The National Election Commission Refuses Audit by Board of Audit and Inspection over Hiring Controversy

Election Commission “not subject to job inspection”
Board of Audit and Inspection “It is not included in the ‘exception’ in the law
Recruitment controversy is not even ‘election job’”
Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission “exclusion of the Election Commission, investigation of former and incumbents”
Kim Ki-hyeon “Reign above the Constitution… not acceptable”

The National Election Commission, which was embroiled in controversy over the preferential hiring of children of high-ranking officials, refused an audit by the Board of Audit and Inspection on the grounds of ‘constitutional independence’. On the other hand, the Board of Audit and Inspection refuted that there was no problem in conducting the audit, not the ‘election job’. The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission launched an independent investigation excluding the National Election Commission, and the ruling and opposition parties began discussions to pursue a National Assembly investigation.

An official from the National Election Commission announced on the 1st, “The National Election Commission is not subject to inspection by the Board of Audit and Inspection.” Audits by the Board of Audit and Inspection are divided into accounting inspections, which look into whether institutions have properly spent the state budget, and job inspections of institutional affairs and duties. The National Election Commission is in the position that it receives regular accounting inspections from the Board of Audit and Inspection, but it cannot receive job inspections that may infringe on independence. The National Election Commission also refused to inspect the duties of the Board of Audit and Inspection during the controversy over the ‘strain voting’ that arose during the pre-voting last year.

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An official from the National Election Commission said, “We can receive investigations by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, investigations by investigative agencies, and parliamentary investigations that have legal grounds, but it is difficult to receive job inspections by the Board of Audit and Inspection without grounds.” The NEC will hold a meeting on the 2nd to discuss countermeasures.

Regarding this, an official from the Board of Audit and Inspection refuted, saying, “There is no problem with the Election Commission’s job inspection because the Election Commission was not recognized as an exception to the job inspection target under the Board of Audit and Inspection Act.” According to Article 24, Paragraph 3 of the Board of Audit and Inspection Act, public officials who can be excluded from duty inspections are those belonging to the National Assembly, courts, and the Constitutional Court.

In response to the NEC’s refusal to thank, Kim Ki-hyun, representative of People’s Power, criticized the day as “absurd.” Representative Kim pointed out, “It is unacceptable if the National Election Commission reigns as if it is an institution that exists above the constitution even in general administrative affairs such as employment succession.”

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission decided to form a dedicated investigation team and conduct a full-on investigation. We plan to conduct an intensive investigation for one month until the 30th. We have already received some related data from the National Election Commission, and if the investigation is insufficient, we plan to extend the investigation period.

Jeong Seung-yoon, vice chairman of the ACRC, said in a briefing that day, “We will form a dedicated recruitment investigation team with professionals who have extensive experience in recruiting corruption investigations and conduct a full enumeration investigation.” He explained, “It is difficult to gain public trust with a joint investigation involving the National Election Commission.” The scope of the investigation is to investigate all former and current public officials of the Election Commission involved in addition to the four executives involved in the suspicion of hiring children, including Secretary General Park Chan-jin, Deputy Secretary-General Song Bong-seop, Jeju Standing Committee member Shin Woo-yong, and Gyeongnam General Affairs Manager Kim Jeong-gyu. Kim Se-hwan, former secretary-general of the National Election Commission, who was acquitted by the police, is also under investigation.

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The National Assembly also started consultations on the government investigation. Along with the power of the people, the Democratic Party started discussing the state affairs investigation by operating the channel of the chief deputy representative in the hospital on this day. The two sides formed a consensus on the need for a parliamentary investigation, and decided to continue further discussions on the subject and period of the investigation.

Reporters Son Ji-eun, Ha Jong-hoon, and Lee Hyeon-jeong

2023-06-01 15:50:48
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