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Both Changed and Total Amount of Property Must Be Reported

Both Changed and Total Amount of Property Must Be Reported

Posted March. 06, 2005 22:32,   


The current way in which government officials declare property, which only covers changed amounts of property, will be replaced with a new way that includes both the changed amount and the total amount starting next year

Officials also must report their property in form of a balance sheet that arranges assets (such as buildings, lands, and cash) and debt (such as bank loan, and deposit) in accordance with items, so that one can see the source of their building property and any property changes thereafter without difficulties.

The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs said yesterday that it will introduce a bill for the improved way of government officials’ declaring property, which will come into effect starting next year after going though a revision process of related laws.

According to the bill, the standard date of property declarations will shift from December 31 to March 31.

This measure focuses on two things: transparency and simplicity. The bill makes it mandatory that both the total amount and the changed amount of property— including lands, buildings, cash, and like—is reported item by item, which aims to help one see not only the increase and decrease of the property, but also the sources from which the property comes and for what purposes the property is consumed.

The spouses and offspring of officials will also subjected to the same process when they report their property.

However, the process of reporting property and defending suspicions in court will be much simpler than it is now.

For example, under the current system, people must present documentary evidence even on a 1,000 won dormant bank account. However, the new system allows them to just report changed amounts of real estate, financial assets, stock, and the like

The new system is limited to some extent, however. Even though, compared to the existing system, one can easily see any change in government officials’ property, allowing only a declaration period—one year on average—for questioning still puts limits on any investigation of property building before the declaration period

There is also possibility of wrongful declarations because bonds and liabilities are hardly traceable online unlike real estate, financial assets and stocks.

Jong-Dae Ha orionha@donga.com