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Korea ranked 33rd in 2020 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International

Date
17-02-2021
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Korea ranked 33th in 2020 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International

- To become the global top 20s by 2020, Korea will continue its anti-corruption•integrity reform by enhancing trust in government and swiftly enacting Conflict of Interest Act -

 

January 28, 2021

Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission

The Republic of Korea

 

Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission

 

In 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released on January 28 by the Transparency International (TI), Korea earned a record high score of 61 out of the perfect score of 100 and was ranked 33th out of 180 countries and territories, joining the better performing group at the global top 30s.

 

Korea’s score and ranking increased by two points and six notches respectively from 2019. Its ranking rose for the four consecutive years from 52 nd in 2016, 51st in 2017, 45th in 2018, 39th in 2019 and then to 33 th in 2020.

 

Every year, the TI publishes CPI since 1995 which ranks countries by their levels of corruption among public officials/politicians. The index is among the three government innovation indices of the Moon Jae-in administration.

* Three government innovation indices: OECD Better Life Index, OECD Trust in Government Index, and TI’s CPI

Three government innovation indices OECD Better Life Index, OECD Trust in Government Index, and TI CPI

 

Such a big rise may have to do with enhanced national and global recognition of the government’s strong anti-corruption will and efforts from the early days of its launch.

 

They include:▲government-wide corruption response schemes such as the Anti-Corruption Policy Consultative Council for Fair Society and the Private-Public Consultative Council for Transparency Society; ▲effective COVID 19 response through K-quarantine measures, successful hosting of the 19th International Anti-Corruption Council (Dec. 1~4, 2020), etc.; ▲stronger foundation for anti-corruption laws and regulations through establishment of Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials and stable operation of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act; and ▲government-wide measures against daily life corruption, such as removal of hiring irregularities, blocking public fund leakages, and amendment of three childcare center laws.

 

ACRC Chairperson Jeon Hyun-Heui said, “Korea has made a remarkable improvement on CPI, getting a record high score and joining the better performing group at the top 30s. This can be attributable to the government’s anti-corruption reform efforts and achievements so far. Given Korea’s standing in the global community, however, I think that there still remains room for improvement.”

 

She added, “Not complacent on the CPI 2020 results, with a goal of making into the top 20s, the ACRC will accelerate anti-corruption and fairness reform efforts by enhancing trust in government and swiftly enacting Conflict of Interest Act. As a government anti-corruption policy control tower, we will also do our best to spread the culture of integrity and fairness across the whole society in cooperation with relevant ministries and the public.”

 

With an aim to ‘make it to the top 20s by 2022’, the ACRC will focus its capacity on accomplishing the following anti-corruption tasks going forward.

 

1. Strengthening integrity standards for public officials to meet citizens’ heightened expectation

First, the ACRC will do its best to implement the Act on the Conflict of Interest for Public Officials within this year to complete the legislative works required for the anti-corruption and integrity reform efforts it has pursued so far. It will also strengthen regulatory power of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act by adding scholarship student selection to the list of public duties subject to the Act.

In addition, to spread the culture of integrity throughout the entire society, the ACRC will strengthen integrity education for elected officials and high-ranking officials. It will also develop measures to expand integrity education program in elementary and middle school curriculums to enhance integrity awareness among young people.

 

2. Handling corruption in a swift and stringent manner

The ACRC will run an intense reporting period for high ranking public officials’ corruption and then report or transfer the reports of high ranking public officials’ corruption to the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO) and other investigation authorities. An ACRC-CIO cooperation system will be built based on which the ACRC will support the CIO in implementing its internal integrity policies. In addition, to remove systemic corruptions in local areas, a current status inspection will be conducted on local governments for their high risk areas, and countermeasures will be developed based on the inspection results.

 

3. Removing corrupt and unfair practices that undermine trust in government

Intensive efforts will be made to handle business-government collusion, integrity management, and other important business-related tasks that undermine trust in government.

Public opinions on such tasks will be collected through People’s Idea Box, ACRC’s online platform for government-wide policies. And the implementation of the tasks will be assessed by the Government-wide Policy Consultative Council for Fair Society. By doing so, the ACRC will strive to ensure that citizens could actually feel and experience the benefit of improved policies.

 

4. Spreading anti-corruption and fairness culture in the entire society.

Anti-corruption issues of high public interest will be handled in a pre-emptive manner through the Public-Private Consultative Council for Transparent Society, which consists of representatives of various sectors of the society. Plus, in order not to miss the golden hour in protecting reporters, reporter protection system will be enhanced in ways to ‘protect reporters first and review their reports later’, so as to build a safe environment where reporters can report without a fear.