A personnel vetting unit under the justice ministry officially went into operation Tuesday, taking over the role of looking into the qualifications of senior position candidates from the presidential office, officials said.
Following up on his campaign promise, President Yoon Suk-yeol abolished the office of the presidential senior civil affairs secretary that had been in charge of vetting candidates for Cabinet seats and other senior government jobs amid illegal surveillance accusations.
Instead, the justice ministry launched the "personnel information management team" to take over the role.
According to ministry officials, the team is staffed with 17 officials dispatched from the defense, education and personnel management ministries as well as the national police, intelligence and tax agencies, including chief of the team Park Hang-yeol.
Park is considered an expert on personnel management, spending most of his career at the ministry of personnel management. Before assuming the new post, he was an official of the National Human Resources Development Institute.
The team will be mainly responsible for preliminary personnel vetting, looking into qualifications of candidates shortlisted by the presidential personnel recommendation committee and relaying the results to the presidential secretary for public office discipline.
In an arrangement designed to guarantee its independence, the team will not make interim reports to the justice minister, the officials said.
The new body's first mission is expected to be vetting candidates for national police chief. (Yonhap)