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Ruling party, gov’t, Blue House to ‘oblige all civil servants to register wealth’

Ruling party, gov’t, Blue House to ‘oblige all civil servants to register wealth’

Posted March. 29, 2021 07:26,   

Updated March. 29, 2021 07:26


The ruling party, the government, and the presidential office have decided to oblige all civil servants to register their wealth, a measure designed to help root out speculations in real estate. They have also decided to push for a bill that will allow for retrospective application of rules on forfeiture of wealth amassed through illegal acts from the past in connection with suspected speculations in land around the sites of Phase 3 New Towns by employees of state-run Korea Land & Housing Corp.

“We will expand people subject to obligatory registration of wealth to include all civil servants,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-gyun said at a high-level consultative meeting of the ruling party, the government and the presidential office on Sunday. Currently, ranking civil servants of Grade 1 or higher are obliged to disclose their wealth every year, but the government plans to expand the scope of civil servants subject to the regulation significantly.”

Kim Tae-nyeon, acting chairman and floor leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, said, “Even under the current law, illegal income from real estate speculations from civil servants is being forfeited, and the government has already been taking the necessary steps to confiscate,” adding, “I would like to make it clear that if we come to find any rooms for further improvement, we will enact a bill to retrospectively apply the rule to seek forfeitures.” The so called “three LH acts” that were passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday last week do not include provisions designed to seek confiscation of income from speculations in land in the sites of Phase 3 New Towns due to controversy over possible unconstitutionality, but the government is now moving to make it possible to confiscate illicit income earned by LH employees.”

Choi In-ho, senior spokesman for the Democratic Party of Korea, said, “The act on forfeiture of illicit wealth from pro-Japanese people and their families make it possible to retrospectively confiscate their wealth,” adding, “There were discussions suggesting that people who earned income through speculations by taking advantage of their positions as civil servants should be considered to be the same as people who committed pro-Japanese, anti-Korean acts (during Japan’s colonial rule of Korea).”

On the proposed bill on prevention of conflict of interest, the ruling party, the government and the presidential office said, “We propose and urge the (main opposition) People’s Power Party to hold a one-point parliamentary plenary session to pass the act.” Measures to root out real estate speculations including the establishment of a real estate transaction analysis board will be confirmed at the consultative meeting of anti-corruption policy, which will be presided over by President Moon Jae-in on Monday.

Hye-Ryung Choi herstory@donga.com