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Blue House to crack down on civil service sleaze

The presidential office has drawn up a list of unethical practices considered common in bureaucracy, such as personal use of official credit cards, and sent it to ministries and agencies as part of efforts to tighten discipline in officialdom, an official said Wednesday.

“There are practices that ministries and agencies have long engaged in from the past but are problematic from the people’s viewpoint,” the official said. “We have drawn up a list of such practices and sent it to each ministry and agency.”

The move is aimed at setting up a preventive system, rather than punishing violators, the official said. The list includes personal use of office credit cards and online stock trading during working hours.

President Lee Myung-bak has called for ending corruption in the government and society as he stepped up his “fair society” campaign ahead of his final year in office. Lee’s term ends in early 2013.

In a related move, Rep. You Won-il of the minor opposition Creative Korea Party said that the number of public officials caught violating the ethics code has been on the sharp rise in recent years.

The lawmaker cited data obtained from the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission.

According to the statistics, the number of ethics code violators rose from 764 in 2008 to 1,089 in 2009 and 1,436 last year. The total number of violations represented a 43 percent rise from the corresponding figures in 2005-2007 under the previous administration. 

(Yonhap News)
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