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Measures to strengthen the protection and reward system for corruption reporters

Date
25-01-2018
Attachments
 

Measures to strengthen the protection and reward system for corruption reporters to be taken ‘in no time’

 

The amendment bill on ‘the Act on Anti-Corruption and the Establishment and Operation of ACRC’ containing the provision of imposing ‘charges for compelling compliance’, etc. to protect corruption reporters was passed in the cabinet meeting and is waiting for approval by the National Assembly

 

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The amendment bill on the Act on Anti-Corruption and the Establishment and Operation of Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Act), which provides for strengthened corruption reporter protection and reward by introducing charges for compelling compliance in order to protect reporters of corrupt acts, passed the cabinet meeting on January 2 and is slated to be submitted to the National Assembly. If the bill is passed by the National Assembly, the revised Act will be implemented in earnest after the procedure of promulgation is completed.

A charge for compelling compliance is introduced through the amendment to the said Act with a view to protecting a corruption reporter who is subjected to disadvantageous measures by reason of filing a corruption report. The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC, Chairperson Pak Un Jong) shall impose charges for compelling compliance of up to 20 million won on a person who fails to take protective measures by the due date after he/she receives a decision to take protective measures.

In addition, even before the ACRC makes a decision, in case where a reporter and a person reported agree, there exists a ground for recommending reconciliation, and it induces a prompt establishment of legal relations by restricting a person reported from filing an administrative appeal.

Previously, the scope of reporters subject to protective measures was limited to reporters who file a report to the ACRC or the institution to which persons reported belong and the supervisory institution thereof, etc., however, through the revision, the scope will be expanded to include those who testify in court or National Assembly, or those who file charges or bring accusations to an investigative agency.

Furthermore, relief funds* will be provided separately from compensations paid to reporters and the application period for the payment of compensations will be expanded from the current 2 years to 3 years.

* Relief funds will be provided to corruption reporters who have incurred expenses due to various disadvantageous measures to which he/she has been subjected by reason of having filed a corruption report (such expenses include the wages lost during the disadvantageous measures, expenses incurred in transference, dispatched service, etc., and the cost of litigation).

According to the revision, the scope of those entitled to the payment of rewards or prize money is also expanded through the revision to include reporters who file a report to public institutions other than the ACRC, and legal grounds for the operation of the reward system by agency is established in order to facilitate corruption reporting in agencies of various levels.

Moreover, a provision has been incorporated into the revised Act to punish those who compel a reporter to withdraw his/her reports or interfere with filing a report by imprisonment with hard labor for not more than 1 year or by a fine not exceeding 10 million won.

The ACRC expects the revision bill on the Act, which contains measures to reinforce legal grounds for protecting and rewarding corruption reporters, to be passed by the National Assembly in a smooth manner as it did in the cabinet meeting, thereby fostering an environment where the public can feel safe to report corruption.