The OECD Project in Korea shows success in combating corruption – could it work in Cyprus?

FeedbackEncouraging citizen participation in controlling corruption: the example of the Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul has gone to admirable lengths to encourage direct public participation in controlling corruption. For example, there are simple-to-use mechanisms for residents and non-profit organisations to request audits of agencies in the event that a breach of law or other harm to the public interest is suspected.

The city has also made excellent use of Korea’s very high rate of Internet dissemination to craft an online system for handling civic affairs called OPEN (Online Procedures Enhancement for Civil Applications). This project originated with the 1998 announcement of an “all-out war on corruption”. OPEN is applied to 70 different areas of civic administration that are at high risk of misconduct, including taxation, sanitation and construction. By accessing the city’s Internet website, residents can monitor the progress of their applications and other business with the city.

The system discloses the department in charge, the supervisor, contact information, details of the job, the handling process, and related laws and regulations. Seoul’s administration has bolstered the incentives to report suspected cases of corruption by offering financial inducements to residents. These inducements are comprehensive in scope, in that they apply at the city and the gu levels (districts) as well as within the local public enterprises that the city has established or invests in. The potential reward for a substantiated report of corruption varies from KRW 100 000 to KRW 1 million.

At the end of 2003, there were 22 rewards given totalling KRW 5.6 million. The city has also encouraged direct citizen representation in the decision-making process through various oversight committees. By May 2004, there were 43 committees in Seoul with a total of 1,249 members. The committees are set up and operate according to laws and ordinances, and carry out inquiries, reviews and r… (Editor: Robin is this a Korean word?)

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