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An Introduction and Operation Plan for the Collaborative Governance Budgeting System in Seoul

Byeong-Sun JeongㆍTae-Hee LeeㆍSook-Ha Kim



In Seoul, since the beginning of the 6th mayoral term, the ‘Collaborative Governance Seoul 2.0’ has been propelled forward as a key policy which has formed the basis of various policies which have subsequently been undertaken. Yet, it was found that the traditional budgeting system–which is primarily led by politicians and government officials–does not match the collaborative governance (CG) policies which call for implementation through public participation, close consultations with stakeholders, and collaboration with various actors. Although ‘Participatory Budgeting’ (PB) technically is established, in actuality the amount of money allocated in the budget for PB is limited (₩50 billion/year-representing only 2% of the entire budget of Seoul). Furthermore, the use of even these funds is limited by a complicated process. Therefore, a new budgetary system is required to secure the efficacy of the CG policies and to thus realize the goals of the ‘Collaborative Governance Seoul 2.0’ policy.


The current budgeting process was investigated as the first step of the research. That investigation found that the budgeting process in Seoul – as in the surrounding boroughs – is led by the executive body, i.e. the mayor and other officials. Subsequently, the PB process in Seoul and in other cities abroad which are known for their successful implementation of participatory budgeting were reviewed. This was followed by examination of the current budgeting situation in Seoul and its neighbouring boroughs. As a result, in the boroughs, grants provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) account for the majority (67.2%) of the budget for CG policies. This means that financially, the boroughs are highly dependent on the SMG and thus lack financial autonomy.


Throughout the process, four pending issues were drowned out by opposing voices: [Might it please be possible for the original text (which is quite forceful) to possibly be changed to the more diplomatic and comparatively neutral phrase “four pending issues were identified:”?]

- Limited participation of citizens and residents

- Various insufficiencies and problems in the structure and operation of the PB system

- Problems caused by top-down budgeting process based on programme budgeting

- Strengthening the institutional basis for collaborative–governance- friendly budgeting policies and capacity building


In order to tackle these pending issues, a new collaborative–governance-friendly budgeting system was suggested. Several measures were introduced. Firstly, an innovative PB model to replace the previous one was suggested. This new model would enable Seoul’s entire body of citizenry to participate throughout the entire budgeting process This differs from the previous model which had only allocated a limited amount of participation, and which had allowed participation only within a limited process. The new budgeting model–a decentralized and convergence-oriented model–would also support the 「Local CG Innovation Plan」(LCGIP) and the 「00 Borough CG Committee」(BCGC), which consists of the ‘Collaborative Governance Seoul 2.0’ policy together with the CG-Friendly Budgeting System as discussed throughout this research. Furthermore, several other institutions–such as stakeholder committees and organizations –were introduced in this research. Their inclusion would facilitate and enable the implementation of this new budgeting system.



01 Introduction

1_Background and purpose of the study

2_Contents and methodology of the study


02 Review of the present situation in Seoul regarding the Collaborative Governance Budgeting System(CGBS)

1_Literature review of CGBS

2_The current budgeting situation of Seoul

3_The current budgeting situation of boroughs


03 Surveys regarding the Current Condition of the CGBS

1_An outline of the surveys

2_The current situations on collaborative governance(CG) policies of the Seoul Metropolitan Government

3_An Investigation into, and an analysis of, the conditions impacting functionality of the CG in local boroughs

4_Summary and implications


04 Pending Issues

1_Limited participation of the citizenry and of residents

2_Various insufficiencies and problems in the structure and operation of the Participatory Budgeting(PB) system

3_Problems caused by top-down budgeting process based on the programme budgeting

4_Strengthening the institutional basis for collaborative governance friendly budgeting and capacity building


05 Proposed policy measures designed to address the pending issues

1_Policy objectives and directions

2_The introduction of a Seoul-type PB model

3_The introduction of a decentralized and convergence oriented budgeting model

4_The establishment of an institutional basis for realizing the Collaborative Governance Budgeting System