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Harsh Crackdown Is Expected After Inauguration of New Government

Harsh Crackdown Is Expected After Inauguration of New Government

Posted January. 23, 2003 22:27,   


The government has decided on Thursday to eradicate corruption involving senior public servants first thing after the new government’s inauguration.

On that day officials from government offices for audit and inspection, such as the Board of Audit and Inspection, the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, and the Presidential Commission on Anti-corruption, participated in a debate on a "corruption-free society," which was presided over by the President-elect, Roh Moo-hyun. They have reached agreement on crackdown on corruption cases involving low-ranking government officials and state-run companies as well as those of high-ranking officials.

In addition, they are set to make strict investigations into company-related corruption cases, while reducing the possibility of corruption by pushing ahead with decentralization. They will also introduce a citizens’ ombudsman system as an institutional device to guard against corruption and irregularities, and guarantee inside whistle blowers their positions and increase the amount of the compensation money.

At the meeting, meanwhile, the President-elect ordered Shim Sang-myung, minister of justice to conduct an investigation into the allegations of the Kim Dae-jung government having bribed Pyongyang with 400 billion won with a clear conscience and to be aggressive in the investigation with preparedness for receiving the examination by an independent counsel.

The minister replied that they would conduct the investigation based on principles without political consideration.

With respect to reform within the government, Mr. Roh said, "The transition team’s remarks that there will be no reorganization of the administration are being interpreted as going through no organizational reform. It is not the case. After I take office in February, I will start reform if necessary." He added that an administration reform committee would be set up come what may.

Then he continued, "Administrative reform should be done, but it will not be done by an outside force, like a surgeon performing an operation. Of course, what should be cut out will be cut out. But it doesn’t mean a decrease in its workforce. Rather, the administration should create new jobs for itself, thereby achieving a creative reform."

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com