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ACRC Offers KRW 1.73 Billion in Compensation for Reporting Corruption or Public Interest Violation

Date
18-05-2017
Attachments
 

The ACRC announced that it has offered KRW 1,730.88 million in compensation on 332 corruption and public interest reports from January to May of this year.

* Corruption reports: 28 people, KRW 213.85 million; Public interest whistleblowing: 304 people, KRW 1,517.03 million

The amount directly recovered or saved by national and public organizations as a result of the reports is as much as KRW 10.2 billion.

The compensation system for those who report corruption or violation of public interest is aimed at vitalizing reporting on the following areas: Duty-related corruption by public officials, corruption which negatively affects the property of public organizations, and violations of public interest—such as those related to public health and safety, the environment, consumer interest, and fair competition.

When a report results in the recovery of income, increase in income, or saved cost of a public organization, the reporter is eligible to receive compensation of up to KRW 3 billion (KRW 2 billion in case of public interest whistleblowing).

The single largest amount of compensation paid since the introduction of the compensation system was a KRW 1.1 billion sum in 2015 offered to the reporter of an illegal delivery of goods to a public company.

Examples of corruption reports include the case of a CEO of a local broadcaster who conspired with a construction company to commit fraud by signing a dual contract and overstating construction costs related to the moving of an AM transmitting station. The reporter of the case received KRW 55.3 million as a result.

Another report concerned the president of a non-profit private organization and the head of its local branch office, who together swindled government subsidies by getting false sales checks to bloat the costs of goods bought and making illegal cash-back transactions using credit cards. The reporter of this case received KRW 22 million in compensation.

Examples of public interest whistleblowing include the case where an imported alcohol distribution company offered a total of KRW 15.2 billion in cash in 288 separate instances between June 2011 and March 2015 to 197 adult entertainment establishments, to induce those establishments to sell only the company’s liquor. The reporter of this case received KRW 124.36 million.

In other examples, one whistleblower received KRW 8.79 million for reporting on eateries which had been making private use of streams and had installed tents and containers without permission; another whistleblower received KRW 13.07 million for reporting ophthalmic and ob/gyn clinics for running advertisements which have risks of dazzling and confusing consumers, such as claims of guaranteed effectiveness of treatment.

An ACRC official explained that “The revision and enactment of the Act on Anti-Corruption and the Establishment and Operation of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission last April enables protection and compensation for corruption reporters reporting on private schools, and it is expected that related reports will increase as a result. The ACRC is committed to improving transparency in our society with active protection and compensation for corruption reporters and public interest reporters.”