Five years after its inception, the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission has become the nation’s most satisfactory public agency thanks to its strenuous efforts to improve services and find solutions to citizens’ complaints.
The ACRC was established in 2008 by combining three state organizations ― the Ombudsman of Korea, the Independent Commission against Corruption and the Administrative Appeals Commission.
It has continued to innovate its services anchored in its “field-oriented” approach to address people’s grievances.
“Illogical elements of regulations that lead to difficulties, corruption and administrative appeals are removed by improving the regulations,” the ACRC said.
“Under the principle that the answer is at the site, mobile sinmungo, and on-site modifications are operated.”
Sinmungo refers to a drum introduced during the Joseon Dynasty (1392―1897) that was used to lodge complaints.
By introducing innovative systems, the ACRC increased the number of complaints processed last year to more than 58,000 from about 46,000 in 2007 despite the number of staff being reduced by 60 over the same period.
The time taken to process each complaint has also been lowered to 14 days from the 32 days recorded in 2007.
Along with the increase in the number of cases processed, the ACRC has significantly improved the quality of its services.
In the 2012 government assessment, the ACRC ranked at the top among government agencies in terms of satisfaction. The assessment also showed that more than 85 percent of cases processed by the commission were considered satisfactory. In comparison, the satisfaction figure came in at 66 percent in 2008.
Such efforts have also earned the ACRC international recognition.
Last year, the ACRC’s Integrity Assessment system was awarded the top prize in the U.N. Public Service Award’s anti-corruption category.
Under the system, the ACRC surveys a large number of civil servants and members of the public lodging complaints to assess the level of integrity at government organizations.
Since the system was introduced in 2002, the ACRC has increased the number of organizations assessed to 662. It has also carried out follow-up investigations and draws up measures regarding criteria and organizations that are shown to have low integrity.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org