A trade secret in U.S., losing bids fight corruption online in Seoul

You may know not know it, but Seoul, Korea is one of the most tech-savvy cities in the world.  Or so says Time Magazine in this profile of the city’s efforts to wire up its citizens. An eye-grabbing stat:  95 percent of the city’s residents have broadband connections in their homes. (By comparison, Time notes the U.S. has 60 percent of households have installed broadband.)  The impact is real:

Start with clean government. All city contracts are now put out to bid online, and all bids are posted. That transparency, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon tells TIME, has reduced corruption in the city significantly in the past 10 years. ‘Since all information is disclosed real time over the Internet, influence-peddling over the bargaining of government permits becomes impossible,’ he says. ‘The online system tracks the flow of approval routes and leaves behind evidence in real time. If a manager holds on to an application for too long, he becomes a suspect. So administration becomes faster and uncorrupt.’

Washington considers losing contract bids as trade secrets exempt from disclosure under the U.S. FOIA.

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