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The ACRC Held a Meeting to Convey ‘the 2018 Anti-Corruption Policy Enforcement Guideline'

Date
28-02-2018
Attachments
 

The ACRC held a meeting to convey the 2018 anti-corruption policy enforcement guideline

The Establishment of the ‘4 Free’ Agenda to Realize Transparent Korea

 

February 12, 2018

Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission

The Republic of Korea

 

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC, Chairperson Pak Un Jong) plans to carry out anti-corruption policies based on its ‘4 Free Anti-Corruption Policy Agenda’ (i.e. free from improper solicitations, free from tolerance for corrupt acts, free from corrupt ties between bureaucrats and businesses, and free from false claims for easy money) for the effective enforcement of anti-corruption policies this year.

On February 13, 2018, the ACRC held a meeting to convey ‘the 2018 Anti-Corruption Policy Enforcement Guideline’ in the auditorium at the Government Complex-Sejong and delivered major policy tasks based on the 4 Free Anti-Corruption Policy Agenda to approximately 1,300 state or local audit and inspection officers at the public institutions, including central government agencies and local authorities.

The ACRC prepared ‘the 2018 Anti-Corruption Policy Enforcement Guideline’ in which a number of systemic policy strategies and measures to eradicate the root of corruption are incorporated.

(Free from improper solicitations) the ACRC plans to come up with multidimensional improvement measures by analyzing types of areas susceptible to improper solicitations, including the area of employment at the public institutions, in order to eradicate the root causes of unlawful solicitations deeply entrenched in Korean society.

The ACRC will have agencies of various levels make public the specific details of improper solicitations and the result of actions taken against such improper solicitations on a regular basis, while establishing and promoting customized policy measures by analyzing types of areas in which unjust solicitations are frequently made, such as human resources, permission or license and investigation, etc., on an area-by-area basis.

Furthermore, the ACRC will revise ‘the Operational Guideline for the Code of Conduct for Public Officials’ so that the amended Code of Conduct for Public Officials slated to be in force on April 17, 2018 can be swiftly enforced and complied. The amended Code of Conduct for Public Officials mainly concerns the prohibition of improper solicitations made by public officials to private citizens and conflicts of interest of public officials (e.g. restriction on the employment of members of the family of public officials, etc.).

(Free from tolerance for corrupt acts) this year, the ACRC plans to eradicate corrupt practices by strengthening the punishment and disciplinary measures against those involved in grand corruption such as the abuse of power and authority, etc.

The ACRC considers the strict punishment of those who committed crimes of corruption an urgent task to be completed, as 28.3% of the public, 32.9% of business people and 23.6% of foreigners said during the 2017 survey on the level of corruption perceptions in Korea that the ‘reinforcement of detection and punishment of corrupt acts’ is a top priority in addressing corruption issues.

Accordingly, the ACRC plans to examine the appropriateness of the punishment and disciplinary measures based on its in-depth analysis of statistical data regarding corruption cases reported to it thus far.

Moreover, the ACRC will also check whether the measures for normalization of punishment for corrupt public officials it recommended in 2014 have been complied or not. On top of this, the ACRC will push for measures not to allow for reduction in the level of punishment for public officials committing crimes of corruption according to awards and decorations they have received.

(Free from corrupt ties between bureaucrats and businesses) the ACRC will push ahead with institutional reforms and strategic probe of areas susceptible to corruption caused by cozy ties between bureaucrats and businesses, including irregularities in areas of national defense, railroads, and marine transportation, etc. and cartelist corruption involving the native force. In addition to this, the ACRC will vigorously carry out anti-corruption reforms in respect of the private sector to tackle such corrupt acts as illegal medical rebates, public procurement irregularities and unfair subcontract, etc. which negatively affect Korea’s international creditworthiness.

Furthermore, the ACRC will further strengthen the protection of public interest whistleblowers. Through the amendment to the Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers (“the Act”) in October last year, the scope of laws covered by the Act was expanded, and the provision of punitive damages aimed at punishing those who take disadvantageous measures against public interest whistleblowers was introduced with relief funds for whistleblowers suffering from economic hardships due to disadvantageous measures introduced. The ACRC will facilitate public interest whistleblowing through stronger protection of whistleblowers for the purpose of the establishment of the self-cleaning system within the private sector in order that back-scratching ties between bureaucrats and businesses can be naturally weeded out.

(Free from false claims for easy money) the ACRC will take institutional measures to address the problems of leakage of public funds, such as welfare subsidies, etc., a blind spot of surveillance due to poor management and supervision.

Last year, the ACRC has received 331 cases of reports pertaining to government subsidy frauds and recovered KRW 27.5 billion to state coffers. Examples of the leakage of financial resources through government subsidy frauds include: a non-medical practitioner who operated an unlicensed hospital establishment and habitually made false claims for medical care benefits amounting to about KRW 7.4 billion, and a person who siphoned off KRW 2.6 billion from KRW 3.4 billion government R&D subsidies into his own bank account to clear off debts.

In order to prevent such leakage of public funds, the ACRC will continue to designate a certain period of time as an intensive reporting period for government subsidy frauds such as false claims for medical care benefits and R&D subsidies, carrying out institutional reforms by sector.

In addition, the ACRC will push forward with the enactment of the Act on the Recovery of Falsely Claimed Public Funds in order to more systemically and comprehensively respond to continuously occurring cases of false claims for public funds.

The ACRC explained the gist of various anti-corruption policies as aforementioned and called for active cooperation and assistance from the public institutions during the meeting to convey the 2018 Anti-Corruption Policy Enforcement Guideline held on Feb. 13.

The Chairperson of the ACRC, Pak Un Jong, stated that “although a culture of integrity has begun to take its root in the public sector for the last one year since the enactment of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act, numerous corrupt practices including hiring irregularities, cartel-type corruption by native forces and embezzlement of welfare benefits are still customarily committed through improper solicitations, tolerance toward corruption, close ties between bureaucrats and businesses and false claims for easy money,” and asked participants from the public agencies of various levels to “make concerted efforts to eradicate such corrupt practices to realize transparent Korea, based on the strong will of the president for the fight against corruption.”