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Ethics of Public Servants

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As public servants who serve the Korean people, public officials have a duty to practice good faith, kindness and fairness, confidentiality, integrity, and political impartiality. Officials are also prohibited from seeking profit, and taking part in collective action.

Officials who violate their duty may face disciplinary action: a reprimand, pay reduction, suspension, demotion, dismissal, or expulsion, depending on the level of the violation. Monetary sanctions can be imposed in cases of irregularities involving money and valuables.

We also have a system that prevents public officials from illegally obtaining property by using their position, and that ensures the fairness of the execution of official duty.

First, public officials of grade 4 or higher have to register all individual and family property, and high-ranking officials must disclose their property. If an official's property turns out to be falsely registered or omitted, the official can be subject to fines or disciplinary action.

In addition, if an official holds job-related shares worth over 30 million won (approximately USD 30,000), the official has to sell the shares or transfer them into a blind trust. If, however, the shares are determined to be unrelated to an official's job, the official is allowed to hold the shares.

In addition, during the first three years after retirement, public officials of grade 4 or higher cannot get a job at organizations related to agencies that they have worked for over the last five years.