic and scientific. In other words, the right to know is understood to establish not just accidential factors, such as with a whistle-blower, but the inevitable factors of systemization of production, distribution, preservation, and use of archives.
Much more study should be pursued regarding disclosure of archives information. In particular, difficult issues to be resolved regarding reading records at permanent archives management institutions, such as the National Archives of Korea, or copyrights that arise in the process, require constant study from academia and relevant institutions.