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Republic of Korea

Public-Private Anti-Corruption System (KR0036)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Republic of Korea Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: NGO & Business Cooperation Division, Anti-corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC)

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption, Anti-Corruption Institutions, Private Sector, Public Participation, Regulatory Governance, Social Accountability

IRM Review

IRM Report: Republic of Korea Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Establishment of a Public-Private Partnership Anti-Corruption System
Commitment Start and End Date September 1, 2018 ~ August 31, 2020
Lead Implementing Agency/Actor
NGO & Business Cooperation Division, Anti-corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC)
Commitment Description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
In the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International, Korea ranked 51st out of the 180 countries surveyed, with a score of 54 out of 100 points, and among OECD countries, Korea ranked 29th out of 35 countries, showing a low level of national transparency despite policy measures carried out by the government including introducing the financial disclosure system of public servants, strengthening the code of conduct for public servants, and enacting and enforcing the anti-graft law. Korea’s anti-corruption policies have primarily focused on eradicating the public servants’ corruption and strengthening punishment; therefore, they led to the public servants’ negligence and indifference which in turn made the public to lose confidence in them. The public sphere is not the only sector that is prone to corruption; yet, the government’s anti-corruption policies have excessively targeted the public servants while corruption in other areas have been overlooked. Consequently, a new way of approaching anti-corruption involving multi-stakeholders is needed instead of the government-led effort. With this in mind, the Moon administration laid out a variety of alternative anti-corruption policy measures and adopted ‘the establishment of a public-private partnership anti-corruption system involving the government and citizens’ as a policy task
What is the commitment?
The purpose of this commitment is to establish a sustainable, anti-corruption governance system with public participation. To do so, a public-private sector cooperation body that reflects the public’s opinions in policies and continues to carry out anti-corruption policies should be created and operated; a system that allows the public to participate in anti-corruption policies and communicate should be created; a national campaign for a transparent society should be carried out. In carrying out anticorruption policies, public-private governance and public participation will be actually made possible through implementing this commitment, and the public’s appreciation on anti-corruption policies and the level of integrity throughout society will ultimately grow.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?
The following are specific ways to implement the commitment: 1) a committee for public-private partnership against corruption involving representatives from the public sector, economy, function, civil society, academia and press should be created and participate in the process of proposal, inspection and assessment of anti-corruption policies. 2) ‘The public monitor panel for transparent policies’ should be created and operated to reexamine comprehensive anti-corruption measures and important measures of each department that have a big impact with the public, from the public’s point of view; also, the People’s Idea Box, an olnine platform for policy proposals, should be used to promote the public’s participation such as evaluating anti-corruption and transparent policies. 3) ’The Transparent Society Agreement’ should be made at all levels of society by function and region so that the transparent culture can be spread.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
Citizen Participation / Anti-corruption
Exchange and Peer Learning
N/A
Additional Information
It is a key part of the government’s policy tasks (Task 2: To carry out anti-corruption reform for a corruption-free Korea) and is included in the ‘Five-year comprehensive anti-corruption plan’
Milestone Activity with a Verifiable Deliverable
Finding anti-corruption policy agenda through a public-private partnership committee for a transparent society
The public monitering on transparent policies
Finding and discussing anti-corruption policies by using the ‘People’s Idea Box’ at all times
Supporting the signing of the transparent society agreement per function and region and collaborating with relevant parties
Reflecting the outcome of the public monitoring on transparent initiatives to policies
Name of Responsible Person from Implementing Agency
Hyeon-min, Choi
Title, Division
Deputy Director, NGO & Business Cooperation Division
Email and Phone
samaguya@korea.kr, +82-44-200-7162
Other Actors Involved, State Actors Involved
N/A

IRM Midterm Status Summary

1. Establishing a Public-Private Partnership Anti-Corruption System

Commitment Text:

"Establishment of a Public-Private Partnership Anti-Corruption System"

The purpose of this commitment is to establish a sustainable, anti-corruption governance system with public participation. To do so, a public-private sector cooperation body that reflects the public's opinions in policies and continues to carry out anti-corruption policies should be created and operated; a system that allows the public to participate in anti-corruption policies and communicate should be created; a national campaign for a transparent society should be carried out. In carrying out anticorruption policies, public-private governance and public participation will be actually made possible through implementing this commitment, and the public's appreciation on anti-corruption policies and the level of integrity throughout society will ultimately grow.

The following are specific ways to implement the commitment:

1) A committee for public-private partnership against corruption involving representatives from the public sector, economy, function, civil society, academia and press should be created and participate in the process of proposal, inspection and assessment of anti-corruption policies.

2) 'The public monitor panel for transparent policies' should be created and operated to reexamine comprehensive anti-corruption measures and important measures of each department that have a big impact with the public, from the public's point of view; also, the People's Idea Box, an online platform for policy proposals, should be used to promote the public's participation such as evaluating anti-corruption and transparent policies.

3) 'The Transparent Society Agreement' should be made at all levels of society by function and region so that the transparent culture can be spread.

Milestones:

  • Finding anti-corruption policy agenda through a public-private partnership committee for a transparent society
  • The public monitoring on transparent policies
  • Finding and discussing anti-corruption policies by using the 'People's Idea Box' at all times
  • Supporting the signing of the transparent society agreement per function and region and collaborating with relevant parties
  • Reflecting the outcome of the public monitoring on transparent initiatives to policies

Start Date: September 1, 2018 End Date: To be continued

Editorial Note: For the full text of the commitment, please see Korea's 4th National Action Plan 2018-2020 at https://bit.ly/2JvQr98.

Commitment Overview

Verifiability

OGP Value Relevance (as written)

Potential Impact

Completion

Did It Open Government?

Not specific enough to be verifiable

Specific enough to be verifiable

Access to Information

Civic Participation

Public Accountability

Technology & Innovation for Transparency & Accountability

None

Minor

Moderate

Transformative

Not Started

Limited

Substantial

Completed

Worsened

Did Not Change

Marginal

Major

Outstanding

1. Overall

Assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.

Assessed at the end of the action plan cycle.

Context and Objectives

The purpose of this commitment is to reform the anticorruption system by increasing public participation. This will be achieved through a range of complementary initiatives including the formation of a public-private partnership committee against corruption, the creation of a public monitoring panel to review anticorruption measures, and the signing of a "transparent society agreement" to build a culture of transparency at all levels of society. The government considers anticorruption reform a priority and has included this commitment in its five-year comprehensive anticorruption plan.

The prosecution of former presidents, Park Geun-Hye and Lee Myung-bak, for corruption revealed the existence of corruption in South Korea. [1] In 2018, according to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, South Korea scored 57 out of 100, reflecting a public perception of moderate levels of corruption in the state sector. [2] This is despite numerous efforts by the government to tackle corruption, including disclosing finances of high-ranking public officials, introducing an anti-graft law, and other anti-corruption policies.

Through this commitment, according to the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC), the multistakeholder committee will be mandated with setting the overall agenda for anticorruption in South Korea and proposing related reforms. [3] According to regulations introduced preceding the formulation of this commitment, the committee will include representatives from government, civil society, media, academia, public interest groups, and the private sector. The public monitoring panel, on the other hand, will comprise of citizen stakeholders with a particular interest in eradicating corruption and promoting integrity. This voluntary, representative group, selected from a pool of applicants by the ACRC, will be regularly consulted by the ACRC on the effectiveness of anticorruption and integrity policies. [4]

Although the establishment of a public-private committee, the creation of a public monitoring panel, and the utilization of the online platform are generally verifiable activities, most of the milestones under this commitment lack specificity. For instance, the roles and purview of the committee and panel are not specified in the commitment text and there is little clarity as to how the government will promote the online platform. The government confirmed, however, that People's Idea Box [5] is an online platform, which has been actively utilized by citizens. [6] The milestones also do not propose an end date and thus largely serve to reflect a broad, yet vague, commitment to anticorruption reform in the country.

This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation as it introduces opportunities for citizens to participate in and inform anticorruption policymaking. These include the establishment of a multistakeholder committee to propose, inspect, and assess anticorruption policies; the operation of the public monitoring panel to monitor and provide feedback on the effectiveness of such policies; and the utilization of the People's Idea Box, [7] an online platform for citizens to submit policy proposals.

At the time this commitment was designed, the public had limited opportunity to participate meaningfully in shaping or implementing anticorruption policies. According to Transparency International, the channels for citizens and civil society to participate in policy-making processes largely consisted of providing comments or proposals. [8] For instance, the pre-existing People's Idea Box was receiving policy proposals, including those relating to anticorruption. [9] However, it was unclear whether these proposals regularly informed decision-making.

This commitment stands to have moderate potential impact on increasing citizen participation in anticorruption reform. The operation of the multistakeholder committee and the public monitoring panel will build on pre-existing modest citizen participation in anticorruption, by allowing citizens to direct the policy agenda and monitor its implementation. [10] The continued operation, and potential expansion, of the People's Idea Box will supplement these efforts and continue to provide citizens a reliable channel to submit policy proposals for consideration. In addition, the transparent society agreement, although not legally binding, intends to go beyond being a one-time declarative act, to bring together a network of stakeholders committed to combat corruption. [11]

While these initiatives represent important steps forward in strengthening citizen participation in anticorruption efforts, the limited specificity of several milestones inhibits a full assessment of the commitment's potential impact. The limited clarity on the scope of the multistakeholder committee in proposing reforms and on the extent to which the public monitoring panel can influence decision-making, for instance, has direct bearing on whether this commitment will lead to a significant change in the status quo. It is also pertinent to note in this context that some milestones (1.1 - 1.3) included under this commitment were completed prior to its introduction.

Next steps

While this commitment proposes a number of potentially promising measures to increase public participation in anticorruption efforts, a lack of specificity pertaining to the nature and scope of these measures limit a thorough assessment of potential impact.

If this commitment is carried forward in future action plans, the IRM recommends introducing more specific and measurable milestones, with particular focus on initiatives that clearly point to the role of the multistakeholder council and public monitoring panel in influencing decision-making.

[1] Benjamin Haas, "Former South Korean president jailed for 15 years for corruption" (The Guardian, 5 Oct. 2018), https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/05/south-korean-president-jailed-15-years-corruption-lee-myung-bak.
[2] Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index (2018), https://www.transparency.org/cpi2018.
[3] Korean Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, "Promoting Public-Private Partnership" (accessed Jul. 2020), http://www.acrc.go.kr/en/board.do?command=searchDetail&method=searchList&menuId=02031605.
[4] Id.
[5] Korean Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, "e-People (www.epeople.go.kr)" (accessed Jul. 2020), http://www.acrc.go.kr/en/board.do?command=searchDetail&method=searchList&menuId=020208.
[6] Ministry of the Interior and Safety, "Pre-publication comments on draft South Korea IRM Design Report 2018-2020", Independent Reporting Mechanism, July 2020
[7] Korean Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, "e-People (www.epeople.go.kr)" (accessed Jul. 2020), http://www.acrc.go.kr/en/board.do?command=searchDetail&method=searchList&menuId=020208.
[8] Sanghak Lee (Transparency International South Korea), interview by IRM researcher, 3 Jun. 2020.
[9] Korean Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, ACRC Korea Transparency Newsletter (17 May 2018), http://www.acrc.go.kr/en/board.do?command=searchDetailPrint&menuId=020503&boardNum=69734&confId=63.
[10] Lee, interview.
[11] Id.

Commitments

  1. Public-Private Anti-Corruption System

    KR0036, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  2. Management System for Performance Venues

    KR0037, 2018, Access to Information

  3. Real-Name Policy System

    KR0038, 2018, Access to Information

  4. Safety Inspection System

    KR0039, 2018, E-petitions

  5. Public Diplomacy System

    KR0040, 2018, Public Participation

  6. Open Communication Forum

    KR0041, 2018, E-Government

  7. Citizen Participation in Policy-Making

    KR0042, 2018, E-Government

  8. Disclosure of the Amount of Harmful Substance Contained in Foods

    KR0043, 2018, Access to Information

  9. Open Data

    KR0044, 2018, Access to Information

  10. Discosure of Cultural Heritage Resources

    KR0045, 2018, Infrastructure & Transport

  11. Open National Priority Data

    KR0046, 2018, Access to Information

  12. Public Data Qulity Management

    KR0047, 2018, Access to Information

  13. Voluntary Compliance Customs Administration

    KR0048, 2018, Capacity Building

  14. Organization Information Disclosure Online

    KR0022, 2016, Access to Information

  15. Information in Original Form

    KR0023, 2016, Access to Information

  16. Standard Model for Pre-Release Information

    KR0024, 2016, Access to Information

  17. National Data Disclosure

    KR0025, 2016, Access to Information

  18. Public Data Quality Management

    KR0026, 2016, Access to Information

  19. Free Open Format Use

    KR0027, 2016, Access to Information

  20. Open Data Standards

    KR0028, 2016, Access to Information

  21. Citizen Groups Government Service Design

    KR0029, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. e-Government Service Environment

    KR0030, 2016, E-Government

  23. Citizen Service Portals

    KR0031, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Citizen Services Application

    KR0032, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  25. Public Sector Corruption Research

    KR0033, 2016, E-Government

  26. Citizens' Accessibility to ODA Statistics

    KR0034, 2016, Aid

  27. Disclosing Information on International Aids

    KR0035, 2016, Aid

  28. Strengthening Public-Private Collaboration

    KR0017, 2014, E-Government

  29. Providing Customized Services

    KR0018, 2014, Marginalized Communities

  30. Enhancing Information Disclosure

    KR0019, 2014, Access to Information

  31. Strengthening Public Service Ethics

    KR0020, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  32. Encouraging the Private Sector to Utilze Public Data

    KR0021, 2014, Access to Information

  33. Provision of Diverse Public Services

    KR0001, 2012, E-Government

  34. Strengthening Citizens’ Monitoring of Government

    KR0002, 2012, Fiscal Openness

  35. Use e-People to Promote Public Input in Policy Development

    KR0003, 2012, Public Participation

  36. Promote the Proposal System for Receiving Public Input Electronically

    KR0004, 2012, E-Government

  37. Develop a Manual on Consensus Building Among Various Stakeholders

    KR0005, 2012, E-Government

  38. Conduct Field Visits to Interact Directly with Stakeholders

    KR0006, 2012, E-Government

  39. Simplify Online Civil Affairs Application Forms

    KR0007, 2012, E-Government

  40. Refine the Portal to Be More User Friendly

    KR0008, 2012,

  41. Customise Online Services for Business

    KR0009, 2012, Private Sector

  42. Establish an Online Civil Affairs Hub to Provide 24-Hour Services

    KR0010, 2012, E-Government

  43. Disclose Critical Information on Food, Environment, and Education

    KR0011, 2012, E-Government

  44. Engage CSOs on Relevant Information to Be Disclosed

    KR0012, 2012, Public Participation

  45. Strengthen Asset Disclosure for Public Servants

    KR0013, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  46. Monitor Restrictions on Post-Public Employment

    KR0014, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  47. Release Public Information for Private Sector Use on the Data Sharing Portal

    KR0015, 2012, E-Government

  48. Engage Citizens in Administrative and Budget Processes

    KR0016, 2012, E-Government

Open Government Partnership