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Information on Local Council Members Concurrent Office should be Disclosed...

Date
14-08-2019
Attachments
 

Information on Local Council Member’s Concurrent Office should be Disclosed and Punishment Standards thereof should be Set up

2019 second Meeting of Public-Private Council for Transparent Society was held and suggested enhancing effectiveness of public interest whistleblower relief money system and increasing proxy report receiving agencies.

July 11, 2019

Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission

The Republic of Korea

Information on Local Council Members Concurrent Office should be Disclosed...

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) held the 2019 second meeting of Public-Private Council for Transparent Society (co-chaired by Chair of Seoul National University Council, Kim Byeong-Seop and Chairperson of the ACRC, Pak Un Jong) on July 8 at the Korea Press Center. The meeting discussed ways to enhance transparency in information on local council members’ concurrent offices and to facilitate public interest whistle- blowing through stronger protection for whistleblowers.

At the meeting, the Public-Private Council for Transparent Society (Council) suggested that local council members of each level report their concurrently held positions and in case of false reporting, should face disciplinary measures based on punishment standards which should be set up. The Council also proposed ways to enhance effectiveness of public interest whistleblower relief money system and suggested that all public agencies should receive proxy reports.

This meeting is the sixth of its kind since the Council was establishment in March last year as part of governmental innovation tasks. The Council, consisting of representatives of various sectors of society such as the economic sector, civil society organizations, professional associations, the media, and the academia, discusses and presents anti-corruption and integrity policy directions and improvement measures.

The second meeting this year discussed ways to enhance transparency in information on local council members’ concurrent position for stronger prevention of conflict of interests. Measures suggested included: (a) making it mandatory for local council members to report concurrently held positions; (b) mandating the imposition of disciplinary measures for not reporting or falsely reporting thereof; and (c) setting up an advisory and monitoring body on concurrent positions.

In addition, as for public interest whistleblower protection, the following measures were presented: (a) setting grounds for the acts of public interest violation and expanding the scope of public interest whistle-blowing; (b) increasing the type of relief money provided to whistleblowers, such as attorney fees and re-employment training fees; and (c) allowing proxy whistle-blowing report by an attorney to be submitted to all public agencies.

Mr. Kim Byeong-Seop, Co-chair of the Council, said, “through development of standards for disclosure and punishment of local council members’ concurrent office, possible conflicts of interests in local council activities could be effectively prevented and managed.”

When it comes to public interest whistleblower protection, he said, “a discussion will be held, jointly with the ACRC, on issues of management of laws subject to public interest whistle-blowing and improvement of the system of proxy reporting by attorneys.

The discussion, “Ways to Enhance Effectiveness of Public Interest Whistleblower System”, will be co-organized by the Council and the ACRC on July 2 at 2 pm, at the Korea Press Center.

 

Reference 1

 

Public-Private Consultative Council for Transparent Society Proposal

 

Public-Private Council for Transparent Society Proposal

Stronger Transparency in Information on Local Council Members’ Concurrence Position

 

Emphasizing the importance of high level of integrity of the local council which is a representative body for residents;

Intending to strongly prevent conflict of interests by local council members, who participate in local government administration in practical terms through enactment and revision of ordinances, review and decision on budget, and audit of administrative affairs;

Aiming to improve trust from residents to local councils;

The Public-Private Consultative Council for Transparent Society suggests ways to strengthen transparency in local council members’ concurrent position information as follows:

1. The government and the National Assembly shall amend the Local Autonomy Act: to make it mandatory for local council members to report their concurrent position status even if they do not hold a concurrent office and; to disclose all the details of the office they concurrently hold;

2. The government and the National Assembly, with an aim to strengthen the effectiveness of the reporting of concurrent offices, shall amend the Local Autonomy Act to legally mandate punishments for non-reporting and false reporting of concurrent position. Local Councils shall specify the level of punishments for each type of violations in respective municipal ordinances or rules.

3. Local councils, for the purpose of promoting and supporting the enhancement of their members’ integrity, shall include integrity obligation in member’s oath of office and shall set up and operate a concurrent position supervisory/advisory body which consists of local residents, local civil society organizations, and related experts.

 

July 11, 2019

 

Public-Private Council for Transparent Society Proposal

Promotion of Whistleblowing through Stronger Protection for Public Interest Whistleblowers

 

Stressing the importance of nation-wide efforts to combat acts of public interest violation to provide strong protection for public interest whistleblowers and to raise public awareness on the positive roles of public interest whistleblowers;

Intending to build a clean society and secure stable life for citizens through stronger protection and support for public interest whistleblower;

The Public-Private Consultative Council for Transparent Society suggests as follows:

1. Specific legal grounds for acts of public interest violation entitled to subject to public interest reporting shall be provided for, and according to which the scope of entitled public interest whistleblower reports shall be expanded, so as to remove the gray area of whistleblower protection;

2. The types of relief money for public interest whistleblowers shall be expanded to include attorney appointment fees, if necessary, re-employment training fees, and etc. The amount of relief money shall reflect the reality, and emergency relief money may be paid to whistleblowers who were found by a targeted management to suffer disadvantageous measures;

3. Not just the ACRC, all public agencies shall receive a proxy report by an attorney. Guidance on public interest whistleblower protection shall be developed and distributed to each public agency to strengthen organizational capacities to protect public interest whistleblowers;

4. Proxy reporting agencies which report public interest violation on behalf of whistleblowers shall be checked and monitored, and management system of such agencies shall be built, for example by distributing whistleblower protection guideline, so as to prevent any gray area in public interest whistleblower protection system.

5. Life cycle integrity education which includes whistleblower protection shall be made it mandatory. Private companies with a system of handling whistleblower reports and protecting whistleblowers shall get added points in bidding for public contracts to induce the private sector’s mindset towards whistle-blowing reports.

 

July 11, 2019

 

 

Reference 2

 

Overview of Public-Private Council for Transparent Society

 

Background

Corruption is not a problem for the public sector only. It incurs social costs, posing a heavy burden not just on the government but also on citizens and the entire society.

For this reason, tackling corruption requires country-wide engagement of every corner of society, not government-led policy measures, since nation-wide engagement could push and drive the anti-corruption policies that directly relate to citizens’ lives and various sectors of society.

Makeup and functions

(Makeup) 30 representatives from the six areas of the public sector, the economic circle, civil society, the media, and the academia.

Regulations on the Establishment and Operation of Public-Private Consultative Council for Transparent Societywas enacted on January 3, 2018 as Prime Minister Directive

(Functions) Public Private Council for Transparent Society collects public opinion on anti-corruption policies, establishes, monitors, and assesses anti-corruption policies, and consults integrity campaigns.

Operational System

(Working-level committee) A working-level committee and sub-committees established under the Public-Private Consultative Council for Transparent Society suggest and discuss anti-corruption agenda on a regular basis.

* 6 sub-committees on: General Operation, Politics and Administration, Economy, Education, and Fairness and Trust

(Public-Private Council) 30 heads of organizations, (Working-level committee) 30 manager-level officials, (sub-committees) less than 15 people

(Meeting) The Council is represented by both the public and private sector, with both co-chaired by the public sector (Chairperson of the ACRC) and the private sector (Commissioner of the Council), and the meeting will be presided over by the co-chair from the private sector side.

(Regular Meeting) Public-Private Council for Transparent Society: half a year, Working-level meeting: quarterly, Sub-committee meeting: bimonthly, (Ad-hoc meeting) when necessary.

(Operational Support) NGO & Business Cooperation Division of the ACRC will serve as a Secretariat.