[EDITORIALS]Ask the right questions

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[EDITORIALS]Ask the right questions

The National Assembly opened its hearing on Jeon Yun-chul, who was named chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection by the president. Unlike the hearing held last month for Yoon Sung-sig, another candidate for the post, the questions for Mr. Jeon are focused more on whether he has the moral and political neutrality required for the post. It’s a welcome development ― the standard of the Assembly’s inspection should improve with each hearing.
But some Assemblymen’s request for specific materials make us question their objectives and the purpose of the hearing. For example, a committee member demanded records from primary, middle and high schools for not only Mr. Jeon, but his spouse, son and daughter-in-law as well. We are puzzled as to how the school records of family members are connected to the chief auditor’s duties. Moreover, it was included in the list of materials requested for the Assembly’s special committee to the government.
Apart from the criticism that the request violates the candidate’s privacy, this case demonstrates just how underqualified the Assemblymen are. During hearings on Mr. Yoon, a committee member made an insulting inquiry into his school record, arousing strong public reaction.
The Assembly hearing is for deciding whether a candidate is suitable for the post. Accordingly, it must focus on determining whether the candidate has the professional knowledge and qualifications needed; whether he is equipped with proper moral standards; and whether he has had any past experience that can be detrimental to his new public duty. Even if it is necessary to examine a candidate’s life overall, we cannot allow the Assembly to violate the privacy of a candidate’s family members.
When the Assembly inspects the would-be chief auditor, it should question why our audit inspection system fails to eradicate chronic corruption among civil servants and why we need an additional inspection department such as the Anti-corruption Commission. The Assembly must work hard to establish a desirable hearing system.
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