Integrity index finds Land Ministry to be most corrupt

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Integrity index finds Land Ministry to be most corrupt

Jeon Hyun-heui, chairperson of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, announces the results of this year’s Integrity Assessment Wednesday at a briefing in Seoul. [YONHAP]

Jeon Hyun-heui, chairperson of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, announces the results of this year’s Integrity Assessment Wednesday at a briefing in Seoul. [YONHAP]

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport was rated the most corrupt ministry in this year’s integrity index by the country’s anticorruption watchdog.
 
The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) said in a press briefing Wednesday that the overall integrity level of Korea’s public sector in 2020 was 8.27 points on a scale of zero to 10, 0.08 points higher than last year. A higher score means government agencies generally have more integrity. It was the fourth year in a row that the figure rose compared to the previous year.
 
Every year, the ACRC surveys tens of thousands of people who have experience working with public institutions, as well as people who work inside those institutions, to grade their integrity level in what is known as the Integrity Assessment. The ACRC also looks at each institution’s corruption cases, and along with the survey results, individually gives them scores of one out of five.
 
The higher the score, the more corrupt that institution is deemed to be.  
 
This year, the ACRC said a total of 208,152 people were surveyed online or via telephone from August to November for the assessment. A total of 580 public organizations were assessed, including ministries, local government offices and public companies.  
 
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport was the only central administrative organ that received the worst score of five. Last year, it received a score of three.  
 
Statistics Korea and the National Agency for Administrative City Construction were the only central administrative organs that received the best score of one. Statistics Korea has held its score of one for eight consecutive years.  
 
Institutions that received scores of two included the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense, the Rural Development Administration, the Ministry of Manpower Administration, the Ministry of Health and Welfare as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
 
Those that received scores of three included the Ministry of Employment and Labor, the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Korea Customs Service, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Korea Forest Service, the Korea Coast Guard, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Unification and the Korea Meteorological Administration.
 
Scores of four were awarded to the Korean National Police Agency, the National Tax Service, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Interior and Safety as well as the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.  
 
Among 17 metropolitan and provincial government offices in Korea, none received top scores of one, while the Gwangju Metropolitan Government was scored as five, the same as last year.
 
The Seoul Metropolitan Government received a score of two, better than last year’s three. The Incheon Metropolitan Government and the Gyeonggi Provincial Government both scored threes.
 
Among the nation’s city government offices, none received top scores of one, while five were rated the worst score of five: Samcheok in Gangwon; Yongin in Gyeonggi; Gumi, Gimcheon and Yeongju in North Gyeongsang; and Suncheon in South Jeolla.
 
BY LEE SUNG-EUN   [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]
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