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Laws subject to public interest whistle-blowing to be significantly expanded from 284 to 468...

Date
10-03-2020
Attachments
 

Laws subject to public interest whistle-blowing to be significantly expanded from 284 to 468A bill to amend ‘Public Interest Whistleblower Protection Act’ submitted to National Assembly

- 186 laws closely related to the public livelihood, such as ‘the Military Service Act,’ ‘the Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act,’ and ‘the Act on the Prohibition of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities, Remedy against Infringement of their Rights, etc. were added to the list of laws subject to public interest whistle-blowingProtection of public interest whistleblowers is expected to be bolstered -

 

February 3, 2020

Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission

The Republic of Korea

A bill to amend the ‘Public Interest Whistleblower Protection Act’ (hereinafter referred to as the ‘amendment bill’) by newly adding 186 laws that are closely connected to the public livelihood, e.g., the Military Service Act and the Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act, etc. to the existing 284 laws* already subject to the public interest whistle-blowing was submitted to the National Assembly on the 31st of last month.

* As the Licensed Sanitarians Act and the Quality Control and Safety Management of Industrial Products Act were abolished, these two laws were deleted from the list of the 284 laws subject to the public interest violation reporting.

Prior to this submission, the amendment bill passed the Cabinet Meeting on the 28th of last month after the pre-announcement of legislation made last November and consultations with relevant agencies.

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC, Chairperson Pak Un Jong) anticipated that the passage of the amendment bill in the National Assembly and the subsequent enforcement thereof will have a positive effect on reinforcing the protection of public interest whistleblowers with a much broader range of laws becoming subject to public interest whistle-blowing.

Currently, any conduct detrimental to the health and safety of the people, the environment, the interests of consumers, fair competition or other equivalents that has been committed or is likely to be committed in violation of the 284 Acts is subject to public interest whistle-blowing. Anyone can blow a whistle on such conducts and is entitled to the guarantee of confidentiality, protection of personal safety, mitigation of culpability and protection against disadvantageous measures, etc.

In addition to these 284 laws, the amendment bill newly included other 186 laws the violation of which will be reported as a conduct detrimental to the public interest, such as the Military Service Act, the Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act, the Act on Prohibition of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities, Remedy against Infringement of their Rights, etc., the Act on Prohibition of Age Discrimination in Employment and Elderly Employment Promotion that are closely related to the public livelihood and require protection of whistleblowers.

If the amendment bill passes in the National Assembly, such conducts as draft dodging and evasion committed by persons liable for military service; discriminative subsidy payment to new subscribers by mobile communication agents; and discrimination against disabled or aged persons by companies in employment, etc. will be subject to public interest whistle-blowing, thereby enabling those blowing the whistle on such conducts to be protected from suffering disadvantageous measures, etc. due to his/her reporting.

The chairperson of the ACRC, Pak Un Jong said, “I expect to see a lot more people come forward courageously to blow a whistle on conducts infringing the public interest as the amendment to the Public Interest Whistleblower Protection Act will bolster the protection for them. The ACRC will make constant efforts to foster an environment where anyone can file a report, feeling safe.”