Nearly 40 pct of civilian workers think power abuse in public sector is severe: report

SEOUL, Nearly 40 percent of civilian workers said that abuse of power, better known as "gapjil" in Korean, is severe in the public sector, a report from a local research center showed Wednesday.

According to a report by the Korea Institute of Public Administration, 34.05 percent of workers in the private sector said that "gapjil" in the public area is severe, while 5.24 percent answered that such misconduct is very severe.

Only 14.76 percent of public institution workers said gapjil is severe, showing a big discrepancy in views on power abuse.

Asked why they think it's severe, 48.94 percent of private sector workers said because they had experienced such power abuse in public institutions.

More than 20 percent of civilian workers said the public institutions' abuse of power mostly happens in budget-related works, while 19.95 percent said it occurs in areas like audit and investigation.

On the other hand, 23.85 percent of public sector workers said gapjil mostly occurs in audit and investigation area, while 22.52 percent said it happens in seeking license or permission for projects.

Asked about the type of abuses they experienced or heard about, 54.09 percent of public sector workers answered delaying or disapproving licenses for no reason, while 20.22 percent of private sector workers said asking for personal or undue favors.

More than 80 percent of survey respondents said they just tolerated gapjil. Asked why they sat back, 33.61 percent said they wanted to maintain a good relationship with their counterparts, while 22.5 percent said they had no other solutions and 22.08 percent answered that they were afraid of being disadvantaged if they were to fight back.

For the reason behind gapjil culture, 51.6 percent blamed the bureaucratic culture that emphasizes a person's ranks and grades.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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