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MBC - Munhwa Broadcasting
May 22, 2013

Silence on PRT civil service discipline controversy

Anchor: South Jeolla province announced that disciplinary action would be taken against officials who did unfaithful dealings of Suncheon bay PRT project. Even though the strength of given action is just a warning, the decision to punish is surrounded by controversy among officials regardless of level.

The detail will be reported by Kim Jinhee.

Kim Jinhee: Finally, South Jeolla province decided that 4 officials, who have been mainly related to Suncheon bay PRT project, would be taken disciplinary action. A 4th grade manager in general administration and two 6th grade officials in facilities management and 5th grade section chief in general administration would receive a public reprimand respectively. According to inspection reports made by the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), they selected POSCO as main partner of the PRT project without proper competition. After that, in order to hide their illegality of open tender, they announced the public notification of project partner selection as if it is fair system. The inspection result said that it was obvious procedural violation.

Kim Jinhee: The council of Suncheon city will give disciplinary action to 4 officials through administrative procedure after receiving an appeal review result from South Jeolla province.

Man on phone: There is a committee in the BAI. Since the committee decided result and informed us, city council cannot help following the result. We have no power to deal with.

Man on phone: However, there has been gossip about imposing the disciplinary action, such that it is too severe for them because they also have contributed to perfect the most expensive project in the city history.

Man on phone: Besides, voices of concern are growing among other officials, that officials may have apathetic attitudes and be likely to avoid risk in order to avoid the reprimand in the future.

Man on phone: If one do work or a project which requires high capital investment or has a high risk of failure, it is easy to be targeted by BAI. Hence, he/she will be likely to receive reprimand compared with other officials who do normal work. Therefore, it is pity that there is no consideration of those circumstances.

Kim Jinhee: The controversy about the Suncheon bay PRT project will be concluded to impose punishment to the officials but it leaves unresolved issues about the fairness of disciplinary action with deep consideration.

Daehan Won of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Washington, provided translation of this article.
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