Starting this year, civil servants will be explicitly banned by law from using their status to solicit special treatment from private citizens.
The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission reported its plans for the new year to Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Wednesday, including an outline for a revision to the civil servants' code of conduct to that effect.
Under the current law, people who work for the government are only banned from seeking favors from other public officials, but under the new rule, it'll be illegal for them to make personal demands of ordinary citizens and businesses as well.
For instance, government officials will be prohibited from exploiting their title, status or authority to ask companies to favor their children in hiring or, as often happens, to ask airline staff for a better seat.
The revision also aims to reduce conflicts of interests by limiting an official's right to take on duties concerning his or her close relatives.
Meanwhile, the nation's corruption watchdog says it's open to revising the controversial anti-graft law that took effect last autumn.
Critics say the measure has hurt the local economy by limiting the value of gifts and meals that can be given to people working in key sectors including public officials.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.
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