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South Korea

In law
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In practice
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South Korea, in law and in practice, distributes direct public funding to parties and candidates for campaigns. Indirect public funding, in the form of reimbursements for advertising costs, is also available. Non-financial state resources, however, were used during the 2012 elections. The law restricts a number of modalities of contributions, and also caps electoral spending by both parties and candidates. Parties rely on public funding for roughly 33% of their expenses. Several reports indicate that restrictions on contributions and expenditure were violated during the 2012 elections. Korean law includes extensive reporting requirements inside campaigns, and annual reporting is required outside election periods. In practice, however, many contributions, especially in-kind contributions, are not reported by parties and candidates. Access to political finance information is highly restricted. Most third party actors are prohibited from engaging in political activity, but supporters' associations are allowed to support campaigns, though they are required to report on their activities. In practice, their reports are less than comprehensive, and much of their campaigning remains opaque. The Election Commission is in charge of regulating political finance. In practice, its appointees are not always fully merit-based, nor is their independence completely guaranteed. It has the power to investigate, but chose not to do so after the 2012 elections. When it does impose sanctions, however, offenders always comply. Indeed, in Korea, enforcement of political finance is notably strong.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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      Direct Public Funding
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        1
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        The law allocates "election subsidies" to political parties based on the number of eligible voters at the last election and in consideration of changes in consumer prices. Where multiple elections occur in the same year -- as occurred in 2012, when both legislative and presidential elections were held -- subsidies will be allocated for each poll. The law defines the permitted uses of state subsidies as including campaigning and other purposes.

        Article 28 (Restrictions, etc. on Use of Subsidies) states: "(1)Subsidies shall be used only to cover expenses needed to operate political parties, which fall under each of the following subparagraphs: 1.Labor cost; 2.Expenses for office fixtures and expendable goods; 3.Expenses for opening and operating offices; 4.Expenses for public utility charges; 5.Expenses for developing policies; 6.Expenses for training and educating party members; 7.Expenses for party activities; 8.Expenses for public relations; 9.Expenses for elections."

        Subsidies are provided to parties rather than candidates directly, but Article 28 (Restrictions, etc. on Use of Subsidies), (3) allows parties to distribute these subsidies to candidates for election purposes. The majority of the country's 300 National Assembly members are directly elected, with 54 chosen by a party list system.

        In addition, the state refunds the election expenses of presidential and National Assembly candidates after the election depending on the size of the vote received. This refunded money goes to the political party in question. Article 122-2 (Filling, etc. of Election Expenses) of the Public Official Election Act, (1) states that, in the case of presidential and National Assembly local constituency elections, elected or deceased candidates, and candidates who receive at least 15 percent of the vote, shall have all expenses reimbursed. Candidates who receive at least 10 percent of the vote have half of their expenses covered. All elected proportional representative candidates, meanwhile, are to have all expenses reimbursed. Independent candidates are also reimbursed. The NEC said that while the law does not specifically refer to independent candidates, they are included in the law.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER V SUBSIDIES FROM NATIONAL TREASURY, Article 25 (Inclusion of Subsidies),(1); Article 28 (Restrictions, etc. on Use of Subsidies), 2005 http://elaw.klri.re.kr/eng_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

        Public Official Election Act, CHAPTER ? ELECTION EXPENSES, Article 122-2 (Filling, etc. of Election Expenses, 2005 http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?lang=ENG&hseq=25035&joseq=JO0122020

        Interview by phone with Gyeong Jae-ook, official with investigation department No. 2 of the National Election Commission. Seoul, September 12, 2014.

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        YES
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        Subsidies provided for election purposes are determined by multiplying the designated "unit" by the number of eligible voters at the last election for the National Assembly, according to Article 25 (Inclusion of Subsidies), (1) of the Political Funds Act. The "unit" itself is determined by reducing or increasing the previous year's figure in line with changes in consumer prices, according section (3) of the same article. Article 25, (4) states that the "National Election Commission shall evenly and separably (sic) pay" the subsidies in question.

        Regarding distribution, Article 27 (Distribution of Subsidies) outlines the procedure as follows: 50 percent of the allocated subsidies should be divided evenly between parties that form negotiating groups, which require 20 or more lawmakers, in the National Assembly. Five percent of the allocated subsidies is split evenly between parties with at least five seats in the National Assembly. Two percent of the allocated subsidies is provided to parties with no seats or fewer than five provided that: -- The party received at least 2 percent of the vote in the last National Assembly election. -- The party holds a seat in the National Assembly and obtained at least .5 percent of the vote in the last election(s) of "City/Do council members, constituency City/Do council members, the Mayor/Do Governor or the head of autonomous Gu/Si/Gun." -- The party does not hold a seat in the National Assembly, but secured at least 2 percent of the vote in the last election(s) of "City/Do council members, constituency City/Do council members, the Mayor/Do Governor or the head of autonomous Gu/Si/Gun."

        50 percent of the leftover subsidies is distributed to the parties in proportion to their number of seats in the National Assembly. The other half goes to the parties in proportion to their share of the vote in the last National Assembly election. The state provides additional subsidies for parties that field female and disabled candidates.

        Rather than specifying the criteria for eligibility to receive public subsidies, the Act, in Article 29 (Reduction of Subsidies), defines a number of scenarios in which funds may be withheld. These include failure to field a candidate before the registration deadline. Subsidies may also be reduced under the following criteria:

        "Where any political party (including its policy development institute and its party election campaign office) that has been paid a subsidy makes a false or understated accounting report on such subsidy, the amount equivalent to twice the false or understated amount; 2.Where any political party uses a subsidy for any purpose other than that provided for in the provisions of Article 28 (1), the amount equivalent to twice the amount of the subsidy that is used in violation of the stipulated purpose; 3.Where any political party uses a subsidy for any purpose other than that provided for in the provisions of Article 28 (2), the amount equivalent to twice the amount of the subsidy that is used in violation of the stipulated purpose; 4.Where any political party uses subsidies for fielding female candidates or those for fielding disabled candidates for any purpose other than usage under Article 28 (3), the amount equivalent to twice the subsidy violating the usage; 5.Where any political party fails to make an accounting report in violation of the provisions of Article 40, the amount equivalent to 25/100 of the paid subsidy in cases of the party headquarters and the amount equivalent to twice the subsidy that is paid by the party headquarters in cases of a City/Do party branch office."

        In addition, as per Public Official Election Act, CHAPTER ? ELECTION EXPENSES, Article 122-2 (Filling, etc. of Election Expenses), the state refunds the election expenses of presidential and National Assembly candidates after the election depending on the size of the vote received. Candidates who receive at least 15 percent of the vote have their expenses refunded in full, while candidates who receive at least 10 percent of the vote are entitled to half of their expenses back.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER V SUBSIDIES FROM NATIONAL TREASURY, Article 25 (Inclusion of Subsidies) (1)-(4); Article 27 (Distribution of Subsidies), (1)-(4); Article 29 (Reduction of Subsidies), 2005 http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

        Public Official Election Act, CHAPTER ? ELECTION EXPENSES, Article 122-2 (Filling, etc. of Election Expenses, 2005 http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?lang=ENG&hseq=25035&joseq=JO0122020

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        3
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        The terms for public funding laid out in the Political Funds Act are generally adhered to in practice. The amounts given to each party or candidate are made available to the public. Kim Geo-sung, the chairperson of Transparency International-Korea, describes the distribution of funds as generally equitable and the eligibility criteria as clear.

        The public subsidies given to the parties in 2012 correspond with the criteria set out in law, with a slight advantage given to the ruling Saenuri Party based its greater number of National Assembly seats and vote share in the last election. At the last presidential election, the conservative Saenuri Party received 17.7 billion won in state subsidies, followed by the liberal Democratic United Party with 16.15 billion won and the Unified Progressive Party with 2.734 billion won.

        In the National Assembly Elections of the same year, the Saenuri Party received 15.75 billion won, compared to 12.35 billion won for the Democratic United Party, according to data from the National Election Commission.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources

        "How candidates fund their campaigns," by Baek Il-hyun and Ser Myo-ja, Joongang Daily, Nov 5, 2012. http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=2961804

        Phone interview with Kim Go-sung, Chairperson of Transparency International - Korea. Seoul, August 27, 2013.

        "Survey of the 18th Presidential Election," by Lee In-bok, National Election Commission, 19 December, 2012. http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/list/B0000215.do?menuNo=200186&searchYear=2013&viewType=&pageIndex=1

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        4
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        The total amount of subsidies provided to political parties for election purposes is readily available on the website of the National Election Commission for no charge. At the last presidential election, the conservative Saenuri Party received 17.7 billion won (16.778 million USD) in state subsidies, followed by the liberal Democratic United Party with 16.15 billion won (15.309 million USD) and the Unified Progressive Party with 2.734 billion won (2.591 million USD). This information was made available within one month of its disbursement. However, a detailed breakdown of disbursement by date and individual amount is not provided.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, August 27, 2014.

        "Survey of the 18th Presidential Election," by Lee In-bok, National Election Commission, 19 December, 2012. http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/list/B0000215.do?menuNo=200186&searchYear=2013&viewType=&pageIndex=1

        The National Election Commission, Combined Data Room, Publications. Accessed October 7, 2014. http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/list/B0000215.do?menuNo=200186&searchYear=2013&viewType=&pageIndex=1

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      Indirect Public Funding
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        5
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        The Public Official Election Act forbids all public officials, including state agencies, to seeking to influence the outcome of elections. Article 9 (1) states: "A public official or a person who is required to maintain political neutrality (including an agency and organization) shall not exercise any unreasonable influence over the election or perform any act likely to have an effect of the election result."

        The South Korean Constitution also specifically binds the armed forces to political neutrality in Article 5(2). In Article 7, it states "(2) The status and political impartiality of public officials shall be guaranteed as prescribed by Act."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Korea, Article 7, (2); Article 5, (2), 1987. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/eng_service/lawView.do?hseq=1&lang=ENG

        Public Official Election Act, Article 9 (Responsibilities of Public Officials for Neutrality), (1); Article 8-2 (Election Broadcast Deliberative Committee), (3), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?lang=ENG&hseq=25035&joseq=JO0173000

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        0
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The 2012 presidential election was marred by reports of extensive interference by the state spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, and the military's psychological warfare division in favor of the ruling party, conservative candidate.

        The former chief of the NIS, Won Sei-hoon, is currently on trial on charges of directing agents under his command to write online postings attacking the opposition candidate as weak on national security, in violation of their obligation to maintain political neutrality as public officials and in violation of a separation restricting the NIS from political interference.

        An investigation by the defense ministry into the Cyber Warfare Command, meanwhile, found that defense personnel had written more than 2,000 online postings that attacked or praised specific candidates.

        "With technological support from civilian cyber experts, the CIC found that cyber warfare agents posted some 15,000 political comments including about 2,100 written posts that supported or criticized specific politicians or parties," reported The Korea Herald in December last year.

        Kim Go-sung, chairperson of Transparency International, cites the election interference by state agencies as an egregious example of state resources being used to favor or disfavor political parties and candidates. "That's very important and a very serious problem in my mind," he says. Notably, considering the multiple agencies and levels of authority involved, he rejects the government's position that the problem was isolated to a few bad individuals, saying "I think it is a problem of the government itself, not individuals."

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources

        "Four-year prison term sought for ex-spymaster in election meddling," by Kim Han-ju, Yonhap News Agency. Seoul, July 14, 2014. http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2014/07/14/66/0301000000AEN20140714008200315F.html

        Phone interview with Kim Go-sung, Chairperson of Transparency International - Korea. Seoul, August 27, 2013.

        "11 cyber warfare agents face indictment," by Song Sang-ho, The Korea Herald, 19 December, 2013. http://www.koreaherald.com/common_prog/newsprint.php?ud=20131219000660&dt=2

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        7
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        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Advertising costs are eligible for reimbursement, and are thus covered by the election reimbursements provided as discussed in indicators 1-4.

        The Public Official Election Act lays out the specific amount of airtime available to proportional representative candidates for the National Assembly and candidates in presidential elections. The law states that the party "may run an advertisement of the platform or policy of the political party to which he belongs, his political views, and other matters necessary for publicity using television or radio broadcasting facilities..." Political advertisements may not exceed 1 minute at a time. The party may air an advertisement for their candidate up to 30 times for a presidential election and 15 times for a proportional representative candidate in a National Assembly election. Concurrent broadcasts across networks are considered a single occasion. Election advertisements are modestly subsidized in so far as broadcasters are prevented from charging more than their minimum rate for non-political advertisements aired during the same broadcast hours. Article 137-2 (Restriction on Broadcast Speech of Platform and Policy) (4) also states that the public broadcaster should cover the costs of political speeches by parties that have formed a negotiating group in parliament, i.e. have at least 20 seats, on a once monthly basis. Article 82-2 (Interviews or Debates Supervised by Election Debate Broadcasting Committee), meanwhile, binds the public broadcaster to provide a relay of interviews and debates as defined by the Act. Article 122-2 (Filling, etc. of Election Expenses) (3) 4 provides for reimbursement of the cost of holding interviews or debates (including a joint broadcast speech meeting) under Article 82-2.

        The law also regulates political speeches by candidates and their representatives, as follows: "1.Presidential election: Up to 11 times by television and radio broadcast, respectively, and each time within 20 minutes by the candidate and a campaign speech maker nominated by the candidate, respectively; 2.Election of the proportional representative National Assembly members: One time by television and radio broadcast, respectively, and each time within ten minutes by two representatives appointed by a political party from among candidates for proportional representative National Assembly members, respectively; 3.Election of the National Assembly members of local constituencies and the heads of autonomous Gu/Si/Gun: Up to two times by television and radio broadcast, respectively, and each time within ten minutes by a candidate using local broadcasting facilities."

        The country's main state-funded broadcaster, Korea Broadcasting System, is also mandated to broadcast "photograph, name, mark and age, and the name of a political party to which the candidate belongs (in cases of an independent candidate, he shall be indicated as "independent"), occupation and other major career provided by the competent constituency election commission" of each candidate for presidential and national elections. The broadcasts shall be 2 minutes on each occasion. The frequency of such broadcasts is allotted as follows: "1.Presidential elections: Eight or more times respectively; 2.Election of National Assembly members or heads of autonomous Gu/Si/Gun: Two or more times respectively."

        The breakdown of airtime for interviews or debates is also addressed by the act in Article 82-2 . The Central Election Debate Broadcasting Committee is to arrange an "interview" or "debate" on three or more occasions for candidates that meet certain criteria. In presidential elections, candidates from parties with at least five seats in the National Assembly or which gained three percent of the vote in the last election, and candidates with at least 5 percent support in an average of public opinion polls carried out before the election period all meet the criteria.

        The corresponding criteria for candidates in other elections entitled to the aforementioned airtime are as follows: "2.The election of the proportional representative National Assembly members and election of the proportional representative City/Do council members: (a)Candidates designated by the representative of political party falling under subparagraph 1 (a) or (b); and (b)Candidates designated by the representative of political party that has obtained 5/100 or more supports averaging the results of public opinion poll pursuant to subparagraph 1 (c); and 3.The election of National Assembly members of local constituency and the election of the heads of local governments: (a)Candidates recommended by the political parties falling under subparagraph 1 (a) or (b); (b)Candidates who have obtained 10/100 or more votes of the total number of valid ballots by running for a presidential election, the election for National Assembly members of local constituency or the election for the heads of local governments (including the special elections, etc.) in the relevant constituency in the recent four years (including cases where the district of constituency was altered and the altered district overlaps with the district of immediately preceding election)."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Public Official Election Act, CHAPTER ? ELECTION CAMPAIGN, Article 70 (Broadcast Advertisements); Article 71 (Broadcast Speech of Candidates, etc.); Article 73 (Broadcast of Careers); Article 82-2 (Interviews or Debates Supervised by Election Debate Broadcasting Committee); Article 82-2 (Filing, etc. of Election Expenses) 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?lang=ENG&hseq=25035&joseq=JO0008070

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        8
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Various political broadcasts and debates were broadcast during the 2012 presidential election. There was no credible evidence that broadcasts did not follow the airtime rules set out in the Public Official Election Act. Three presidential debates between the candidates were held during the campaign period, as allowed for by Article 82-2 of the Act. The first two debates featured the conservative candidate Park Geun-hye, liberal candidate Moon Jae-in and far-left candidate Lee Jung-hee, before the latter dropped out of the race for the final debate. Each of the candidates were entitled to their platform as members of parties with at least fives seats in the National Assembly. A candidate who received three percent of the vote in the last election, or a candidate with at least 5 percent support in an average of public opinion polls carried out before the election, would also have been entitled to the same platform.

        The first debate was held on December 5. "The debate is the first of three that has been organized under South Korea's presidential election law with the next planned for Monday and the last set for Dec. 16," according to a Yonhap News from the time.

        Candidates also released adverts during the campaign period, with no evidence suggesting that they did not adhere to limits set out in law. Accordingly, adverts were restricted to 60 seconds only. A TV report from Yonhap News TV from December of that year analysed the initial efforts from the campaigns, implicitly acknowledging the restrictions on airtime with its title, "The winner in the '60 seconds war' of election ads?" Advertising costs were reimbursed in accordance with the legal provisions discussed in indicators #1 and 2.

        Park In-sook, a ruling party lawmaker who ran in the 2012 National Assembly elections, says that, both in her personal experience running and from her observations, airtime rules are strictly adhered to. She says that on the two occasions she was given airtime the moderator strictly enforced restrictions on time. She says that she is unaware of any cases of the regulations not being followed in an election, noting that everybody follows the rules closely as everyone is "watching." As per Article 71 of the Public Official Election Act, Park was entitled to two appearances of 10 minutes each on local broadcasting channels to make political speeches.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources

        "Presidential candidates clash on political reforms, N. Korean, foreign policy," by Lee Joon-seung, Yonhap News, December 5, 2012. http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2012/12/05/13/0301000000AEN20121205000100315F.HTML

        "The winner in the '60 seconds war' of election ads?" by Kim Ji-seon, Yonhap News TV, December 19, 2012. http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid=422&aid=0000001218

        Phone interview with Park In-sook, Saenuri Party lawmaker, September 10, 2014.

        “Park Geun-hye 44.6 billion won, Moon Jae-in 47.9 billion won... ‘highest’ election expenses reimbursement applications,’” by Shin Seon-jong, January 9, 2013, Munhwa Ilbo. http://www.munhwa.com/news/view.html?no=2013010901070623334002

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

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    77
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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
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        9
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        One-time cash donations of up to 200,000 won ($197) person are permitted to cover campaign expenses. Amounts above this threshold must be paid via a medium that verifies the identity of the giver, such as check, credit card or bank transfer. The combined cash donations over the course of the year also must not exceed one tenth of the total amount donated.

        "(4) Anyone who makes an one-time contribution of political funds in excess of 1.2 million won ($1,180) or anyone who pays political funds in excess of the amount falling under any of the following subparagraphs according to this Act shall make such contribution and such payment by means of the check, credit card, the payment of such political funds to the deposit account or by other means that make it ascertain the identity of the donor: Provided, That the annual amount of political funds that are permitted to be contributed in cash shall not exceed 20/100 (10/100 of the limited amount of election expenses in cases of election expenses) of the total annual amount of political funds contributed: 1. Political funds other than election expenses: 500,000 won ($492): Provided, That the political funds shall be 200,000 won ($197) for every candidate or every preliminary candidate who runs in an election for public office; 2. Election expenses: 200,000 won ($197)."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS, Article 2 (Basic Principles) (4), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?lang=ENG&hseq=18837&joseq=JO0027000

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        10
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        The law states that a member of the supporters' association of a presidential or National Assembly candidate may anonymously make a one-time donation of up to 100,000 won ($98). Supporters' associations are defined as "organizations that are registered with the competent election commission after their establishment and are operated for the purpose of contributing political funds."

        Separately, individuals are permitted to make cash, and therefore anonymous, donations of up to 200,000 won ($197). Individuals may also entrust the election commission with "deposits" of a maximum of the larger amount between 100 million won ($98,000) and 5 percent of the giver's annual salary. The election commission distributes these donations in accordance with the rules governing public subsidies. Those who donate in this way must provide their name to the election commission, but do not have their identity revealed to the public unless their donation exceeds 3 million won ($2,960).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS, (Basic Principles), (4); Article 11 (Limited Amount of Contributions by Supporters) (3); Article 22 (Entrustment of Deposits) (3); Article 23 (Distribution and Payment of Deposits) (2)s) (1 ), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

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        11
        Score
        YES
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Article 34 (Reporting on Selection and Appointment of Person in Charge of Accounting, etc.) of the Political Funds Act states that political parties, presidential candidates, supporters' associations, National Assembly members and candidates for public office must designate a person to manage the accounting of revenue and expenditures and report the information to the relevant election commission. As per the Act, revenues encompass contributions, which themselves include non-monetary donations.

        Article 3 (Definitions) (3) states: "The term "contributions" means the furnishing of political funds, which is performed by individuals, supporters' associations and other persons, in order to financially support political activities. In such cases, if any third party bears or pays any expense that is needed by anyone who carries out political activities or the act of furnishing money and goods, renting facilities free of charge, exempting and reducing any debt and offering any interest, etc. shall be all deemed contributions."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER VII ACCOUNTING, REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE OF POLITICAL FUND, Article 34 (Reporting on Selection and Appointment of Person in Charge of Accounting, etc.), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

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        12
        Score
        YES
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        The Political Funds Act does not specifically address loans by name. However, the National Election Commission confirmed upon inquiry that loans are treated the same as property and revenue, generally, as per Article 40 (Accounting Report) 5, (3). That section states:

        "The matters that need to be entered in the accounting report pursuant to the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be as follows: 1.Political parties and persons in charge of accounting of supporters' associations: (a)The current status of property holdings: For political parties, the accounting report of the current status of property holdings shall be limited to December 31; (b)The details of revenue for political funds."

        According to the same section, the details of the donor are only recorded when the amount is over 300,000 won in one go or 3 million won over the course of a year, except for the supporters' association of a presidential candidate or intra-party candidate for a presidential election, in which case the annual limit for an anonymous donation is 5 million won.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER VII ACCOUNTING, REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE OF POLITICAL FUND, Article 40 (Accounting Report), Section 5, (3), 2005.

        Interview by phone with Geyong Jae-uk, investigation division No. 2, the National Election Commission. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

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      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
      More about category
      • expand button!
        13
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The Political Funds Act sets out maximum donation amounts for the two types of contributions previously outlined in this project, deposits and supporters' contributions. The law forbids supporters from making an annual donation of more than 20 million won ($19,700) to their supporters' association. The law further restricts the contributions to a maximum of 10 million won ($9,800) for the supporters' association of each presidential candidate or each candidate in an intra-party competition to choose the presidential nominee.

        The maximum amount permitted for each supporters' association of a candidate for the National Assembly is 5 million won ($4,900), "for a total of five million won for a supporters' association of a candidate to run in an election for the National Assembly members, etc. and a supporters' association for every National Assembly member whose designation authority is the same person."

        Regarding deposits, contributions lodged with the National Election Commission, any individual may donate the larger amount between 100 million won ($98,000) and 5 percent of income from the previous year. As deposits are distributed by the election commission to the parties, and supporters' associations allocate funds to candidates themselves, there are de facto limits on contributions to both candidates and parties.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER III SUPPORTERS' ASSOCIATIONS, Article 11 (Limited Amount of Contributions by Supporters)(1)-(2); Article 22 (Entrustment of Deposits) (2), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/eng_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

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        14
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The Political Funds Act imposes an outright ban on corporate donations from both domestic and foreign entities.

        Article 31 (Restrictions on Contributions) states: "(1)Every foreigner, corporation or organization both at home and abroad shall be prohibited from contributing any political funds. (2)No one shall contribute any political fund from any corporation or any organization both at home and abroad."

        As the definition of "political funds" is not restricted to the election period, the ban applies before, during and after elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER VI RESTRICTIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS, Article 31 (Restrictions on Contributions) (1)-(2), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/eng_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

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        15
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        The law applies a blanket ban to all foreign sources of political funding. Article 31, Section (1) of the law states , "Every foreigner, corporation or organization both at home and abroad shall be prohibited from contributing any political funds."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER VI RESTRICTIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS, Article 31 (Restrictions on Contributions) (1), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?lang=ENG&hseq=18837&joseq=JO0027000

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        16
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        The Political Funds Act bans donations by all "organizations," as well as corporations. Donations are, however, permitted through "supporters' associations," which, like political action committees, fund specific candidates through donations received from the public. These supporters' associations are permitted to collect each year a limited amount.

        In presidential elections, their maximum permitted expenditure, according to Article 12 (Collection of Contributions by Supporters' Associations and Limited Amount of Contributions), is an "amount equivalent to 5/100 of the maximum election expenses," as calculated by a formula outlined in the Public Official Election Act. The maximum spend for National Assembly elections is 150 million won.

        The formula for determining the "restricted amount of election expenses" in a presidential election is population×950 won.

        Supporters' associations are restricted from accepting contributions to the extent that certain entities are barred from making them. Accordingly, Article 31 (Restrictions on Contributions) restricts the contributions that can be accepted as follows: "(1) Every foreigner, corporation or organization both at home and abroad shall be prohibited from contributing any political funds. (2) No one shall contribute any political fund from any corporation or any organization both at home and abroad."

        As political funds are defined as including supporters' contributions in Article 3 (Definitions) (4), supporters' associations cannot accept funds from foreigners, corporations or organizations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER III SUPPORTERS' ASSOCIATIONS, Article 12 (Collection of Contributions by Supporters' Associations and Limited Amount of Contributions) (3)-(4); Article 31 (Restrictions on Contributions)(1)-(2), Article 3 (Definitions) (4); Article 31 (Restrictions on Contributions), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?lang=ENG&hseq=25035&joseq=JO0122000

        Public Official Election Act, CHAPTER ? ELECTION EXPENSES, Article 121 (Computation of Restricted Amount of Election Expenses) (1), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?lang=ENG&hseq=25035&joseq=JO0122000

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        17
        Score
        YES
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        Election expenses are restricted to an amount proportionate to the country's population. As per Article 121 (Computation of Restricted Amount of Election Expenses), for presidential elections, the maximum amount is calculated by multiplying the country's population by the figure of 950 won (.90 USD). For proportional representative candidates for the National Assembly, the figure is calculated by multiplying the country's population by the figure of 90 won (.09 USD). For local constituency National Assembly candidates, the figure is arrived at by using the formula 100 million won + (number of population×200 won) + (the number of Eup/Myeon/Dong ×200 won). The expenses relate to the election campaign period, which is 23 days after deadline for candidate registration for presidential elections and 14 days for National Assembly Elections.

        The calculation for the most recent election, the presidential election, was made on the basis of the population as of February 29, 2012. Accordingly, the calculation was 50,839,280, the population, multiplied by 950, the base unit in won, for a total figure of 55.977 billion won (52.992 million USD).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Public Official Election Act, CHAPTER ? ELECTION EXPENSES, Article 121 (Computation of Restricted Amount of Election Expenses) (1)-(3); Article 33 (Election Period), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?lang=ENG&hseq=25035&joseq=JO0119000

        “Limited election expenses rise 9.384 billion won (20.1 percent) in 18th election compared to previous election,” by Kim Do-gyeong, Yangcheon Shinmun, April 12, 2012. http://www.ycnews.kr/sub_read.html?uid=2688&section=sc3&section2=%C1%F6%BF%AA%C1%A4%B0%A1

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        18
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        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        The legal framework covering national elections generally also applies to local polls, according to Cho Seon-hee, an official at the National Election Commission.

        The notable exception, according to Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, is candidates at the local level, apart from gubernatorial candidates and candidates for Seoul mayor, are deprived of a legitimate mechanism to collect political funds. Because they are without a funding structure, candidates at the provincial and city level must resort to their own sources of revenue, such as personal wealth or bank loans, or act outside of the law and accept contributions. This leaves local candidates, including provincial members, local assembly members and county governors, in the difficult position of having to finance campaigns without a realistic or legal means to do so. Chung proposes the establishment of an official funding structure for such candidates.

        An article in the Kyunghyang Shinmum, published in February 1, outlined this problem in detail. It said that the lack of a political finance framework in smaller, local elections effectively excluded all but the very wealthy from running for office. It recounted the case of an unnamed local candidate in Busan, in the south of the country, who, determined to change the predominant election culture, decided to run for office. Lacking funds, however, he was forced to borrow money from the bank, putting his home up as security. Among his expenses during the campaign was some $90,000 spent on renting a campaign office for two months and printing leaflets. He is quoted as saying "the situation is that only people with money can put forward the candidacy."


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. The national laws are applicable to all sub-national campaigns except that the local candidates cannot have 'supporters' associations', a huge source of political finance for national candidates and local gubernatorial or mayoral candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources

        Interview by phone with Cho Seon-hee, interpretation division, National Election Commission, Seoul. September 18, 2014.

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        "'Vested interests' political funds," by Park Beyong-Ryool, Kyunghyang Shinmun, February 1, 2012. http://m.news.naver.com/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid=032&aid=0002191566

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        19
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        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Data from the National Election Commission shows that roughly a third each of political funds for campaigns is in the form of public subsidies. A detailed breakdown of the finances of each candidate in 2012 is not provided, the 3-month limit for access to a detailed breakdown of funds having already expired. Park In-sook, a lawmaker with the ruling Saenuri Party who was elected to the National Assembly in 2012, says that there is a big variation in the funding breakdowns of individual candidates. She says that in her case, about 80 percent of her election expenses were covered by the taxpayer because she entered the campaign at a late stage and did not spend a lot of money. Other candidates, she says, recieve much less.

        Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, says that the main sources of revenue of political parties are government subsidies and memberships fees. Chung says the amount of donations coming from the National Election Commission is relatively small. Donations from private foundations and business, meanwhile, are prohibited. Chung, however, notes that firms can get around these restrictions by having individuals within their company donate money in an organized fashion. Such "bundling" of funds is a legal loophole that accounts for a significant, though impossible to quantify, source of funds.

        Kim Go-sung, Chairperson of Transparency International, says that candidates may self-finance within the normal election expenses limits. Kim says, however, that this is not a common source of campaign financing in South Korea. Kim says that promising candidates without large amounts of revenue can mobilize support from the public by promising to refund them their donations in the form of reimbursed election expenses from the taxpayer. He says this is a very common method of fundraising in South Korea.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources

        "Survey of the 18th Presidential Election," by Lee In-bok, National Election Commission, 19 December, 2012. http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/list/B0000215.do?menuNo=200186&searchYear=2013&viewType=&pageIndex=1

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, August 27, 2014.

        Phone interview with Kim Go-sung, Chairperson of Transparency International - Korea. Seoul, August 27, 2014.

        Phone interview with Park In-sook, lawmaker with the Saenuri Party. Seoul, September 10, 2014.

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        20
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        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        There were several reported violations of expenditure and revenue limit rules in the elections in 2012. In January of this year, the Geyongin Ilbo newspaper reported on the prosecution of the accounts manager of a ruling party candidate for exceeding spending limits during the National Assembly elections in April. The accounts manager of Saenuri Party candidate Ahn Deok-soo, identified only by his surname Hur, was accused of spending 197 million won on the election campaign, 30 million won over the allowed limit.

        Another Saenuri Party candidate during the same elections, Cho Hyun-ryoong, was in July implicated in an identical scenario, according to an article from media outlet News1. Cho's accounts manager, identified only by his surname Ahn, was convicted of overspending during the National Assembly elections by more than 23 million won, while underreporting the actual amount spent. Ahn in total spent some 225.8 million won on the campaign.

        Meanwhile, Kim Mi-hee, a candidate with the Unified Progressive Party, was fined 800,000 won for failing to report property while applying to be a candidate in the National Assembly elections, according to media outlet New Daily. All lawmakers involved, however, were allowed to retain their parliament seats as their violations were deemed relatively minor.

        Also, as discussed in #19, some firms provide money to their employees in advance for donations to be made.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources

        "Election violation case ruling on lawmakers Ahn Deok-soo and Choi Won-sik reversed...seats retained," by Digital News Section, 23 January, 2014. http://www.kyeongin.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=803725

        "Ruling reversed in case of election overspending Cho Hyun-ryoong's accounts manager," by Kim Soo-wan, 24 July, 2014. http://news1.kr/articles/?1785030

        "Relieved Kim Mi-hee, Cho Hyun-ryoong given room to breath," by Yang Won-seok, New Daily, 24 July 2014. http://www.newdaily.co.kr/news/article.html?no=212198

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, August 27, 2014.

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
    composite
    58
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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
      • expand button!
        21
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        The Political Funds Act outlines detailed accounting requirements for parties, National Assembly members with supporters' associations and candidates for public office, in the presidency and National Assembly. The law stipulates that the "details" of revenues and expenditures must be recorded and reported to the election commission. The law defines such "details" as such: "1.The term "details of revenue" means the date and the amount of the revenue, the names, the dates of birth, domiciles, occupations and telephone numbers of persons who have made contributions of such revenue and other details; 2.The term "details of expenditure" means the date, amount and purposes of expenditure and the names, dates of birth, domiciles, occupations and telephone numbers of persons to whom such expenditure is paid. Where printed materials, establishments, goods, equipment, etc. are used without compensation therefor or far below ordinary market prices and rentals, every person in charge of accounting shall pay the amount that includes the value equivalent to the ordinary market prices and rentals that are determined by the Regulations of the National Election Commission."

        Article 40 (Accounting Report) outlines the deadlines to report revenue and expenditures for both election and non-election periods: "1. ... (a) The year during which the relevant political party does not participate in elections for public office: By February 15 (by January 31 in cases of a City/Do branch office) of the next year as at December 31 from January 1 of every year; (b) The year during which the relevant political party participates in nationwide elections for public office: By 30 days (by 40 days in cases of a presidential election and the election for the proportional representative National Assembly members) after the relevant election day as at 20 days (referring to the closing day where a party election campaign office is closed 20 days later) after the election day from January 1 of each year (referring to the establishment day in cases of a party election campaign office) and by February 15 (by January 31 in cases of the City/Do party branch office) of the next year as at December 31 from 21 days after the election day; (c) The year during which the relevant political party participates in elections for public office, which are held in part of the national constituencies: The party headquarters and the policy development institute are governed by item (a) and the relevant City/Do party branch office and party election campaign office are governed by item (b); 2. The person in charge of accounting of the National Assembly who has a supporters'' association: (a) The year during which he/she does not participate in an election for public office: By 31 January of the next year as at December 31 from January 1 every year; (b) The year during which he/she participates in the elections for public office: By 30 days after the election day as at 20 days after the election day from January 1 of every year and by 31 January of the next year as at December 31 from 21 days after the election day; 3. The person in charge of accounting of a supporters'' association for a National Assembly member: (a) The year during which they are permitted to collect the limited amount of annual contributions: By July 31 of as at June 30 from January 1 of every year and by January 31 of the next year as at December 31 from July 1; (b) The year during which they are permitted to collect twice the limited amount of annual contributions: By 30 days after the election day as at 20 days after an election day from January 1 of every year and by January 31 of the next year as at December 31 from 21 days after the election day; 4. A candidate for an intra-party competition in a presidential election or a candidate for a party representative competition and a person in charge of accounting for supporters'' association: By 30 days after the competition election day as at 20 days after a competition election day of a candidate for an intra-party competition in a presidential election, the candidate for a party representative competition and a person in charge of accounting of the relevant political party. In such cases, for every person in charge of accounting of a National Assembly member who has a supporters'' association, by 30 days after a competition election day as at 20 days after the competition election day from January 1 of every year and by January 31 of the next year of December 31 from 21 days after the competition election, notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph 2; 5. A person in charge of accounting of a candidate and preliminary candidate to run in elections for public office and the supporters'' association: By 30 days (by 40 days for an independent candidate to run in a presidential election) after the election day as at 20 days (the day before the day on which candidates are registered for the person in charge of accounting of preliminary candidate in cases of a party-fielded candidate to run in a presidential election) after the election day. In such cases, the persons in charge of accounting of a party-fielded candidate to run in a presidential election, the election campaign office or election campaign liaison office of an election for proportional representative National Assembly members or proportional representative local council members are governed by the provisions of subparagraph 1 (b) or (c)."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER VII ACCOUNTING, REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE OF POLITICAL FUND, Article 37 (Keeping and Entries of Accounting Books) (1)-(4); Article 40 (Accounting Report) (1)-(4), 2005 http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

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        22
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        The Political Funds Act requires a single report within a set time frame after the election. The official campaign periods are 22 days for presidential elections, and 13 for parliamentary elections. This means that financial reporting during the campaign is at least monthly. The time frames for reporting, as per Article 40 (Accounting Report), are as follows:

        "1.The person in charge of accounting of each political party: .... (b)The year during which the relevant political party participates in nationwide elections for public office: By 30 days (by 40 days in cases of a presidential election and the election for the proportional representative National Assembly members) after the relevant election day as at 20 days (referring to the closing day where a party election campaign office is closed 20 days later) after the election day from January 1 of each year (referring to the establishment day in cases of a party election campaign office) and by February 15 (by January 31 in cases of the City/Do party branch office) of the next year as at December 31 from 21 days after the election day; (c)The year during which the relevant political party participates in elections for public office, which are held in part of the national constituencies: The party headquarters and the policy development institute are governed by item (a) and the relevant City/Do party branch office and party election campaign office are governed by item (b); 2.The person in charge of accounting of the National Assembly who has a supporters'' association: ... (b)The year during which he/she participates in the elections for public office: By 30 days after the election day as at 20 days after the election day from January 1 of every year and by 31 January of the next year as at December 31 from 21 days after the election day; 3.The person in charge of accounting of a supporters'' association for a National Assembly member: (a)The year during which they are permitted to collect the limited amount of annual contributions: By July 31 of as at June 30 from January 1 of every year and by January 31 of the next year as at December 31 from July 1; (b)The year during which they are permitted to collect twice the limited amount of annual contributions: By 30 days after the election day as at 20 days after an election day from January 1 of every year and by January 31 of the next year as at December 31 from 21 days after the election day; 4.A candidate for an intra-party competition in a presidential election or a candidate for a party representative competition and a person in charge of accounting for supporters'' association: By 30 days after the competition election day as at 20 days after a competition election day of a candidate for an intra-party competition in a presidential election, the candidate for a party representative competition and a person in charge of accounting of the relevant political party. In such cases, for every person in charge of accounting of a National Assembly member who has a supporters'' association, by 30 days after a competition election day as at 20 days after the competition election day from January 1 of every year and by January 31 of the next year of December 31 from 21 days after the competition election, notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph 2; 5.A person in charge of accounting of a candidate and preliminary candidate to run in elections for public office and the supporters'' association: By 30 days (by 40 days for an independent candidate to run in a presidential election) after the election day as at 20 days (the day before the day on which candidates are registered for the person in charge of accounting of preliminary candidate in cases of a party-fielded candidate to run in a presidential election) after the election day. In such cases, the persons in charge of accounting of a party-fielded candidate to run in a presidential election, the election campaign office or election campaign liaison office of an election for proportional representative National Assembly members or proportional representative local council members are governed by the provisions of subparagraph 1 (b) or (c)."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER VII ACCOUNTING, REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE OF POLITICAL FUND, Article 40 (Accounting Report) (1)-(4), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

        Public Official Election Act, Article 33 (Election Period); Article 59 (Period for Election Campaign), 2005, http://elaw.klri.re.kr/eng_service/lawView.do?hseq=25035&lang=ENG

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        23
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        The law requires annual reports on financial information, irrespective of elections, by a set date each year. As per Article 40 (Accounting Report) (1), political parties are to report by February 15 of the following year. For National Assembly members, the date is January 31 of the following year. Candidates for presidential and other elections must report their information once after the election. The deadlines for different actors are as follows:

        Article 40 (Accounting Report) outlines the deadlines to report revenue and expenditures for both election and non-election periods: "1. ... (a) The year during which the relevant political party does not participate in elections for public office: By February 15 (by January 31 in cases of a City/Do branch office) of the next year as at December 31 from January 1 of every year; [...] 2. The person in charge of accounting of the National Assembly who has a supporters'' association: (a) The year during which he/she does not participate in an election for public office: By 31 January of the next year as at December 31 from January 1 every year; [...] 3. The person in charge of accounting of a supporters'' association for a National Assembly member: (a) The year during which they are permitted to collect the limited amount of annual contributions: By July 31 of as at June 30 from January 1 of every year and by January 31 of the next year as at December 31 from July 1; (b) The year during which they are permitted to collect twice the limited amount of annual contributions: By 30 days after the election day as at 20 days after an election day from January 1 of every year and by January 31 of the next year as at December 31 from 21 days after the election day;

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER VII ACCOUNTING, REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE OF POLITICAL FUND, Article 40 (Accounting Report) (1)-(4), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

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        24
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        As per the data held by the National Election Commission, there is no itemized financial information available to the public for long after the election period. In addition, there is no legal requirement for candidates to report funding information monthly.

        Park In-sook, a lawmaker with the ruling Saenuri Party, says that candidates do not file monthly reports during the campaign, but instead report detailed financial information shortly after the election has concluded, as outlined in Article 40 (Accounting Report) of the Political Funds Act (as explained in indicator #22, this is compatible with montly reporting). This report includes revenues and expenditures. All candidates submitted their report by the deadline, according to the National Election Commission’s report “Survey of the 18th Presidential Election.” The campaign period for the presidential election was November 27 to December 18 2012. The submission date was 40 days after the election day.

        Parties and candidates are not required to report financial information on a monthly basis, instead having to submit accounting data within a set period after the election or, in non-election years, on a set date early in the calendar year, according to Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University in Seoul. He notes that political parties and National Assembly lawmakers have to annually report their funding and expenditures to the National Election Commission, which then releases the information to the public. In practice, as in law, reporting does not take place within the campaign period, but only in one post election report as noted above.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Park In-sook, lawmaker with the Saenuri Party. Seoul, September 10, 2014.

        "Survey of the 18th Presidential Election," by Lee In-bok, National Election Commission, 19 December, 2012. http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/list/B0000215.do?menuNo=200186&searchYear=2013&viewType=&pageIndex=1

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, August 27, 2014.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        Gyeong Jae-ook, an official with investigation department No.2 of the National Election Commission, says that while candidates are required by law to report all in-kind contributions, in actuality, this is rarely the case. He says that there are almost no reports of in-kind contributions made by candidates in elections. Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, notes that while parties support their candidates through various in-kind benefits, such contributions are not closely tracked in an itemized manner.

        Park In-sook, a lawmaker with the Saenuri Party who was elected to the National Assembly for the first time in 2012, says that, as a first-term lawmaker, she has not received any expensive gifts, but acknowledged not reporting small non-monetary contributions received during her election campaign. She says all monetary contributions to her campaign were documented through her bank. She also says that small cash donations are commonly accepted by candidates without being reported to the oversight authority, in violation of the election rules. While strictly speaking illegal, Park says this is common practice among lawmakers and candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, August 27, 2013.

        "Survey of the 18th Presidential Election," by Lee In-bok, National Election Commission, 19 December, 2012. http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/list/B0000215.do?menuNo=200186&searchYear=2013&viewType=&pageIndex=1

        Interview by phone with Park In-sook, lawmaker with the Saenuri Party. Seoul, September 10, 2014.

        Interview by phone with Gyeong Jae-ook, official with investigation department No. 2 of the National Election Commission. Seoul, September 12, 2014.

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      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
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        MODERATE
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        Article 42 (Perusal of Accounting Reports and Delivery of Copies Thereof) (2) specifies that the financial information of presidential and National Assembly candidates and parties is made available to the public for a period of three months, beginning within 7 days of the deadline for receiving the accounting reports, on the homepage of the National Election Commission. According to section (3), any individual may request a physical copy of this information from the National Election Commission for a free covering delivery costs. Section (4), states that donations under 3 million won ($2,940) will not be published, nor will the details of donors of this amount. According to section (5), "posting the details of political funds that are published pursuant to the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3) on the Internet homepage to use them for political purposes" is prohibited.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Public Funds Act, CHAPTER VII ACCOUNTING, REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE OF POLITICAL FUND Article 42 (Perusal of Accounting Reports and Delivery of Copies Thereof) (2)-(4), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

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        25
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        While detailed financial information of parties and candidates is made available and easily accessible online within 7 days of the deadline for submitting accounts, access to the public is restricted to a period of three months. Copies of information are also available within the time period for the cost of delivery, but a maximum waiting period is specified. Where available, information is provided in pdf. format. More limited information is freely available without time restraints. This information includes the combined government subsidies, election expenses, and "deposit" (donations from the public collected and distributed by the National Election Commission) contributions for each political party.

        Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science, notes that public access is restricted in practice compared to jurisdictions such as the United States. He notes that there is no access to information during the campaign, and that access, when provided after the campaign has ended, is restricted to a limited time period. He notes that political parties produce annual reports of their finances, but that a detailed breakdown of financial information, such as for the 2012 elections, is impossible to access legitimately for more than a short time after the election.

        Last year, the National Assembly Research Service highlighted the restrictive nature of access to financial information in a report, calling for expenditure and revenue data to be made freely available on the Internet. A newspaper article quoted Im Chae-jin as saying in the report, titled "A Plan for Developing the System for Disclosing Political Funds Online," that while elections expenses could potentially influence voters' choice at booth, they are not disclosed in Korea until 30 days after the election has taken place. He also criticized the current policy of providing financial information to citizens for a period of just three months.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, August 27, 2013.

        "Survey of the 18th Presidential Election," by Lee In-bok, National Election Commission, 19 December, 2012. http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/list/B0000215.do?menuNo=200186&searchYear=2013&viewType=&pageIndex=1

        "Legislative research agency: Election expenses should be disclosed online," by Park Dae-ro, Newsis, 24 September 24, 2013. http://www.newsis.com/ardetail/view.html?arid=NISX20130924_0012381005&cID=10301&pID=10300

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        50
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        The National Election Commission published a basic summary of aggregate spending and subsidies to the parties in the 2012 presidential election and National Assembly election. This information was in PDF format. This included all legally available information on the different parties and candidates. This, however, only extended to the total pubic subsidies, spending and donations of the parties. The information is standardized in form and content, but incomplete, not featuring an itemized breakdown of information. As stated repeatedly throughout this report, itemized financial information is only available within a three month period.

        Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, says that political parties must report their financial information at the end of each year, which the National Election Commission then publishes. National Assembly and presidential candidates, meanwhile, must report their funding sources and expenditures from the campaign period after the election. This information, however is only available for 3 months. Chung says that the information is published in a standardized, though incomplete, format.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        "Survey of the 18th Presidential Election," by Lee In-bok, National Election Commission, 19 December, 2012. http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/list/B0000215.do?menuNo=200186&searchYear=2013&viewType=&pageIndex=1

        "Accounting practices for election expenses and political funds in the 19th National Assembly elections," http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/view/B0000338/5022.do?menuNo=200185

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        100
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, says that Korean media regular reports on the publicly available financial information released by the National Election Commission, particularly for candidates that attract a high level of media scrutiny for their popularity or the significance of the election. Such media reports are common during election periods. Media is generally limited to reporting what the National Election Commission provides, but does refer to what is available. Numerous news articles from 2012 reflect this situation.

        One article from Kuki News, published this March, referenced the total donations received by Unified Progressive Party lawmaker Lee Seok-gi. He was reported to have received 69.97 million won ($66,800), double the amount from the previous year. In March last year, an article in Ulsan Today, a regional publication, was another outlet that reported financial information. It reported that six Ulsan National Assembly lawmakers had received an average 228.5 million won ($218,000) each from their supporters' associations in 2012.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        "The continuing ambiguous role of the 'dark supporter,'" Jeong Geon-hee, Kuki News, March 14, 2014. http://news.kukinews.com/article/view.asp?page=1&gCode=kmi&arcid=0008132943&cp=nv

        "Average donations of regional lawmakers last year 228.5 million," by Lee Dae-hyung, Ulsan Today, March 15, 2013. http://www.iusm.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=282153

        "All supporters...Moon Yong-rin's political funds 'mystery," by Kim Haeg-soo, Ohmy News, April 30, 2013. http://www.ohmynews.com/NWSWeb/View/atpg.aspx?CNTN_CD=A0001860186

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        0
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        The 2012 presidential and National Assembly elections were marked by a number of credible allegations of election violations. In December 2012, just after the presidential poll was concluded, the Supreme Prosecutors' Office accused 287 people of having committed election law violations during the campaign period. "Of the violators, 31 have been indicted, and 14 others exempted, with 242 others being under a prosecution probe, according to the SPO," according to an article published by Yonhap News Agency on December 20. "Some 28.2 percent, or 81 people, were caught for negative campaigning, followed by wielding violence with 16.4 percent, bribery with 14.6 percent and illegal propaganda with 6.6 percent, according to the SPO data." According to the same report, meanwhile, police, which separately investigate crime in addition to the prosecution in South Korea, detected 883 offenders and 782 election law violations. The most high profile case during the presidential involved independent candidate Ahn Cheol-soo, who came under suspicion of establishing a foundation for funding purposes in violation of election laws. Foundations and other organizations are prohibited from contributing political funds.

        There were also documented violations during the National Assembly elections of April that year. A total of 79 lawmakers, equivalent to more than a quarter of the 300-member parliament, were charged with election law offenses after the April general elections. Including the lawmakers, 1,096 people were charged with election law-related offenses alleged to have occurred during the general elections. The number of lawmakers charged was more than twice the number at the previous election in 2008, according to an article in The Korea Times. One prominent case from the general elections involved conservative Saenuri Party lawmaker Sung Woan-jong, who was stripped of his seat in June of this year. He was found guilty of violating election law by hosting a free concert for his supporters, which was deemed to have been intended to sway voters, and donating money to a local civic group. Bribery made up approximately one-sixth of election violations detected by the prosecution before the presidential election.

        Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University, meanwhile noted that two ruling party lawmakers have been accused by the prosecution of finance irregularities. Rep. Cho Hyun-ryong, of the ruling Saenuri Party, faces charges of taking bribes from a local construction company to award it contracts from 2008 until after his election in 2012. Park Sang-eun, another Saenuri Party lawmaker, faces charges related to accepting $597,000 in suspected illegal political funds from his former employer, TS Corporation.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        "Election law violations fall from previous presidential poll," by Oh Seok-min, Yonhap News Agency, December 20, 2013. http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2012/12/20/10/0200000000AEN20121220007000315F.HTML

        "Court seeks to get tougher with election-related crime," by Na Jeong-ju, The Korea Times, June 18, 2012. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/06/113_113332.html

        "Ahn Cheol-soo foundation under probe for election law violation," by Lee Joon-seung, Yonhap News Agency, August 13, 2012. http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2012/08/13/23/0301000000AEN20120813007100315F.HTML

        "15 seats open in July by-elections," by Kim Hee-jin, Joongang Daily, June 27, 2014. http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=2991214

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, August 27, 2013.

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        50
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        The National Election Commission reported on November 22, 2012, less than a month ahead of the presidential election on December 19, that three party officials were detected providing material to party members and members of the public in violation of the Public Official Election Act. The three, whose names and party were withheld, were reported to have provided 3 million won worth of food and raffle prizes to some 150 people at a party retreat organized in support of an unnamed prospective presidential candidate. The three compressed the head of a local party office, a provincial assembly member and an official at a National Assembly lawmaker's constituency office. The three were accused of violating Article 114 of the Public Official Election Act, which prohibits party officials from providing monetary or other benefits to prospective voters.

        The National Election Commission detailed another, similar instance of attempted vote buying in the same report. Two officials and a member of a regional fan club for a presidential candidate were reported to have provided 23,000 won (21.80 USD) worth of food to 70 people at an event for a presidential candidate in violation of Article 115 of the Public Official Election Act. Neither the identities of the offenders nor the presidential candidate were revealed. Article 115 covers the same offense as article 114, but applies to third parties who are not part of a party apparatus. These were the only cases located relating to the most recent, fullscale national election, the presidential election in December 2012.

        Meanwhile, in December, regional newspaper Seongnam Today reported that National Assembly lawmaker Kim Min-hee was being tried on suspicion of providing food to nine canvassers of an independent candidate in her constituency and four voters during April's National Assembly elections.

        Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, notes that private interest groups have been implicated in offering bribes to accrue benefits from lawmakers. While falling outside the December 2012 election period, an art college in Seoul was accused earlier this year offering bribes to several lawmakers to affect their votes in parliament. Three lawmakers, Shin Geh-ryeun, Shin Hak-yong and Kim Jae-yun, were indicted in September 2014 in connection with the case.

        An internet search could not locate any additional cases of vote buying related to the presidential or national elections specifically.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        "Press release: 9 indicted on suspicion of providing food and other illegal election activities," National Election Commission, November 22, 2012. https://www.dropbox.com/s/r3gb7wl1sm4zpgj/%EB%B3%B4%EB%8F%84%EC%9E%90%EB%A3%8C_%EC%84%A0%EA%B1%B0%EB%B2%95%EC%9C%84%EB%B0%98.pdf?dl=0

        "6 months sought for National Assembly lawmaker Kim Min-hee for suspected election law violations," by Kim Rak-joong, Seongnam Today, November 12, 2012. http://www.sntoday.com/sub_read.html?uid=22183§ion=section3

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, August 27, 2014.

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        50
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        Citizens for Better Society was the only NGO found to have used officially released political finance information in its advocacy. In April this year, the Segye Ilbo newspaper reported on an analysis of political finance information carried out a local civic group. Citizens for Better Society criticized political largess borne by the taxpayer. Noting that political parties received public subsidies, the group called for countermeasures including strong punishment to prevent taxpayer waste. It also noted that while candidates received 49.9 billion won ($44 million) from supporters' associations in 2012, many racked up additional funds through book launches that skirted the law.

        Another article from last December reference further advocacy by the same civic group. In the article, Citizens for Better Society, analyzing National Election Commission data, noted that parties had been found to have misused public subsidies worth a combined 500 million won ($480,000) on 20 occasions. Among other uses, money was misused for personal expenses and adult entertainment. The liberal Democratic United Party was found to have misused over 66 million won ($63,000), followed by the conservative Saenuri Party with 65 million won ($62,000), the Creative Party with 32 million won ($31,000) and the Unified Progressive Party with 18 million won ($17,000).

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources

        Interview by phone with Kim Jeong-min, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, October 8, 2014.

        Internet search of civil society webpages, performed by the researcher, September 2014

        "Citizens must reward clean politics through the political funds they spend," by Editorial board, Segye Ilbo, January 15, 2014. http://www.segye.com/content/html/2014/01/15/20140115005695.html?OutUrl=naver

        "Parties secretly using taxpayers' money in bars," by Park Eung-jin, News 1, December 31, 2013. http://news1.kr/articles/?1475388

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        --
        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        The most conspicuous flurry of reforms was carried out under the liberal administration of President Roh Moo-hyun. Roh, a former human rights lawyer, came to power in 2003 on a platform of radical political reform and engagement with North Korea. In July 2003, just months after his election and not long before the April general elections the following year, Roh called for sweeping revisions to laws affecting the political framework. The newspaper Hankguk Gyeongje quoted the president calling for the opposing parties to come together to process a number of reform bills at that National Assembly that dealt with, among other things, transparency in political funding.

        After surviving a botched attempt at impeachment, Roh benefited from public sympathy and exasperation with the opposition, helping his party win the 2004 National Assembly elections. His slim parliamentary majority, however, was short-lived, with by-elections the next year leaving him without a politically supportive legislature. By the time of the amendments of 2006, Roh’s party had 144 seats in the 299 member National Assembly, but still managed the passage of the amendments with support from other parties.

        One of the biggest developments in political finance law was the passage of the Political Funds Act in 2005. This replaced the previous Political Fund Act. Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, says one of the most significant reforms was the abolition of supporters' organizations for political parties in 2006 under the liberal government of former President Roh Moo-hyun, an administration that ushered in major political reform. The change was an amendment to Article 9 of the Political Funds Act, made on April 28 2006. Before then, supporters' organizations had been empowered to collect donations on behalf of political parties for use in elections. Since the reform, only National Assembly candidates, presidential candidates and gubernatorial candidates have had access to this funding method during campaign periods, the workings of which are described in detail in the Political Funds Act.

        In total, there have since been 20 amendments to the Political Funds Act, the main law dealing with political finance. Many of these changes were extremely minor, referring to a single article of the act. Some dealt with simply wording. Substantive changes are outlined below.

        The first of these, enacted in March 21 2004, relates to Article 24. The revision allows the central authority of the National Election Commission to investigate the financial information submitted to the agency and directly request the submission of information from political actors. An amendment to Article 32 on the same date allows for imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of 2 million won to anyone who fails to submit data or submits false data to the National Election Commission.

        An amendment to Article 12, attached on April 8, 2005, changed the rules to allow supporters' associations to carry over any amount below the maximum allowable receivable contributions to the next year if the maximum is not met the previous year.

        An amendment to Article 5 on April 28 2006 removed the need for a receipt to be given to anyone contributing less than 100,00 won to a political party in membership fees. It also allowed for receipts to be provided online.

        An amendement to Article 10 on the same date removed the obligation on the chief accountant of a supporters' association to report all received funds to the election commission within one month.

        An amendment Article 11 on the same date included presidential candidates for the first time in the rules regarding the maximum donation per person permitted to a supporters' association.

        An amendment Article 17 on the same date removed the need for a receipt to be given to anyone contributing less than 100,00 won to a supporters' organization.

        An amendment to Article 23 on the same date changed the maximum "deposit" donation that can be given anonymously from 1.2 million won to 3 million won.

        An amendment to Article 29 made on the same date allowed for a 25 percent reduction in public subsidies to the party if it fails to report its financial information. Double the public subsidy in penalties is imposed upon a City/Do party branch office.

        An amendment to Article 54 on the same date introduced provisions for recouping rewards paid to whistleblowers who have made false reports of election offenses. The amendment obliges the return of the reward within 30 days. After this time, the tax office may recoup the funds through the tax code. Recouped rewards are returned to the treasury.

        An amendment to Article 12 made on July 31, 2009 allows for a supporters' association to delay the contribution of funds to its designating candidate in "inevitable circumstances" as long as the money is contributed by the time of the mandatory accounting report.

        An amendment to Article 15 on the same date added provisions allowing a supporters' association to "publicize its name, the objectives of collecting support payments, offices to which contributions are made, ways to make contributions, the photo, educational background (limited to formal schooling and schooling of completing educational courses equivalent thereto in foreign countries), career" and other information to attract payments.

        An amendment to Article 17 on the same date added provisions for supporters' associations to keep receipts of contributions as part of their accounts, instead of giving them to the donor, in cases where the donor does not want a receipt, has donated less than 10,000 won in a year or is donating anonymously. Also added to the same article were the following provisions: "(13) Each supporters'' association may request, in writing, the relevant financial institution to inform itself of the name and contact details of the deposit requester (including deposit by means of credit card, telephone, Internet electronic settlement system, etc.) in order to issue a political fund receipt for support payments deposited in a savings account for revenue of political funds reported under Article 34 (4). The financial institution shall, upon receipt of such request, immediately inform the details thereof notwithstanding the Act on Real Name Financial Transactions and Guarantee of Secrecy. (14) Forms to be used to request for informing the name and contact details of the deposit requester under paragraph (13) and other necessary matters shall be determined by the Regulations of the National Election Commission. ."

        An amendent to Article 26 on the same date added incentives, in the form of public subsidies, for parties to field disabled candidates. The precise details of the subsidies are as follows: "Article 26-2 (Subsidies for Fielding Disabled Persons to Run in Elections for Public Office) print (1) The State shall appropriate the amount obtained by multiplying 20 won by the total number of eligible voters in the most recently held election for National Assembly members at the expiration of their terms of office, in the budget of the year during which an election for National Assembly members, an election for City/Do council members, or an election for autonomous Gu/Si/Gun council members is held at the expiration of their terms of office as subsidies (hereinafter referred to as "subsidies for fielding disabled candidates") for payment to political parties that field disabled candidates (referring to any person registered under Article 32 of the Welfare of Disabled Persons Act from among candidates; hereinafter the same shall apply) to run in an election for constituency National Assembly members, an election for constituency City/Do council members, or an election for constituency autonomous Gu/Si/Gun council members. (2) The subsidies for fielding disabled candidates shall be distributed and paid to political parties that field disabled candidates to run in the elections referred to in paragraph (1) according to the standards in any of the following subparagraphs. In such cases, the subsidies for fielding disabled candidates in an election for constituency City/Do council members, and constituency autonomous Gu/Si/Gun council members shall be 50/100 of the subsidies for fielding disabled candidates appropriated in the budget of the relevant year under paragraph (1) for a total amount of the subsidies for fielding disabled candidates for each election: 1. Where any political party fields disabled candidates who account for not less than 5/100 of the total candidates for national local constituency: 50/100 of the total amount of the subsidies for fielding disabled candidates shall be distributed and paid to such political parties according to the ratio of the number of seats in the National Assembly by political party as at the time such subsidies are distributed and paid. The residual subsidies for fielding disabled candidates shall be distributed and paid to the political parties according to the ratio of the number of votes obtained at any elections for the National Assembly recently held; 2. Where no political party fields disabled candidates who account for not less than 5/100 of the total candidates for national local constituency: (a) Any political party that fields disabled candidates who account for not less than 3/100 but less than 5/100 of the total candidates for national local constituency: 50/100 of the total amount of subsidies for fielding disabled candidates shall be distributed and paid to the political party. 50/100 of the amount to be paid shall be distributed and paid to such political parties according to the ratio of the number of seats in the National Assembly by political party as at the time such subsidies are distributed and paid. The residual subsidies shall be distributed and paid to the political parties according to the ratio of the number of votes obtained at any elections for the National Assembly recently held; (b) Any political party that fields disabled candidates who account for not less than 1/100 less than 3/100 of the total candidates for national local constituency: 30/100 of the total amount of subsidies for fielding disabled candidates shall be distributed and paid. 50/100 of the amount to be paid shall be distributed and paid according to the ratio of the number of seats in the National Assembly by political party as at the time such subsidies are distributed and paid. The residual subsidies shall be distributed and paid to the political parties according to the ratio of the number of votes obtained at any elections for the National Assembly recently held. In such cases, the subsidies for fielding disabled candidates that are distributed to one political party shall not exceed the minimum amount from among the subsidies for fielding disabled candidates distributed to each political party according to item (a). (3) The subsidies for fielding disabled candidates shall be paid to political parties within two days after the deadline for the registration of candidates to run in an election for constituency National Assembly members, an election for constituency City/Do council members or an election for constituency autonomous Gu/Si/Gun council members at the expiration of their terms of office."

        Article 27-2 (Protection of Rights to be Paid Subsidies) was newly inserted on the same date. This amendment stated that the right to political subsidies of parties could not be transferred or seized and provided as security.

        An amendment to Article 36 on the same date added exceptions to the rule mandating that only the designated accountant can managed the accounting of political funds of a party. The exceptions were:

        "1. Where an assistant accountant (limited to any person eligible to wage an election campaign for public office) commissioned by a person in charge of accounting in writing to perform accounting, fixing the purpose of disbursement to the extent to know the content of such disbursement in general and the scope of the amount thereof disburses; 2. Where expenditure is made by means of credit cards, check-cards and other means equivalent thereto the settlement account of which is a savings account for expenditure of political funds reported pursuant to Article 34 under the administration and control of the person in charge of accounting."

        An amendment to Article 36, (5), on the same date excluded Internet election campaigning and preliminary candidates' campaigns from an exception that allowed the use of supporters' associations' funds for uses relating to before its registration.

        An amendment to Article 10 on July 23, 2010, (3), allows for a candidate to directly accept donations so long as he or she reports it and the details of the donor to the accounting manager of the supporters' association within 30 days.

        An amendment to Article 19 on February 29, 2012 provides an exception to the rule that the dissolution of a supporter's association must be reported to the election commission within 30 days. The exception relates to when a candidates term of office naturally expires.

        An amendment on the same date deleted sections (5)-(7) of Article 51. The deleted sections are: "(5) Anyone who is dissatisfied with a disposition taken to impose a fine for negligence provided for in the provisions of paragraph (4) may raise an objection to the imposition authority within 20 days from the date on which he/she is notified of such disposition. (6) When anyone who is subject to the disposition taken to impose the fine for negligence under the provisions of paragraph (4) raises an objection referred to in paragraph (5), the imposing authority shall, without delay, notify the competent court, which, in turn, shall proceed to a trial on fines for negligence according to the Non-Contentious Case Litigation Procedure Act. (7) The raising of the objection and the proceeding of the trial referred to in the provisions of paragraph (5) or (6) shall not influence the effect, the execution or the continuation of procedures of any disposition taken to impose the fine for negligence."

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        "Roh: 'Sweeping political law reforms needed'... 'Address within the year. Apply from next year's election' review proposal,'" Heo Won-soon, Hanguk Gyeongje, July 14, 2003. http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid=015&aid=0000630415

        Political Funds Act, Articles 5,10, 10 (3),11,12, 15, 17, 19, 23, 24, 26-2, 27, 27-2, 29, 36(1),(2) and (5), 54, 2012, http://www.law.go.kr/lsInfoP.do?lsiSeq=123583&efYd=20120229#0000 (????? )

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    Third Party Actors

    More about category
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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
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        MODERATE
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        Third-party actors apart from supporters’ associations are prohibited from any political activities that may influence an election, including buying advertisements or holding promotional events. The contributions of supporters’ associations that must be reported are taken to include non-donation spending such as on advertising.

        The law bans contributions by most third-party actors. The exceptions to this rule are political action committees, known in Korean law as "supporters' associations," and "representatives" of parties such as policy development institutes. According to Article 37 (Keeping and Entries of Accounting Books), (2) of the Political Funds Act, when reporting on received revenue, these organizations must include "the details" of revenue and expenditures.

        "Details" are defined in Article 37, 4, (2) as follows: "1.The term 'details of revenue' means the date and the amount of the revenue, the names, the dates of birth, domiciles, occupations and telephone numbers of persons who have made contributions of such revenue and other details; 2.The term 'details of expenditure' means the date, amount and purposes of expenditure and the names, dates of birth, domiciles, occupations and telephone numbers of persons to whom such expenditure is paid. Where printed materials, establishments, goods, equipment, etc. are used without compensation therefor or far below ordinary market prices and rentals, every person in charge of accounting shall pay the amount that includes the value equivalent to the ordinary market prices and rentals that are determined by the Regulations of the National Election Commission."

        Article 3 (Definitions) (3) states: "The term "contributions" means the furnishing of political funds, which is performed by individuals, supporters' associations and other persons, in order to financially support political activities. In such cases, if any third party bears or pays any expense that is needed by anyone who carries out political activities or the act of furnishing money and goods, renting facilities free of charge, exempting and reducing any debt and offering any interest, etc. shall be all deemed contributions."

        According to Article 40 of the same act, supporters’ associations must report their finances within 30 days of an election. This information is made public by the National Election Commission within seven days of the submission date, but only for a period of three months. Three months after their publication, the financial reports of supporters' associations are no longer pubclicly available.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Itemized contributions of supporters' associations are reported to the Central Election Commission annually, which then makes the data available annually.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER VII ACCOUNTING, REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE OF POLITICAL FUND, Article 37 (Keeping and Entries of Accounting Books) (1)-(4), 2005 http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

        Interview by phone with Geyong Jae-uk, investigation division No. 2, the National Election Commission. Seoul, October 8, 2014.

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        50
        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        The only third party organizations entitled to donate political funds are the supporters' associations of election candidates. According to Article 37 (Keeping and Entries of Accounting Books), (2) of the Political Funds Act, when reporting on received revenue, these organizations must include "the details" of revenue and expenditures including amounts, date and contributors' identities. Because these details are only made available for a short period after the election, however, they were not available to asses for this project.

        Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University, says that supporters' associations generally report detailed information to the National Election Commission. He says, however, that supporters' associations can sometimes report less money than actually collected. One typical method for under-reporting total funds of National Assembly lawmakers is through book launches. Many lawmakers release autobiographies, for which they hold launch ceremonies. At these launches, attendees sometimes buy the relevant book at far above its actual cost, handing over money that ostensibly falls outside the official definition of political contributions. This phenomenon is also laid out in an article from September published in The Korea Herald, titled "NEC eyes curbs on lawmakers’ book launches."

        Information on the total amounts collected and spent by associations is available in the media. An article from the Incheon Ilbo published in March 2013 outlined some of the donation information of supporters' associations from the previous year. It reported that the associations of 298 lawmakers in the country contributed a total of 44.9 billion won ($42.9 million). It further reported that the average contributions per lawmaker countrywide was 150 million, with the highest individual amount of 315 million going to Lee Hak-jae of the ruling Saenuri Party.

        Another article, meanwhile, revealed that liberal contender Moon Jae-in was the first to report his financial information to the National Election Commission after the presidential election. It went on to say that this information was now being made available on the commission homepage.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        "NEC eyes curbs on lawmakers’ book launches," by Jeong Hunny, The Korea Herald. September 15, 2014. http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140915000821

        Ruling and opposition candidates 'election expenses revelation'...election funds become transparent," by Oh Nam-seok, Park Jeong-gyeong, Munhwa Ilbo, July 25, 2012. http://www.munhwa.com/news/view.html?no=2012072501070223068002

        "Incheon region lawmakers' average donations 220 million won," by Shin Sang-hak, Incheon Ilbo, March 13, 2013. http://www.incheonilbo.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=482348

        “Two parties’ runners ‘election expenses participation’... transparency in election funds?” by Oh Nam-seok, http://www.munhwa.com/news/view.html?no=2012072501070223068002

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        25
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        The only third party organizations entitled to donate political funds are the supporters' associations of election candidates. According to Article 37 (Keeping and Entries of Accounting Books), (2) of the Political Funds Act, when reporting on received revenue, these organizations must include "the details" of revenue and expenditures including amounts, date and contributors' identities. These details are only viewable by the public for a period of three months after the election, according to Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University. The National Election Commission, which releases the information, makes it private after this period.

        A newspaper article published the details this situation in May of 2012 after the National Assembly Elections. The article, published in the Nomin Shinmun (The Farmers' Newspaper), explains that the financial information of the preceding election will be available from the 25th of the month until August 3.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        "19th National Assembly candidates' political funds revealed," by Nam Woo-gyeun, The Farmers' Newspaper, May 23, 2012. http://www.nongmin.com/article/ardetail.htm?arid=202863&subMenu=articletotal

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

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        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        The supporters' associations of individual candidates, comparable to political action committees, are the only third-party entities allowed to collect and spend political funds during elections. They collect from money from the public on behalf of election candidates to spend on their campaigns. They exist for National Assembly and presidential elections. In presidential elections, their maximum permitted expenditure, according to Article 12 (Collection of Contributions by Supporters' Associations and Limited Amount of Contributions), is an "amount equivalent to 5/100 of the maximum election expenses, as calculated by a formula outlined in the Public Official Election Act. The maximum spend for National Assembly elections is 150 million won. The formula for determining the "restricted amount of election expenses" in a presidential election is population×950 won.

        The organizations are highly significant as the only conduit for the public to donate money to candidates themselves, direct donations being prohibited. A large proportion of election spending comes from supporters' associations. While the exact breakdown of the spending for the last elections is unavailable due to the limited disclosure period, they can contribute a large proportion of a campaign's spending as the only legitimate, third-party source of funds.

        Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, notes that firms or organizations that wish to influence an election campaign can do so through other means. Chiefly, as contributions from such entities are prohibited, he says donations can be made through a practice known as "bundling." This involves an entity directing its individual members or employees to make donations en mass, thereby circumventing the election law. While technically illegal, this practice can more effectively obscure illegitimate election donations.

        An example of this practice was reported in a newspaper article in June. Park Sang-eun, a lawmaker with the Saenuri Party, was reported to have received donations from employees, acting under the direction of their superiors, of 20-30 firms over a two-year period from 2010 until 2012.

        Another article from October 2013 reported that Kim Mun-soo, an independent candidate in the 2012 presidential election, received 100,000 won (94.80 USD) each from 19 employees of a teenagers' recreation center in Gyeonggi Province in violation of election rules.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, August 27, 2014.

        "Lawmaker Park Sang-eun received 'spilt donations' from 20-30 businesses," by Park Joon-cheol, Kyunghyang Shinmun, June 21 2014. http://m.news.naver.com/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid=032&aid=0002492435

        "Central Election Management Committee sues Kim Mun-soo over spilt donations from teenagers' recreation center," by Choi Seon-uk, No Cut News, October 16, 2013. http://m.news.naver.com/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=079&aid=0002520038

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

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      Monitoring Capabilities
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        YES
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        The Constitution of the Republic of Korea establishes independent electoral bodies to monitor elections.

        Article 114 states: "(1)Election commissions shall be established for the purpose of fair management of elections and national referenda, and dealing with administrative affairs concerning political parties."

        Section (4) of the same article guarantees the bodies political independence: "The members of the Commission shall not join political parties, nor shall they participate in political activities."

        The Electoral Commission Act outlines the specific purpose, responsibilities and powers of the main oversight body, the National Election Commission, and its local branches. The commission is entrusted with ensuring the fairness and legality of the election process, as stated in Article 1 (Purpose): "The purpose of this Act is to provide for the organization and duties of the election commissions which supervise the fair management of election and referendum and the affairs related to political parties."

        The commission as the authority to conduct deeper investigations into political finance as needed. As noted in article 43 of the Political Funds Act (Request for Submitting Materials, etc.): "(1) Members and employees of the election commission at various levels (excluding the Eup/Myeon/Dong election commission; hereafter in this Article the same shall apply) shall, when it is deemed necessary to confirm the revenue and expenditure of the election expenses, check ac counting books and disbursement and receipt documents and interview candidates and preliminary candidates to run in elections for public office, persons in charge of accounting of political parties, persons who are paid expenses from election funds or are entitled to receive them and other persons concerned and also ask for the making of reports and submission of materials. (2) Anyone who receives the request referred to in the provisions of paragraph (1) from the election commission shall promptly comply with such request."

        The commission has the authority to issue warnings and correction orders to political actors suspected of wrongdoing. In cases where serious irregularities or earlier warnings go unheeded, the commission may report the actor in question to the prosecution for criminal sanctions or bring its own charges against the accused.

        As per Article 14-2 (Suspension of and Warning against Violations of Election Laws): "Members or staff of each election commission, upon discovering a violation of election laws in the course of their duties, shall halt the violation, issue a warning or correction order, and may request an investigation to the competent investigation authorities or bring a formal charge if the violation is deemed significantly detrimental to the impartiality of election or an order of suspension, warning, or correction is not complied with."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Korea, CHAPTER VII ELECTION MANAGEMENT, Article 114, 1987. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=1&lang=ENG

        Election Commission Act, Article 1 (Purpose); Article 14-2 (Suspension of and Warning against Violations of Election Laws), 1963. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18325&lang=ENG

        Political Funds Act, Article 43, 2005 http://elaw.klri.re.kr/eng_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

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        MODERATE
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        The Election Commission Act mandates that the nine commissioners of the electoral body undergo public hearings at the National Assembly.

        Article 4 (Appointment and Commission of Members) (1) states: "The National Election Commission shall be composed of three members appointed by the President, three members elected by the National Assembly, and three members nominated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In this case, the members shall be so appointed, elected, and nominated after going through the confirmation hearing of the National Assembly. ."

        Section (6) of the aforementioned article bans most public officials from serving on the electoral commission: "A public official other than a judge, court official and public official in educational service shall not be a member of each election commission."

        Article 9 (Grounds for Dismissal of Members), meanwhile, provides for the dismissal of a commissioner who joins a political party or participates in politics.

        Aside from requiring political neutrality and public vetting, however, the act does not outline a detailed list of eligibility criteria for the role.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Election Commission Act, Article 4 (Appointment and Commission of Members); Article 9 (Grounds for Dismissal of Members), 1963. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18325&lang=ENG

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        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        The National Election Commission is composed of nine members, with three each appointed by the president, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court. This helps ensure that the commission is not stacked with people of a certain political affiliation or outlook. Kim Go-sung, chairperson of Transparency International-Korea, says that appointments are made based on merit and that prospective appointees in the National Assembly generally gain the parliament's approval when no major problems arise with the individual. "I think there is no problem in appointing commissioners," he says. He notes that the most recent appointments, of Kim Jeong-go, Kim Yong-ho and Choi Yoon-hee in March this year, were made without controversy.

        Park In-sook, a lawmaker with the ruling Saenuri Party, also says that commissioners are appointed based on merit. She says they are generally well qualified and do a good job. She is unaware of any contentious appointees to the agency.

        The National Election Commission contains freely available information on the employment history and educational background of each commissioner (http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/list/B0000331.do?menuNo=200360).

        All nine commissioners of the body undergo hearings at the National Assembly, making their appointments a process that happens in view of the public. Information has also been released to the public about the qualifications of appointees and the rationale for their selection at the time of their appointment. In February of this year, President Park Geun-hye appointed two new members of the commission. Her administration released information about their selection at the time. A spokesman for the administration described appointee Kim Jeong-gi, a former attorney, as having strong conviction in the established law and order and the confidence of those around him. According to the spokesman, the second appointee, Choi Yoon-hee, was chosen in light of her abilities as a lawyer and professor, and for her work on the Central Labor Relations Committee and National Human Rights Commission of Korea.

        However, the nomination of Choi Yoon-hee was opposed by at least one high profile political blogger on the grounds that she was formerly a member of the ethics committee of The Grand National Party (Hanaradang), the precursor to the the president's party, The Saenuri Party. The anonymous blogger, writing for the site I Am Peter, argued that Choi's nuetrality was compromised because of her past association with the ruling party. Choi's previous appointment to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea in 2008 was also opposed by human rights groups on the grounds of her political affiliation, as reported in media including Media Us. As noted by I Am Peter, the law governing the commission prohibits its members from joining a political part or engaging in political activities.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Kim Go-sung, Chairperson Transparency International - Korea, August 27, 2014.

        Website of the National Election Commission, Seoul, August 29, 2014. http://www.nec.go.kr/portal/bbs/list/B0000331.do?menuNo=200360

        "Attorney Kim Jeong-gi, professor Choi Yoon-hee nominated to National Election Commission," Kim Ik-tae, Money Today News, February 2, 2014 http://www.mt.co.kr/view/mtview.php?type=1&no=2014021116472953718&outlink=1

        Phone interview with Park In-sook, Saenuri Party lawmaker, September 10, 2014.

        "Park Geun-hye, ex-Hanradang's Choi Yoon-hee's nomination," I am Peter, February 12, 2014. http://impeter.tistory.com/2410

        Secondary sources: "National Human Rights Comission of Korea, strangling itself," by Lee Yong-seok, Media Us, October 30, 2008. http://www.mediaus.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=4733

        National Human Rights Commission of Korea Act, Articles 9,10, 2014. http://www.law.go.kr/lsInfoP.do?lsiSeq=152089&efYd=20140318#0000

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        YES
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        The Election Commission Act empowers the National Election Commission to investigate potential wrongdoing by political actors, warn or sanction wrongdoers and recommend criminal charges to the prosecution. These powers are not contingent upon the consent of the executive or parliament.

        Article 14-2 (Suspension of and Warning against Violations of Election Laws) states: "Members or staff of each election commission, upon discovering a violation of election laws in the course of their duties, shall halt the violation, issue a warning or correction order, and may request an investigation to the competent investigation authorities or bring a formal charge if the violation is deemed significantly detrimental to the impartiality of election or an order of suspension, warning, or correction is not complied with."

        Additionally, the commission as the authority to conduct deeper investigations into political finance as needed. As noted in article 43 of the Political Funds Act (Request for Submitting Materials, etc.): "(1) Members and employees of the election commission at various levels (excluding the Eup/Myeon/Dong election commission; hereafter in this Article the same shall apply) shall, when it is deemed necessary to confirm the revenue and expenditure of the election expenses, check ac counting books and disbursement and receipt documents and interview candidates and preliminary candidates to run in elections for public office, persons in charge of accounting of political parties, persons who are paid expenses from election funds or are entitled to receive them and other persons concerned and also ask for the making of reports and submission of materials. (2) Anyone who receives the request referred to in the provisions of paragraph (1) from the election commission shall promptly comply with such request."

        Commissioners have set 6-year terms, as per Article 8 (Members’ Term of Office). They can only be removed office by impeachment or upon committing a serious crime. Article 114, (5) of the constitution states: "No member of the Commission shall be expelled from office except by impeachment or a sentence of imprisonment without prison labor or heavier punishment."

        The Election Commission Act expands on the grounds under which commissioners can be removed from office. Article 9 (Grounds for Dismissal of Members) lists the following scenarios: "A member of each election commission shall not be dismissed, decommissioned or removed unless he/she falls under any of the following subparagraphs: 1.Where he/she joins a political party or participates in politics; 2.Where he/she is released from his/her office by impeachment; 3.Where he/she is sentenced to imprisonment without prison labor or more severe punishment; [...]"

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Korea, CHAPTER VII ELECTION MANAGEMENT, Article 114, (5) 1987. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=1&lang=ENG

        Election Commission Act, Article 4 (Appointment and Commission of Members); Article 8 (Members’ Term of Office); Article 9 (Grounds for Dismissal of Members); Article 14-2 ((Suspension of and Warning against Violations of Election Laws), 1963. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18325&lang=ENG

        Political Funds Act, Article 43, 2005 http://elaw.klri.re.kr/eng_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

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        75
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        Park In-sook, Saenuri Party lawmaker, says that the National Election Commission operates free from political bias and enjoys widespread confidence in the impartiality of its operations. She says she has never encountered any insistence of politically motivated action by the commission nor heard any reports of such.

        However, there has been criticism of the commission for inertia in pursuing a particular series of election violations, though this inaction has not been conclusively linked to political bias. Kim Go-sung, Chairperson Transparency International - Korea, says that commissioners generally operate independent of political influence, but the commission has been received some public criticism for its silence in the face of a major election meddling scandal surrounding the presidential election. Kim says that the agency failed to act on or speak out against an attempt by the country's intelligence agency, the National Intelligence Service, to sway voters in favor of the then ruling party candidate and later president Park Geun-hye through online postings disparaging the opposition candidate, in violation of its obligation to maintain political neutrality. Kim says the election commission failed to investigate the allegations in the case or report them to the prosecution, even though it was within its legal power to do so. These allegations eventually led to the prosecution of the former head of the NIS, Won Se-hoon, in September of 2014.

        There is only one case of an appointee leaving before their term ended, through resignation in non-controversial circumstances. In January 2013, after two years in the position, Kim Neung-hwan resigned from the commission after overseeing the presidential and National Assembly elections of the previous year. No reason was provided for the resignation, while the commission thanked him for carrying out his duties and there was no indication of controversy.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Park In-sook, Saenuri Party lawmaker, September 10, 2014.

        Phone interview with Kim Go-sung, Chairperson Transparency International - Korea, August 27, 2014.

        "National Election commissioner Kim Neung-hwan's shock resignation," by Lee Yeong-seob, Views&News, January 15, 2013. http://www.viewsnnews.com/article/view.jsp?seq=95445

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        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        The main decision body of the National Election Commission is comprised of nine members, with three each appointed by the president, National Assembly and Supreme Court. The commission is tasked with ensuring the "fair management of elections and national referenda, and dealing with administrative affairs concerning political parties," according to the Constitution of the Republic of Korea. Members of the commission may "issue a warning or correction order, and may request an investigation to the competent investigation authorities or bring a formal charge if the violation is deemed significantly detrimental to the impartiality of election or an order of suspension, warning, or correction is not complied with," as per Article 14-2 of the Election Commission Act.

        Cho Seon-hee, an action officer at the National Election Commission, says the commission makes decisions by a simple majority vote once a majority of members is in attendance. The chairperson also has a casting vote for use in the event of a tie. The decision-making procedures of the agency are laid out in Article 10 (Quorum of Commissions) of the Election Commission Act: "(1) Each election commission shall open with attendance of a majority of all the members and make a decision by approval of a majority of the members present. (2) The chairperson shall have a vote and, in case of a tie on votes, have a casting vote."

        According to Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, the National Election Commission generally tries to reach decisions by consensus, but will settle for a majority if necessary. Apart from monitoring political finance, among its functions, he says, is the monitoring of other violations such as political speech by the president during the election period. The president is forbidden by law from attempting to influence the election process.

        The National Election Commission also sanctions violators of election law. A newspaper article from October last year reported that the commission launched legal action against an independent presidential candidate for receiving bundled donations from a recreation center for teenagers in Gyeonggi Province. The commission took the action at Suwon District Court after accusing Kim Mun-soo of receiving 100,000 won each from 19 employees at the center.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Republic of Korea, CHAPTER VII ELECTION MANAGEMENT, Article 114, 1987. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=1&lang=ENG

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        Election Commission Act, Article 10 (Quorum of Commissions); Article 14-2, 1963. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18325&lang=ENG

        Interview by phone with Cho Seon-hee, action officer, the National Election Commission, Seoul. September 19, 2014.

        "Central Election Management Committee sues Kim Min-soo over split donations from teenagers' recreation center," by Choi Seon-uk, No Cut News, October 16, 2013. http://m.news.naver.com/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=079&aid=0002520038

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        100
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        Geyong Jae-uk, an official at the National Election Commission, complains of insufficient resources to carry out their work. Gyeong says that there was a lot of work during the presidential election, noting that reports need to be processed for candidates both joining and exiting the race. Gyeong notes that the processing of financial information, as opposed to other work, is particularly prone to under staffing. This is because while the agency gets outside help for its general operations when necessary, election reports and work related to political finance are only processed by its regular in-house staff. He said that the commission was still able to review all reports submitted. While he complained that a lack of staff made for an excessive workload, he did not say this prevented the commission from reviewing all reports.

        The observations of outsiders following the activities of the commission diverge considerably, however. Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, says that National Election Commission has sufficient budget and manpower to carry out its functions. He says that the staff of the agency very carefully monitors election campaigns once they begin and are proactive in acting against potential violations. He notes that the agency has a very wider network across the country apart from the nine chief members of the decision-making body, with representatives in every city and county. The agency has more than 200 local branches, he says. The chairperson of each of these branches is a judge. Chung notes that the agency receives a large budget in accordance with its size.

        Park In-sook, a lawmaker elected in 2012, notes that, in her experience as a candidate, the National Election Commission is well staffed with a very large presence. She says the commission was a near constant presence while she was on the campaign trail, closely following the proceedings.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources

        Interview by phone with Geyong Jae-uk, investigation division No. 2, the National Election Commission. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        Phone interview with Park In-sook, Saenuri Party lawmaker, September 10, 2014.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        The National Election Commission did not carry out audits or additional investigations during the the 2012 presidential election. The agency received financial reports from all relevant actors but did not deem further investigation necessary beyond the standard review of submitted financial reports.

        Gyeong Jae-uk, an official at investigation division No. 2 of the National Election Commission, says that the agency did not carry out any additional audit or investigation beyond its regular review of financial information submitted for the presidential election in 2012. After a month-long review of financial reports, the agency determined there was no cause for additional investigation. He says that private finances would not be looked into without reasonable suspicion.

        A review of Internet search results produced no instances of special audits or investigations.

        The lack of special investigations was further reflected in a defamation case taken over a book, written by two citizens surnamed Kim and Han, that addresses the commission's performance during the presidential election. In the book, the two charged that the commission had failed to investigate the conservative ruling party's candidate for political reasons. In response, the commission took legal action against the pair for what it said were unfounded allegations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources

        Internet search of civil society webpages, performed by the researcher, September 2014

        Interview by phone with Geyong Jae-uk, investigation division No. 2, the National Election Commission. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        ''18th presidential election invalid'...Four years in prison sought for authors of 'White Paper on the Illegal Election," by Gu Gyo-un, News 1, September 5, 2014. http://news1.kr/articles/?1848371

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        Geyong Jae-uk, an official at investigation division No. 2 of the National Election Commission, says that the results of audits and special investigations into election finances are generally not released to the public due to the sensitivity of the information involved. He says that exceptions are sometimes made in cases that raise important issues or upon the request of media.

        As no special investigations or audits were carried out following the submission of financial reports for the presidential election, there were no audits results to release to the public. A search of information online revealed no such investigations. The lack of special investigations was reflected in a defamation case taken over a book, written by two citizens surnamed Kim and Han, that addresses the commission's performance during the presidential election. In the book, the two charged that the commission had failed to investigate the conservative ruling party's candidate for political reasons. In response, the commission took legal action against the pair for what it said were unfounded allegations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources

        Interview by phone with Geyong Jae-uk, investigation division No. 2, the National Election Commission. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        Internet search of civil society webpages, performed by the researcher, September 2014.

        "18th presidential election invalid'...Four years in prison sought for authors of 'White Paper on the Illegal Election," by Gu Gyo-un, News 1, September 5, 2014. http://news1.kr/articles/?1848371

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      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
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        YES
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        The Political Funds Act bans contributions by foreigners and corporations, as per Article 31. Additionally, Tte Political Funds Act sets out maximum donation amounts for the two types of contributions previously outlined in this project, deposits and supporters' contributions. Election spending, meanwhile, is regulated by the Public Official Election Act. Article 34 of the Political Funds Act, as previously outlined, lists requirements on reporting.

        Article 45 (Offense of Giving and Receiving Political Funds)of the Political Funds Act specifically outlines the punishments for violations of various articles of the law. There are six punishment bands, ranging from imprisonment of up to 5 years and 20 million won in fines, to fines of up to 2 million won.

        The Public Official Election Act also outlines punishments for violations of various articles of the Act. Article 257 (Violation of Prohibition and Restriction on Contribution Act) (1) sanctions punishment of up to 5 years in prison or fines of up to 10 million won for violations of the restrictions on campaign donations. Section (2) of the same article provides three years in prison or a fine of 5 million won for anyone who "instructs, solicits, mediates, demands, or receives any contribution" for a party or related official, candidate or relation of a candidate. Article 258 (Unlawful Disbursement, etc. of Election Expenses) provides for up to five years in prison or a fine of 20 million for a party or candidate that violates the campaign spending limits set out in Article 122. Article 230 (Corrupt Practices and Inducement by Interest) and Article 231 (Corrupt Practices and Inducement by Interest for Economic Benefits) prohibit the furnishing of material benefits or posts to electors or officials associated with the election or campaign process to influence a vote or reap material gain, respectively. The respective punishments allowed for are up to five years in prison or a fine of up to 10 million won, and less than seven years in prison or a fine of up to 20 million won. Article 232 (Corrupt Practices and Inducement by Interest toward Candidates) prohibits the same activities as above when directed toward a candidate, allowing for up to 7 years imprisonment or a fine of up to 30 million won. Article 234 (Inducement for Invalidating Election) allows for between one and 10 years in prison for anyone who provokes an aforementioned actor to carry out any of the aforementioned activities with the intention of invalidating an election.

        The Article 29 of the Political Funds Act states:
        "The National Election Commission shall retrieve the relevant amount, or when it is difficult to retrieve such relevant amount, reduce the sub sidies to be paid to the relevant political party thereafter according to the provisions of any of the following subparagraphs: 1. Where any political party (including its policy development institute and its party election campaign office) that has been paid a subsidy makes a false or understated accounting report on such subsidy, the amount equivalent to twice the false or understated amount; 2. Where any political party uses a subsidy for any purpose other than that provided for in the provisions of Article 28 (1), the amount equivalent to twice the amount of the subsidy that is used in violation of the stipulated purpose; 3. Where any political party uses a subsidy for any purpose other than that provided for in the provisions of Article 28 (2), the amount equivalent to twice the amount of the subsidy that is used in violation of the stipulated purpose; 4. Where any political party uses subsidies for fielding female candidates or those for fielding disabled candidates for any purpose other than usage under Article 28 (3), the amount equivalent to twice the subsidy violating the usage; 5. Where any political party fails to make an accounting report in violation of the provisions of Article 40, the amount equivalent to 25/100 of the paid subsidy in cases of the party headquarters and the amount equivalent to twice the subsidy that is paid by the party headquarters in cases of a City/Do party branch office."

        The full list of sanctions for violations of other articles within the Political Funds Act are as follows:

        "(1)Anyone (referring to a person who commits the relevant act of violation as a member of a political party, a supporters'' association, a corporation or other organization; hereinafter the same shall apply) who contributes or receives political funds in violation of this Act shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding ten million won: Provided, That the same shall not apply where anyone who contributes or receives political funds is a relative of the degree of relationship provided for in the provisions of Article 777 of the Civil Act. (2)Anyone falling under any of the following subparagraphs shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding ten million won: 1.One, not being the designation authority of supporters'' associations provided for in the provisions of Article 6, who has established and operated a supporters'' association or an organization similar thereto for the purpose of contributing the political fund; 2.One who has made contributions in violation of the provisions of Article 11 (1) and one who has received any support payment, collected contributions or made contributions in violation of the provisions of Article 11 (2), 12 (1) and (2), or 13 (1); 3.One who has published, advertised or collected any support payment in violation of the provisions of Articles 14 through 16 (1); 4.One who has made or received political funds without entrusting them with the election commission in violation of the provisions of Article 22 (1); 5.One who has contributed or received political funds in violation of the provisions of Article 31 or 32; 6.One who has received or arranged the contribution of political funds in violation of the provisions of Article 33. (3)In cases of paragraphs (1) and (2), the money and goods provided and the property interest shall be confiscated and when it is impossible to confiscate them, the value equivalent thereof shall be collected in addition thereto. Article 46 (Offense of Violating Various Restrictions) print Anyone falling under any of the following subparagraphs shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding six million won: 1.One who has contributed or received an amount that is different from that entered or from the face value of party membership fee receipts or political fund receipts in violation of the provisions of Article 5 (1) and (2), or 17 (11), or one who has falsely prepared and issued party membership fee receipts or political fund receipts or has used them after counterfeiting or falsifying them; 2.One who has coerced the inspection of the membership roll in vio lation of the provisions of Article 8 (3) or has leaked facts regarding the membership roll that he/she has learned while performing his/her duty, in violation of paragraph (5) of the same Article; 3.One who has contributed political funds in violation of the provisions of the latter part of Article 10 (1); 4.One who has published the serial numbers of political fund receipts that are issued to a supporters'' association without going through the procedures, in violation of the provisions of Article 17 (12) or has notified other State agencies of them; 5.One who has failed to keep the accounting book or entered false matters therein in violation of the provisions of Article 37 (1) or 40 (1) through (4), or has failed to make the accounting report, has failed to submit the current status of property holdings, the amount of revenue and expenditure of the political fund and their details, the statement showing the revenue and expenditure, receipts, evidential documents and the copy of the deposit bankbook or has falsely submitted them or has falsely entered, counterfeited or forged receipts concerning revenue and expenditure or other evidential documents; 6.One who has failed to transfer or keep the ledger of membership fee receipts, the ledger of political fund receipts, the account book, the statement showing the revenue and expenditure of political funds and evidential documents, the deposit bankbook, the disbursement decision paper or the written request for decision on purchase and payment in violation of the provisions of Article 44 (1); 7.One who has leaked confidential information that he/she has learned while performing his/her duty in violation of the provisions of Article 63. Article 47 (Offense of Violating Various Mandatory Regulations) (1)Anyone falling under any of the following subparagraphs shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years or by a fine not exceeding not more than four million won: 1.One who has disbursed the political fund for purposes other than political activities in violation of the provisions of Article 2 (3); 2.One who has failed to issue or deliver party membership receipts or political fund receipts by the deadline for submitting the accounting report (referring to the accounting report as at December 31 of every year in cases of the accounting report made under Article 40 (1) by political parties and supporters'' associations for a National Assembly member) provided for in the provisions of Article 40 (1) and (2) in violation of the provisions of Article 5 (1) or 17 (1) and (3), and one who has delivered receipts of unspecified amounts in violation of the scope of their use; 3.One who has failed to transfer the ledger of political fund receipts, matters concerning the identities of contributors or support payments without any justifiable grounds in violation of the provisions of Article 16 (2); 4.One who has used subsidies in violation of the provisions of Article 28 (1) through (3); 5.One who has failed to refund the balance of subsidies in violation of the provisions of Article 30 (1); 6.One who has failed to make a report on the deposit account for the revenue and expenditure of the political fund in violation of the provisions of Article 34 (4) 1; 7.One who has failed to transfer or take over the balance of the property and the balance of the political fund, or the accounting book, etc. in violation of the provisions of Article 35 (2); 8.One who has received and disbursed political funds without getting the person in charge of accounting to do so in violation of the provisions of Article 36 (1) or (3); 9.One who has received and disbursed political funds without using the deposit account on which a report is made, in violation of the pro visions of Article 36 (2); 10.One who has failed to keep receipts and evidential documents or falsely entered details therein, counterfeited or forged them in violation of the provisions of the main sentence of Article 39; 11.One who has made a false audit report in violation of the provisions of Article 41 (2); 12.One who has posted the details of published political fund contri butions online in order to use them for political purposes in violation of the provisions of Article 42 (5); 13.One who has violated the provisions of Article 53 (2). (2)Anyone who has failed to comply with the request by the election commission for audit, for the confirmation of materials or for submission of materials without any justifiable grounds, in violation of the provisions of Article 28 (4), 42 (7) or 52 (1) and (4), submitted false materials or obstructed access to any place shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding two million won. Article 48 (Offense, etc. of Neglecting Supervisory Obligation)
        Anyone falling under any of the following subparagraphs shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two million won: 1.Where the person in charge of accounting commits the offense provided for in the provisions of subparagraph 5 of Article 46, the selection and appointment authority who has neglected his/her duty of care in selecting, appointing and supervising the relevant person in charge of accounting; 2.One who has contributed and disbursed political funds in a manner that makes it impossible to identify his/her real name in violation of the provisions of Article 2 (4) or disbursed political funds in excess of the annual limited amount within which the political fund is permitted to be disbursed in cash; 3.One who has contributed political funds in another person''s name or in a false name, in violation of the provisions of Article 2 (5); 4.One who has failed to revert the membership fees, etc. to the national treasury without any justifiable grounds in violation of the provi sions of Article 4 (2), 11 (4), 21 (3) through (5), or 58 (4); 5.One who has failed to keep the membership roll or prepared a false membership roll in violation of the provisions of Article 8 (2); 6.One who has made any contribution in violation of the limited amount for anonymous contributions provided for in the provisions of Article 11 (3). Article 49 (Penal Provisions concerning Offences related to Election Expenses)
        (1)The person in charge of accounting who has failed to make the accounting report on the election expenses provided for in the provisions of Article 40 (1) and (2) without any justifiable grounds, entered false details in the accounting report, counterfeited, forged the accounting report or omitted (referring to where election expenses are omitted in order to conceal the revenue and expenditure of the election expenses) matters required to be entered in the accounting report shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding 20 million won. (2)Anyone falling under any of the following subparagraphs, in connection with the election expenses shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years or by a fine not exceeding four million won: 1.One who has violated the provisions of Article 2 (4); 2.One who has failed to make a report on the person in charge of accounting and the deposit account in violation of the provisions of Article 34 (1) and (4) 1, or 35 (1); 3.One who has violated the provisions of Article 36 (1), (3) and (5), one who has received revenue or disbursed expenditure without using the deposit account that is reported on in violation of the provisions of paragraph (2) of the same Article and one who has made any payment without placing the money to the deposit account in violation of the provisions of paragraph (4) of the same Article; 4.One who has failed to inform the details of the disbursement of election expenses in violation of the provisions of Article 36 (6); 5.One who has failed to keep the accounting book or to enter matters therein, entered false matters therein, counterfeited or forged the accounting book in violation of the provisions of Article 37 (1); 6.One who has entered false matters in receipts or evidential documents provided for in the provisions of the main sentence of Article 39 or counterfeited and forged such receipts and evidential documents; 7.One who has failed to submit a copy of the deposit bankbook in violation of the provisions of Article 40 (4) 3; 8.One who has violated the provisions of Article 43 (2); 9.One who has violated the provisions of Article 44 (1). (3)Anyone falling under any of the following subparagraphs in connection with election expenses shall be punished by a fine for negligence not exceeding two million won: 1.One who has neglected selecting, appointing, or changing the person in charge of accounting or making a report on the concurrent office of the person in charge of accounting in violation of the provisions of Article 34 (1) and (3), or 35 (1); 2.One who has failed to submit the written agreement provided for in the provisions of Article 34 (4) 2; 3.One who has failed to prepare the written transfer and takeover statement in violation of the provisions of Article 35 (2); 4.One who has violated the provisions of Article 40 (5). Article 50 (Joint Penal Provisions)
        When the person in charge of accounting and his/her assistant accountant of the political party and the supporters'' association or the officer or the employee of the corporation and the organization commit violations falling under any of Articles 45 through 48 in the course of performing his/her duty, the relevant political party, supporters'' association, corporation or organization shall be deemed to have committed violations and thus, not only shall such offender be punished accordingly, but the relevant political party, the supporters'' association, the corporation or organization shall also be punished by the fine prescribed in the relevant Article: Provided, That the same shall not apply to cases where the relevant political party, or supporters'' association or the corporation and individual has paid due attention to or diligently supervised the relevant business in order to prevent such violation. Article 51 (Imposition and Collection of Fines for Negligence, etc.) print (1)Anyone who has committed an offence falling under any of the following subparagraphs shall be punished by a fine for negligence not exceeding three million won: 1.One who has neglected issuing and delivering party membership fee receipts or political fund receipts in violation of the provisions of Article 5 (1) or 17 (1); 2.One who has had employees in charge of clerical services employed on payroll in excess of their fixed number in violation of the provisions of Article 9 (2) and (3); 3.One who is a flagrant offender or a quasi-flagrant offender as provided for in the provisions of Article 211 of the Criminal Procedure Act and who has refused to comply with a request to accompany under Article 52 (5). (2)Anyone who has committed an offence falling under any of the following subparagraphs shall be punished by a fine for negligence not exceeding two million won: 1.One who has delayed the transfer and takeover in violation of the provisions of Article 35 (2); 2.One who has disbursed political funds, not based on the disbursement decision paper and the written request for a decision on purchase and payment in violation of the provisions of Article 38 (2). (3)One who has committed an offence falling under any of the following subparagraphs shall be punished by a fine for negligence not exceeding one million won: 1.One who has neglected to file a declaration, report or application in violation of Article 7 (1) and (4), 19 (2) and (3) (main sentence), 34 (1) and (3), 35 (1) or 40 (1) and (2); 2.One who has falsely filed an application for the registration of a supporters'' association or an application for changing the registration of a supporters'' association in violation of the provisions of Article 7; 3.One who has caused anyone who is not eligible for a member of the supporters'' association to admit him/her to such supporters'' association in violation of the provisions of Article 8 (1); 4.One who has failed to make a report on the actual use of political fund receipts or to return political fund receipts to the competent election commission in violation of the provisions of Article 17 (10); 5.One who has neglected the obligation to transfer the residual property, the refunded deposits and the preservation expenses in violation of the provisions of Article 21 (1) and (2) or 58 (1); 6.One who has become a person in charge of accounting in violation of the provisions of the main sentence of Article 34 (2); 7.One who has failed to perform the separate accounting of subsidy and political funds other than subsidies, election expenses and political funds other than the election expenses in violation of the provisions of the latter part of Article 37 (1); 8.One who has failed to attach copies of the published materials, a copy of the written resolution, a copy of the written audit opinion and a copy of the written transfer and takeover statement that explicitly indicate the fact that the budget and settlement committee confirms and verifies in violation of the provisions of Article 40 (4) 4 through 6; 9.One who has failed to comply with a request for attendance in violation of the provisions of Article 52 (5). (4)The fines for negligence provided for in the provisions of this Act shall be imposed by the competent election commission (excluding Eup/Myeon/Dong election commissions and hereafter in this Article shall be referred to as "imposition authority") on any offender under the conditions as prescribed by the Regulations of the National Election Commission and when any offender fails to pay a fine for negligence by the payment deadline, the imposition authority shall commission the head of the competent tax office to collect the fine for negligence and the head of the competent tax office shall collect the fine for negligence in question in accordance with manner of disposition taken to collect national taxes in arrears: Provided, That where any political party is subject to a disposition taken to collect national taxes in arrears, the fine for negligence shall be deducted from subsidies that are to be distributed or paid to the relevant political party. In cases of any candidate (including the head of the election campaign liaison office and a person in charge of accounting subject to the disposition of fines for negligence under Article 49 (3)), the fine for negligence may be deducted from the deposit or the preservation amount of election expenses that are to be refunded or paid to the relevant candidate (referring to the party-fielded candidate to run in a presidential election or a political party that fields its candidates in cases of an election for the proportional representative National Assembly members or an election for the proportional representative local council members) provided for in the provisions of Articles 57 and 122-2 of the Public Official Election Act. (5)Anyone who is dissatisfied with a disposition taken to impose a fine for negligence provided for in the provisions of paragraph (4) may raise an objection to the imposition authority within 20 days from the date on which he/she is notified of such disposition. (6)When anyone who is subject to the disposition taken to impose the fine for negligence under the provisions of paragraph (4) raises an objection referred to in paragraph (5), the imposing authority shall, without delay, notify the competent court, which, in turn, shall proceed to a trial on fines for negligence according to the Non-Contentious Case Litigation Procedure Act. (7)The raising of the objection and the proceeding of the trial referred to in the provisions of paragraph (5) or (6) shall not influence the effect, the execution or the continuation of procedures of any disposition taken to impose the fine for negligence."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Political Funds Act, CHAPTER VII ACCOUNTING, REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE OF POLITICAL FUND, Article 34 (Reporting on Selection and Appointment of Person in Charge of Accounting, etc.); CHAPTER VIII PENAL PROVISIONS, Article 45 (Offense of Giving and Receiving Political Funds), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

        Public Official Election Act, CHAPTER ? ELECTION EXPENSES, Article 121 (Computation of Restricted Amount of Election Expenses) (1)-(3); Article 33 (Election Period), 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/eng_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

        Election Commission Act, Article 29 (Reduction of Subsidies), 1963.
        http://elaw.klri.re.kr/eng_service/lawView.do?hseq=18325&lang=ENG

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        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        The Election Commission Act empowers the National Election Commission to independently warn or sanction violators of election law, or to refer suspected violators to the prosecution.

        Article 29 (Reduction of Subsidies) of the Political Funds Act allows that "The National Election Commission shall retrieve the relevant amount, or when it is difficult to retrieve such relevant amount, reduce the sub sidies to be paid to the relevant political party thereafter according to the provisions of any of the following subparagraphs".

        Article 14-2 (Suspension of and Warning against Violations of Election Laws) states: "Members or staff of each election commission, upon discovering a violation of election laws in the course of their duties, shall halt the violation, issue a warning or correction order, and may request an investigation to the competent investigation authorities or bring a formal charge if the violation is deemed significantly detrimental to the impartiality of election or an order of suspension, warning, or correction is not complied with."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Election Commission Act, Article 14-2 (Suspension of and Warning against Violations of Election Laws), 1963. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/eng_service/lawView.do?hseq=18325&lang=ENG

        Political Funds Act, Article 29, 2005. http://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_service/lawView.do?hseq=18837&lang=ENG

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        100
        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        Violators of election law were found to follow sanctions imposed by the authorities. Kang Ho-jin, an official at the National Election Commission, says the sanctions handed down to election rule violators by the agency are generally adhered to. Meanwhile, the prosecution and the courts have actively pursued offenders. There were several instances of lawmakers being fined, imprisoned or losing their seats in parliament.

        In January, a newspaper article reported that the Supreme Court confirmed an earlier ruling to strip three lawmakers of their National Assembly seats for violations during the National Assembly elections in April in 2012. Lee Jae-young of the ruling Saenuri Party, Shin Jang-young of the Democratic United Party and independent Hyun Young-hee all lost their seats. Lee was found to have borrowed some 63 million won ($60,000) under a false name and given it to his election campaign accountant to distribute to volunteers, to have used 40 million won ($38,000) in illegal slush funds for his campaign and to have embezzled a further 90 million won ($86,000).

        Shin, meanwhile, lost his seat for providing 4 million in cash and valuables to a junior associate from his home town who was not registered as an election worker.

        In August last year, another news article reported on the punishment handed down to independent lawmaker Kim Hyeong-tae. Kim was found to have accepted 300 million ($288,000) from a local bank CEO and 150 million won from a company CEO under the pretext of advisory fees. The Supreme Court sentenced him to two years in prison and imposed a fine of 757 million won ($728,000).

        An NEC representative said there were no repeat violators during the elections in 2012.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources

        Interview by phone with Kang Ho-jin, an official at the National Election Commission, Seoul. September 24, 2014.

        Interview by phone with Gyeong Jae-ook, official with investigation department No. 2 of the National Election Commission. Seoul, September 12, 2014.

        "Removed election law Kim violator Hyeong-tae 'bitter'," by Cho Sang-wan, Dalian, August 11, 2013." http://www.dailian.co.kr/news/view/370516/?sc=naver

        "Lee Jae-young, Shin Jang-young, Hyun Young-hee lose National Assembly seats," by Jang Young-jin, Financial News, January 16, 2014. http://www.fnnews.com/news/201401161744214791

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        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        Chung Jin-min, a professor of political science at Myongij University, says that enforcement is generally strong. He notes that candidates are genuinely fearful of falling foul of the authorities, leading them to be careful in their campaign activities. He says one negative consequence of this enforcement is the large number of supplementary elections in Korea. Because violators of election law often lose their seat in parliament, special elections are held regularly to fill vacant seats, leading to the use of more taxpayers' money. He says there is a debate in Korean politics about whether should seats should be left vacant until the next regularly election as the voters bear responsibility for electing corrupt candidates. He also says that even though vacant seats are filled in supplementary elections, drawn out court cases on whether lawmakers can retain their seats mean the vacancies often go unfilled for extended periods of time.

        Chung also says that the regulation of political finance in South Korea is too strict in certain areas, creating impossible standards for candidates to meet at election time. As one example, he notes that candidates are only permitted to fundraise during a set period in the run up to an election, unlike jurisdictions such as the United States where candidates are free to raise money at any time so long as they report contributions in accordance with the law. This means that candidates without a high public profile or strong nationwide network of associates can struggle to raise enough money to run. He says that easing these rules would increase competition among candidates, improving the pool of potential representatives. He also notes that candidates at the local level are without an official framework to accept contributions at all, making it difficult for all but wealthy individuals to run.

        Observers note several practices that challenge enforcement or exploit loopholes in the system. Kim Go-sung, chairperson of Transparency International- Korea, points to book launches by politicians as a significant challenge to the political finance regulatory framework. Lawmakers often hold launch events for autobiographies they write about their life and time in in office. At these events, supporters can pay far above the retail price of the book or offer cash in envelopes to make de facto political donations. The law does not treat require politicians to report the proceeds of these technically private events, allowing for significant contributions to be made outside of the regulatory framework. This issue has been a considerable source of debate in Korean society and the media. One article in the Korea Times, published last April, reported that such events typically raise 200-300 million won ($191-287,000), rising to as much as 1 billion won ($959,000) in the case of especially powerful lawmakers. Because of the strict timetables for fund raising that candidates are bound to operate under in South Korea, another article from the same newspaper notes, the events offer a valuable loophole to raise money outside of the campaign period. he article states:

        "The country is home to one of the toughest sets of campaign regulations found in nations with free elections: Candidates running for any level of public office are issued strict timetables when they are allowed to promote themselves to voters and guidelines on exactly how they may do so. Book-launching ceremonies, however, provide politicians an opportunity to raise funds and build up support as future candidates during a non-election period. These events don't meet the legal definition of 'campaigning.' The income from the books is considered as the author's personal wealth, and not part of his or her political funds."

        Meanwhile, concerns have been raised about insufficient manpower at the National Election Commission. Geyong Jae-uk, an official at investigation division No. 2 of the agency, says under staffing becomes an issue during elections when workloads increase substantially. This is because while the agency gets outside help for its general operations when necessary, election reports and work related to political finance are only processed by its regular in-house staff. Gyeong says this leaves the commission unable to thoroughly review financial reports to the best of its ability.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Chung Jin-min, professor of political science at Myongij University. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        Interview by phone with Geyong Jae-uk, investigation division No. 2, the National Election Commission. Seoul, September 18, 2014.

        Phone interview with Kim Go-sung, Chairperson of Transparency International - Korea. Seoul, August 27, 2013.

        "Use of useless literature," by Kim Tong-hyung, The Korea Times, Decemeber 17, 2013. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2014/09/142_148119.html

        "Spoiled fund-raising," by Editorial board, The Korea Times, August 19, 2014. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2014/08/202_163223.html

South Korea has a unicameral legislature with a directly elected presidential executive. The National Assembly is comprised of 300 seats. The majority of the seats, 246, are filled in first-part-the-post elections in single-member constituencies. The remaining 54 are chosen by the parties via proportional representation. There are three main sources of public funds: public subsidies, party membership fees, and funds collected from the public by supporters' associations. The party and supporters' associations distribute funds to candidates.

The president is popularly elected by a plurality of the vote every 5 years. Presidential candidates are entitled to public subsidies in accordance with their party's presence in the National Assembly. They are also entitled to reimbursement from the taxpayer for election expenses. Each candidate can also have a supporters' association that collects money on its behalf within the bounds of the law.

The most recent elections were: National Assembly by-elections, Jul 30 2014. Presidential election, December 19, 2012. National Assembly elections, April 11 2012.