Biz Community Spearheads
Transparency Social

By Kim Suk-jung, Director, The Federation of Korean Industries

The trans-parency social agreement to create a clear and transparent advanced society has been concluded. It is very significant because almost all of the elements that make up society became parties to it including the business community, political circles, the public sector and civic groups. The agreement looks as though it will not be a one-time declaration, but a historic step for our society towards becoming an advanced society based solidly on detailed action steps anchored by a permanent office to manage it. The biz community became a sincere party to the agreement with a special expectation and intention and will be a positive force during its implementation process.
The agreement contains provisions that will clear up all kinds of problems in the way for our society's progress. Political circles included in the agreement limiting legislators' privilege of not being arrested during the parliament is in session and putting stop to illegal political slush funds and lobbying, the public sector included making Presidential special amnesty rights more transparent and strengthening ethics of public servants, and civic groups will be more responsible for their actions. The biz community declared that it will strengthen transparency and ethical management in the agreement and it will have try to achieve them as positively as it can so that it will be able to win respect from the people.
In order to reach a positive outcome, we have to double our efforts to strengthen ethical management. We have to expand the establishment of corporate ethical management principles, put our efforts to systematic education and expand the operation of organizations in charge of ethical management to raise the effectiveness of the implementation of ethical management. We also have to draw up a road map to prevent corruption by removing the causes for corruption. Efforts are necessary to improve corrupt practices including irregularities associated with subcontractors actively and voluntarily.
Secondly, efforts are needed to boost corporate accounting transparency. We have to raise independence, neutrality, and professionalism of the audit committee and also strengthen the board of director's duty including the function of accounting audit. At the same time, we have to introduce protective system for corporate informers and try to make it mandatory for CEOs and CFOs to certify public notice documents.
Thirdly, an improved system is needed to improve corporate governance system. We have to try to strengthen professionalism and neutrality of outside directors and have to go all out to set up a system to root out illegal inter-affiliate transactions.
Fourthly, attention should be maintained continuously on corporate social responsibilities. Social leaders should expand their social service work and business firms would have to be prepared to support these services by social leaders. It would be ideal if these moves would be coordinated with civic groups to boost their effects.
At the same time, business firms should make much efforts and agonize over unemployment situation, a key concern for the people, although it has not been included in the agreement. They should try to create more jobs through means to boost the economy across the board including the build up of clusters for design and corporate cities.
We have built a stepping stone to advance into an advanced society through this agreement however weak it may look in its current state. There are still has some points to be worked out and could run into conflicts of interest in the course of its implementation. We have to make efforts to persuade the social communities that did not join the agreement including the education, judiciary, religion, and labor to agree to become parties to the agreement. When all these problems have been smoothly resolved and the agreement is effectively implemented, our society will have paved the way to enter an advanced society in harmony and in unison.

Copyright(c) 2003 Newsworld All rights reserved.
3Fl, 292-47, Shindang 6-dong, Chung-gu, Seoul, Korea 100-456
Tel : 82-2-2235-6114 / Fax : 82-2-2235-0799