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In 2020, Korea will be cleaner and more inclusive

Date
10-03-2020
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In 2020, Korea will be cleaner and more inclusive

- ACRC work plan 2020 -

 

March 3, 2020

Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission

The Republic of Korea

Placing Korea on the highest 30ths on the Corruption Perception Index; Completing Anti-Corruption/Fairness reform

Enacting the Act on the Conflict of Interest for Public Officials and removing blind spots of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act

Inspecting unreasonable bylaws of public institutions

Uprooting hiring irregularities in public institutions; Launching fairness tasks related to young people

Strengthening protection and rewards for public interest reporters by adding Acts covered by public interest protection(284->468)

Operating Public Fund False Claim Warning System

Reaching out to citizens nationwide to resolve complaints onsite, leading active administration

Better reflecting voices of people into government policies through the Next Generation e-People based on intelligent technologies

 

Government Complex Seoul

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC, Chairperson Pak Un Jong) announced its 2020 work plan on 3 March at the Government Complex Seoul.

Thanks to the anti-corruption reform pushed so far, Korea’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score and ranking of 2019 have risen continuously, reaching a record high of 59 scores and 39th place, respectively among the 180 countries surveyed. In addition, Index of Public Integrity (IPI) 2019 of European Research Center for Anti-corruption and State-Building (ERCAS) put Korea on the first place among Asian countries and 19th among the 117 countries surveyed. This proves that citizens’ perception on the national integrity level has been significantly enhanced.

The ACRC stressed that as an agency governing national anti-corruption policies while serving the last resort for complaint handling, the Commission will make its all out efforts to make the country cleaner and inclusive. The Commission this year will elevate the national integrity level remarkably higher and relieve citizen grievances in a proactive manner, taking the lead in active administration from citizens’ perspectives.

1. Completing Anti-Corruption and Fairness Reform

The ACRC will produce Anti-corruption/Fairness reform will produce tangible results through cooperation with government agencies and society groups of various sectors, with the Anti-Corruption Policy Council for Fair Society and the Public Private Council for Transparent Society taking the helm. In particular, through the Daily Life Irregularity Council, new daily life irregularity tasks will be discovered to be managed with great care, along with the existing nine such tasks.

In addition, through People’s Idea Box and Clean Portal, citizen participation and information disclosure in anti-corruption policy-making and-implementing will be further promoted.

Anti-Corruption Council

for Fair Society

ACRC

Public-Private Council

for Transparent Society

Governing/Coordinating anti-corruption policies

Discussing and Implementing anti-corruption/fairness reform tasks by all government agencies.

Each agency

Suggesting anti-corruption policy proposals based on participation of each and every sector including civil society groups, economic circles, and academia

Establishing/Implementing relevant anti-corruption policy tasks

 

 

anti corruption policy tasks

 

 

Collecting Citizens’ Opinions and Expanding citizen participation

In addition, the ACRC will assist public sector anti-corruption efforts through diagnosis and assessment of integrity level of public institutions based on monitoring on the implementation of the Five-year Anti-Corruption Plan established in 2018, and Integrity Assessment and Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment on public institutions.

Integrity standards for public officials will be raised to meet the citizens’ expectation. In order to improve integrity and fairness in public officials performing public duties, the ACRC will enact the Act on the Prevention of Conflict of Interest for Public Officials as soon as possible to strictly restrict hiring or signing contract with senior public official’s family members.

<Major contents of the Bill for Conflict of Interest for Public Officials submitted the National Assembly on 1 August, 2020>

Reporting of, avoidance of, or recusal from private interests

Reporting transactions with duty-related parties

Prohibition on duty-related outside activities

Prohibition on private use of goods belonging to public institutions and making profits from such use

Prohibition on the use of work secret

Restriction on employment of family members

Restriction on entering into private contracts with high-ranking officials, public officials responsible for contracting, their spouse or their lineal ascendants/descendants living together

Submitting details of activities in the private sector by high-ranking public officials

In addition, inspections will be carried out on school admission and academic affairs such as giving credit and scholarship. The area will then be included in the works subject to prohibited improper solicitation. The Improper Solicitation and Graft Act will be amended to prohibit public officials from making improper solicitation to the private sector. As such, stringent standards for conduct for public officials will be applied.

The ACRC will expand cooperation with the private sector and the international community to spread integrity culture in daily life.

The ACRC will seek to encourage the areas significantly affecting citizens’ daily life, such as economy and finance, to sign the Integrity Society Pact, which contains anti-corruption pledges of society groups of various sectors and is currently signed in five areas such as public corporations and defense industries.

The ACRC will also provide integrity education for elected or appointed senior officials to make them lead by example to practice integrity and contribute to the spread of integrity culture.

In addition to this program, by expanding the integrity training program for elementary, middle and high school students, such as the “Integrity Class for Children”, the ACRC will provide children an opportunity to feel and experience the importance of integrity first hand.

As for companies, the ACRC will deliver practical education on Improper Solicitation and Graft Act so as that the Act could become an anti-corruption and fairness norm.

Korea’s anti-corruption efforts and achievements will be introduced at the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) to be held in Jun in Seoul, where global anti-corruption issues will be actively discussed.

Under the theme of “Designing 2030: Truth, Trust and Transparency”, the 19th IACC, which is one of the biggest global public-private forum, will bring together 2,000 anti-corruption experts from 40 countries around the world.

2. Removing unfairness in people’s everyday life

The ACRC this year will focus its capacity on removing unfairness and improper preferential treatment in daily life which hampers transparency and fair opportunity and blocks innovation in our society.

First of all, based on opinions gathered through various channels such as open forums, youth idea contest, and complaint-related big data analysis results, fairness tasks relating to young people in their 20s and 30s, who are sensitive to fairness, will be discovered and removed. This is to take down barriers to opportunities such as unfair school admission and employment procedure and discrimination against irregular workers.

In addition, as the society is moving from ‘owning’ to ‘sharing/subscribing’, and many people subscribe music/video contents and contract daily supply rental services, regulations that might result in unfairness in daily lives will be also improved.

< Institutional improvement tasks on everyday life unfairness (tentative)>

Area

Improvement tasks (example)

Opportunity barrier

󰋻Removing unfairness in laws and regulations containing risk of discrimination against irregular workers.

󰋻Removing unfairness in hiring procedures such as related to employment test and certificates

Transparent / fair procedure

󰋻Removing unfair public contracts containing cost-bearing terms unrelated the work concerned

󰋻Improving unfair contract terms on the approval of military facility usage

Daily life unfairness

󰋻Preventing damages related to the usage of subscribed contents such as music, video and online book (teens and 20s)

󰋻Removing unfair contract on daily supply rental services(30s~40s)

󰋻Preventing consumer damage by misleading/exaggerated home-shopping advertisement (over 40s)

 

The ACRC will also conduct thorough inspections for corruption risk in bylaws of all public institutions. For the three years from 2002, the ACRC will comb through internal rules of public institutions for any unfairness such as possibility of abuse of authorities and discretion in their major work process, for example, personal affairs and public contract.

< Inspections on bylaws of all public institutions>

Target

󰋻Out of the 491 public institutions in total, 187 of them of big size and closely related to people’s daily lives (36 market-type/quasi market-type corporations, 115 local government-invested public corporations and public agencies in the area of urban development, tourism, transportation and facility management) will be inspected first in 2020.

* In 2021 and 2020, 304 quasi-governmental institutions and public institutions will be inspected

Major Area

󰋻(Discretion/Power abuse) superior status over consumers or parties to contract

󰋻(Welfare) improper welfare rules including excessive aids

󰋻(Personnel affairs) unfair rules for irregular workers such as employment and transmission to regular worker status, promotion, and etc.

With hiring irregularity countermeasures, the ACRC will continue to strive to spread the culture of fair employment throughout the entire society.

In 2019, it was decided to regularly inspect all of the public institutions for their previous year’s hiring irregularities. On areas with frequent irregularities or those on the blind spot of the inspection, additional inspection will be conducted. In addition, in cooperation with related authorities, the ACRC will disseminate Guidance for Fair Employment and consult vulnerable areas in order to spread the culture of fair employment in the entire public and private sector.

Protection and compensations for corruption/public interest violation reporters will be strengthened as well.

Acts that need to protect public interest reporters such as Military Service Act and Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act will be added to the Acts covered under the Public Interest Whistleblower Protection Act. The number of laws covered under the Act will increase to 486 from currently 284.

The ACRC will strengthen protection for public interest reporters by closely monitoring whether the Commission’s protection measures for public interest reporters are well implemented and whether there is any disadvantage incurred on the public interest reporters. For the public interest violation reporters who increased revenues or saved cost of public institutions because of their reporting, rewards will be provided at a fixed rate: 30% of the amount of the increased or saved amount.

Through the enforcement of the Illicit Profit Recovery Act enacted in January this year, the ACRC will develop standards for a fair usage of public funds.

<Major contents of Illicit Profit Recovery Act>

(Subject): public funds, such as subsidies and contributions, provided under acts and municipal ordinances or rules (approx. 65,000) of the entire public institutions (16,492)

(Major contents)

Illicitly claimed funds will be recovered to the fullest even thought there is no ground under relevant laws

Penalties of up to five times of the illegitimate benefits will be imposed on false/excessive claim and the usage other than the initially indicated ones.

The list of those illicit claims for a large amount of money should be disclosed

By doing so, the ACRC will prevent false/excessive claims for various subsidies and contributions, ensuring that public funds could be spent where they are needed. This will help citizens not see public fund as easy money any more.

In addition, the ACRC will run the Illicit Claim Warning System which collects and analyzes illicit claim information to predict high risk areas. With inspection on the status of illicit claims and institutional improvement, the ACRC will block illicit public fund claims in advance.

Along with this measure, to prevent anyone with little knowledge on the Act from unintentionally violating the law, the ACRC will deliver customized promotion activities on the Act to beneficiaries, ordinary citizens and public officials.

In order for the anti-corruption and fairness reforms stated above to be implemented with effectiveness, the ACRC held the Anti-Corruption/Integrity Policy Meeting’ for auditors of central government agencies and provided information on such measures and asked for their cooperation (video conference was held in Sejong, Seoul, Daejeon Government Complex on March 2).

3. Expanding relief of citizens’ grievances by taking the lead in active administration

With active complaint-handling and administrative appeals, the ACRC will relieve citizens’ grievances proactively enough to meet citizens’ satisfaction and earn their trust.

Especially, the ACRC will swiftly resolve complaints related to social safety net, such as low income citizens’ urgent aid request, and to financial support and permit/licensing for innovative businesses.

The ACRC, to enhance conveniences for citizens, will improve the filling/handling procedure of administrative appeals. Appellants will be able to check the handling status of their cases online. And public officials in charge could use the Administrative Information Usage System to check the necessary documents for application for state-appointed council, which will help reduce the appellants’ work related to document-submitting.

The ACRC will also focus its attention on resolving collective complaints that stand in the way of social cohesion.

In an effort to prevent the spread of social conflicts, the ACRC will make its utmost to resolve long pending collective complaints involving conflicting interests among multiple government agencies or between the public sector and the private sector, or the ones that have repeatedly occurred throughout the country. Efforts will be made to implement a special act for effective and professional mediation on collective complaints.

In 2020, the ACRC will carry out mediation on a collective complaint over property rights for ownerless lands laid inside the Civilian Control Line in Haean-myeon, Yanggu-gun, Gangwon-do, which were redeemed during the Korean War and have been farmed for the past 60 years since then.

The ACRC will resolve collective complaints related to school routs that force students to walk on car roads because there is no sidewalk or utility poles stand in the way. The Commission, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Korea Electric Power Corporation, will resolve the cases, securing safety for children.

The ACRC will expand efforts to reach out to people and resolve complaints as well.

The ACRC will launch a project to make onsite visits to all of the local areas (243) at least once a year through the Onsite Outreach Program, Onsite Business Grievance Meeting, and Onsite Mediation. This project will help the ACRC listen and resolve grievances of citizens who have little access to complaint handling services or those on the blind spots of government welfare services. Difficulties of small and medium sized companies will be resolved as well.

The ACRC will also launch a project to resolve grievances of small businesses in traditional markets located in tourist areas. Grievances heard through this project will be used to link tourist sites to traditional markets, finding ways to contribute to economic growth in local areas.

<How does the project work?>

(1stPhase)

 

(2ndPhase)

 

(3rdPhase)

 

(4thPhase)

Analyzing complaints of businesses in traditional markets nationwide

Onsite inspection on traditional markets in major tourist areas

Presenting mutually beneficial solutions for both businesses and related authorities, finding ways to revitalize local economy

Resolving grievances of SMEs and spreading success cases nationwide

Through the Government Complaints Counseling Center and Government Call 110, the ACRC will push forward to relieve grievances of citizens with no one left.

The Government Complaints Counseling Center consults complaints involving multiple agencies accurately and in a swift manner at one place, greatly enhancing conveniences for citizens in using complaint-handling services.

Government Call 110 will be updated through AI technologies to AI Intelligent Comprehensive Call Center.

The ACRC will strengthen problem-solving capacities of local areas through cooperation-based complaint- handling.

In order to swiftly resolve complaints and conflicts in local areas, support will be expanded to local governments in launching and operating local ombudsman offices which are currently operated by 39 local governments.

In addition, the ACRC will launch a project to engage more young people in problem-solving in their region through People’s Idea Box by encouraging universities to make more use of People’s Idea Box.

<How does the project work?>

Selecting task

Engaging activities on/off line

Presenting policy alternatives

󰋻Take the stock of daily life tasks for improvement and the complaint statistics

󰋻Fact-finding survey, expert interviews

󰋻Discussion to get collective wisdom through People’s Idea Box

󰋻Reflecting activities in policies through cooperation with relevant authorities local governments

 

4. Voices of People to used in policies

The ACRC will expand citizen participation in the entire policy life cycle from policy-making, to policy enforcement, and to monitoring

First, using AI technologies, e-People will automatically show the similar cases with the complaints being filed, thereby enabling the resolution of simple inconveniences and inquiries on the spot. Filed complaints will be assigned to handling divisions automatically, not manually, reducing handling time.

People’s Idea Box will become smarter as well. Using intelligent technologies which analyze user preferences, the system will recommend agenda of interest to users. It will also display policies which reflected citizens’ ideas, showing that citizens’ proposals were actually reflected in government policies.

Advanced Complaint Information Analysis System will allow for swift capturing and analyzing social issues closely related to people’s daily life such as daily life unfairness and work/care-taking/housing issues. Based on this analysis, the ACRC will provide trusted policy responses. “Complaint Big Data at a Glance” will be improved to disclose various complaint analysis data.

This year, the ACRC will spare no effort to support government wide efforts for fair and inclusive society through its goal of accomplishing anti-corruption/fairness reform with citizens and reliving civil grievances to the fullest.