Seoul ranked the most transparent city for 2nd straight year
High scores were received in giving all officials motivation and managing their achievements
Haechi is a mythical animal representing justice and integrity and is the symbol of Seoul City. Like a dragon and a phoenix, the Haechi is a legendary animal that is said to but, with the horn on its forehead, anyone who receives a graft payment or does anything unfair. In front of the Seoul City Hall, there is a statue of the Haechi, and while the statue is there because it is the symbol of Seoul, it also highlights the city’s campaign against corruption.
Seoul City encourages all of its officials to wear the Haechi badge. Also, the city has introduced a zero-tolerance system against corruption, named ‘One Strike, You’re Out.’ Under the system, city officials involved in a corruption case will be fired regardless of the amount of money they received or their rank (job title or position).
Helped by such efforts, Seoul City was ranked top in the 2009 evaluation of anti-corruption efforts of 16 self-governing cities and provinces, conducted by the Anti-Corruption & Human Rights Commission. The evaluation result was released on Jan. 22.
Implementations of ‘One Strike, You’re Out’ system, dedicated services for civil affairs
One of most eye-catching anti-corruption efforts by Seoul City is the ‘One Strike, You’re Out’ system. The system requires an official who has pocketed any money from public funds(even if the amount is less than 1 million won [US$859]), asked for graft or lavish entertainment, regularly brokered bribes or conducted his or her work in an illegal way, to be immediately dismissed from his or her post.
For stricter punishment, the official involved in a corruption case will be permanently banned from taking a job at city-funded or city-affiliated institutions. In addition, Seoul City is monitoring the level of integrity for its officials and operating the 120 Dasan Call Center to improve the quality of public services. The city is also making major efforts to increase citizens’ satisfaction in public services by developing a system to gauge how fast civil-affair services are processed.