Corruption detected in all 16 offices of education

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Corruption detected in all 16 offices of education

Civil servants from all 16 regional education offices nationwide were found to have accepted money or other goods from visitors, according to a survey by the Anti-corruption and Civil Rights Commission.

“We see that most of the people who gave money or gifts to civil servants have related businesses [to the education sector] including school meal manufacturers, school facilities companies among others,” said a high-level official at ACRC.

The ACRC survey was conducted of around 200 civil servants from the nation’s education offices between July 2008 and June 2009.

In the past, the results of this survey have not been announced publicly. However, Grand National Party lawmaker Kwon Young-jin, also a member of the Education, Science and Technology Committee of the National Assembly, received the results in a report on Thursday.

Over the course of a year, the Daegu education office received the most money and gifts, totaling around 5.1 million won ($4,520) over the course of five or six interactions. The second highest amount, about 4.3 million won - was given to the Seoul education office over six or seven occasions. Visitors gave the North Chungcheong office 3.8 million won, the Gangwon office 2.6 million won and the Incheon office 1.7 million won. Upon revealing the results of the survey, Kwon said that in the midst of various corruption cases being investigated in the education sector, transparency should be the utmost priority. “We have witnessed the reality of education civil servants, who should be the most upright of all employees,” he said. “A strong policy [to prevent further corruption] is needed.”


By Kim Sung-tak [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]

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