Posted October. 28, 2008 09:12,
Twenty-four of 92 employees on the Patriots and Veterans Affairs Ministrys meritorious persons list are frauds, the results of a reinvestigation said yesterday.
A high-ranking official in his 60s who has worked for the ministry for 35 years was found to have been put on the list after suffering a back injury while sorting documents and diagnosed with a lumbar disc disease.
A commission consisting of external panels comprising doctors and lawyers began a reinvestigation in November last year and disqualified him from the list after finding he had a degenerative illness.
Holding books is not serious enough to cause lumbar disc disease and his disease is considered degenerative, it said.
A government official also received benefits after claiming he got injured while preparing for a hiking event held by the central government. He was found to have been injured while hiking with his club in April 2004.
The official lost an administrative lawsuit over work-related injuries in 2005, and his qualification as a national meritorious person was canceled.
Another official was put on the list after being in a car accident on a business trip 10 years ago, but he was disqualified after being found to have crossed the median on the road.
The ministry, however, did not disclose the names of former and current staff except former director Jeong Il-gwon, and decided not to recollect college subsidies given to their children, claiming no violation or corruption was found in the process.
Officials who wasted taxpayers money by exploiting loopholes in the screening and registration process of national meritorious persons, however, have faced criticism.