Soon after the establishement of the Korean government, Public Procurement Service (PPS) was created on January 17th, 1949, under the Prime Minister's Office.
It was named the Provisional Office of Foreign Supply (POFS) and its primary responsibility was to manage foreign aid supplies. The POFS as a partner of the USA's Economic Cooperation Administration contributed to the rehabilitation of the Korean economy and revival of its industries in the early days of foundation by managing foreign aid supplies and collecting payments.
The POFS was consolidated with the Office of Foreign Procurement, and was hereafter renamed as the Office of Foreign Supply. On October 2, 1961, it was expanded to include domestic procurement and works contract in its capacity, becoming a central procuring agency. Since then, it has procured enormous amounts of goods necessary for implementing the government's economic development programs without impediments. It has also fulfilled the use of limited financial resources in an efficient manner. Indeed, it has done a superb job of laying the administrative infrastructure, which was the driving force of Korea's rapid economic growth in the last decades.
In 1967, PPS added a new function of stabilizing supply and demand, and prices for major foreign raw materials and basic necessities. With these functions in place, PPS was able to stabilize the national economy during the international resources crisis in the late 1970s and during the 1997 Asian currency crisis.
PPS established Korea ON-line E-Procurement System(KONEPS) in 2002 and it has been benchmarked by the international community including the United Nations and the World Bank. The UN presented the Public Service Award to PPS in June 2003, recognizing its innovations of the procurement system to be transparent and efficient.
Furthermore, in Nov 2004, UN selected KONEPS as the Best Practice Model in terms of e-Procurement and in April 2005, UN/CEFACT recognized KONEPS e-Procurement procedures as the international standards.