Posted February. 24, 2005 22:43,
It was revealed that certain national assembly members have handed over materials for the inspection of state affairs to organizations related to the agency under inspection. Assemblywoman Choi Soon-young (Democratic Labor Pary) and Assemblyman Bok Ki-wang (Uri Party) of the National Assemblys Education Committee reportedly sent the truckload of materials they received from the Gyeongsangbuk-do Office of Education to the Korea Teachers & Educational Workers Union (KTEWU) and the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU) Gyeongsangbuk-do Educational Administrative Organs Branch for analysis. One cannot help but question the character and sagacity of Choi and Bok when theyve delegated enough work to paralyze administrative operations to institutions outside the National Assembly.
Choi and Bok explained that they had entrusted the work of analysis to professional organizations since the massive amount of materials made it difficult to conduct an internal examination of their contents. But such a remark only undermines the Education Committees own expertise and credentials. Moreover, since the teachers and civil servants in KTEWU and KGEU have affiliations with the Gyeongsangbuk-do Office of Education, the agency under inspection, it would constitute a violation of positive law for them to undertake the analysis of inspection materials. The law on government inspection and auditing specifies that organizations affiliated with the subject of inspection cannot assist in inspection procedures.
Of course, it is only proper that National Assembly members expose the corruption or dishonesty of a government agency under audit. There will have to be a thorough investigation into the backhanded auctioning and purchasing of education equipment revealed in the data provided by the Gyeongsangbuk-do Office of Education. But this would hardly warrant the violation of laws by the very people responsible for enforcing those laws. The analysis of inspection materials must be conducted according to strictly legal criteria.
Furthermore, these materials allegedly contain detailed personal information on various civil servants and businessmen, including their resident registration numbers. Even if the materials in question are to be used for government inspections, the arbitrary disclosure of personal information cannot be tolerated. Its hard to shake the impression that the Democratic Labor Party has not been able to abandon their former activist behavior even after advancing into the government.
Choi and Bok must thoroughly account for their recent actions and take responsibility when it arises. An investigation on the level of the National Assemblys Special Committee on Ethics must take place, along with the institution of measures for preventing a repeat of such questionable proceedings.