Survey shameIt has been revealed that employees of the Korea Expressway Corporation unlawfully participated in a customer satisfaction survey conducted by the government, thus invalidating the result. Hundreds of Expressway Corporation employees got hold of the survey for customers undertaken at expressway plazas by the Korea Knowledge Association at the request of the Department of Planning and Budget. Of course the Expressway Corporation ranked first in the assessment of government-run corporations’ management. In return for that, all workers of the company received up to 500 percent performance bonuses above their regular pay. Needless to say this is organized crime.
The Korea Independent Commission Against Corruption was notified of this in August 2007, and a police investigation determined that more than 600 of the 1,700 people who answered the survey were workers of the company. What is worse, the employees who filled out the survey were disguised as customers. This proves they were aware of their crime. It is common sense to suspect that there must have been orders from management or collusion among workers for so many people to be mobilized. Because of that, the investigation should extend to the entire company.
Additionally, it is improper that one police station took charge of investigating the crime, considering the seriousness of the situation. Steps must to be taken by the national police agency. A joint investigation by both prosecutors and the police could be an answer. The police intend to bring those responsible to justice, in accord with their investigation. The planning and budget ministry plans to retrieve the bonuses paid to the employees and to interrogate the head of the company, according to a police announcement. Yet the public may not be convinced.
Since these misdeeds became known early this month, the generous reimbursement to the employees has been an outrage to the public. It is good that government-run corporations will be included in the plans of the Board of Audit and Inspection, which is now considering which institutions will be inspected.
We believe the inspection should center on those companies that have become a social issue. It would be reasonable that the outcome of the audit is used as the basis for the new government to restructure and privatize those companies. The executives of some government-run companies have made a mockery of their responsibilities and they no longer deserve respect.