SEOUL, March 20 (Korea Bizwire) — The government has announced measures to eradicate the deeply rooted problem of illicit hiring of civil servants, and to boost the ratio of women to men in high-ranking positions in the public sector.
Through these initiatives that are part of the plan for “government innovation”, President Moon Jae-in’s administration is aiming to drag South Korea up from its current 29th and 32nd rank on the OECD’s Better Life Index and Trust in Government ranking, respectively, to within the top ten by 2022.
To stamp out the giving and taking of bribes, illicit solicitation and corrupt hiring practices, a “one strike-out policy” that casts out first-time offenders will be implemented in the public sector going forward.
Last year, South Korea ranked 51st in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, a ranking that the government is seeking to improve to 20 or above by 2022.
Also by 2022, the government intends for its “10-20-40 goal for women hires” to translate to women holding 10 percent of high-ranking positions in government institutions, 20 percent of executives in state operated entities and 40 percent of the seats in government committees.
Women currently occupy 6.1 percent of high-ranking positions at government institutions and hold 11.8 percent of executive titles at state operated entities. In government committees, women make up 37.3 percent at the central government level and 30.2 percent in municipalities.
With the #MeToo movement continuing to bring to light varying levels of sexual abuse that have allegedly occurred in a number of industries, the government revealed it is considering having individuals guilty of sexual violence see their employment status “absolutely terminated” depending on the severity of their wrongdoing, and closing the door to directorship and upper leadership positions for those who have been disciplined for sexual harassment.
Abuses of power in the form of “gapjil” — actions by a more powerful or authoritative party that take advantage of the weaker counterpart in a relationship – will also be curbed with disciplinary measures.
The measures are part of a “Comprehensive Roadmap to Government Innovation” that was presented at a government meeting headed by Moon on March 19.