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Assembly Subpanel Approves Bill on Preventing Public Officials' Conflict of Interest

Write: 2021-04-14 16:27:12Update: 2021-04-14 17:18:35

Assembly Subpanel Approves Bill on Preventing Public Officials' Conflict of Interest

Photo : YONHAP News

A bill that calls for preventing conflict of interest for public officials has passed the first hurdle at a subcommittee of the National Assembly's National Policy Committee.

The passage on Wednesday comes a month after civic groups raised land speculation allegations involving employees of the Korea Land and Housing Corporation or LH. 

A full-blown investigation is currently under way into the scandal.

Rival parties say that the Conflict of Interest Prevention Act will target around one-point-nine million public officials. If family is included, the number could reach five to six million.

However, temporary or contract workers at public organizations won't be included.

Lawmakers also agreed to exclude teachers and journalists from this particular bill but have their conflicts of interest regulated through separate laws governing private schools and the press.

Broadcasters KBS and EBS are known to be subject to the bill as they are categorized as public agencies.

Under the terms, public officials must report incidents of conflicting interest and work to avoid such situations. Senior rank officials should submit their previous work history in the private sector going back three years.

Public officials who used undisclosed information for personal profit can be punished with a maximum three-year sentence or fines of up to 30 million won.

However, the new law will not be applied retroactively.

Rival parties are expected to approve the bill at the committee level and then during the Assembly's plenary session later this month.

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