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Government mafia banning law
JUNE 24, 2014 06:50  
Public Service Ethics Law stipulates that retired high-ranking civil servants apply for a new job at a company should receive job screening by the government`s public service ethics committee. Yet data analysis of the Security and Public Administration Ministry, which was released by Rep. Jun Sun-mi of New Politics Alliance for Democracy, shows only half of civil servants are abiding by the law. The number of people who got a job without getting job screening is 684 since 2009, accounting for 46.4 percent of retired civil servants during the same period.

Such a low rate is perhaps due to absence of penalty? Public Service Ethics Law was revised in 2011 to impose penalty on these arbitrary employees. However, there have been only 34 cases of penalty imposition among 227 arbitrary employees since 2011. There has been a blind eye. The reason was that they were unintentional or for livelihood. Since there is little disadvantage when caught, retired government officials don`t fear not abiding by the obligation of job screening. It has been rampant for retired officials to live a second life thanks to the so-called "government mafia."

The National Assembly works on revising the act that bans parliament members from being reemployed at related institutions for four years. Leading Saenuri Party Rep Chung Byung-kuk is pushing for it. He is one of the three Saenuri Party reform-oriented members along with Won Hee-ryong, governor of Jeju. Chung failed at the party candidate competition for June 4 local elections for Gyeonggi Province, but is spearheading parliament reform. Chung said, "Party members should self-regulate against the so-called parachute employment at state-run institutions in order to justify the creation of a bill that eradicates government mafia.

The people obligated for screening will be limited to institutions under the government or public institutions including state-owned companies. There is possibility of excessive regulation if retired lawmakers who have non-regular position, different from retired government officials who have approval rights, are screened in getting a job. However, fellow party members are hesitating to tie bell to the cat, and thus it remains in question whether agreement signing by 10 members, which is the requirement to take the bill to table, will be made. If the government mafia bill is tabled and passes the parliament, the public will trust the National Assembly in the wake of the ferry disaster.

Editorial Writer Park Seong-won (swpark@donga.com)

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