The government's Civil Service Ethics Committee reviewed 426 cases of retired civil servants seeking employment in the private sector from January to May of this year and put the brakes on only 46. That means only one in 10 cases struck the watchdog as involving any conflict of interest.
According to data obtained by the Chosun Ilbo, no bureaucrats from Cheong Wa Dae, the National Intelligence Service, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the National Tax Service were prevented from snapping up lucrative jobs in private companies when they retired, most as auditors, advisors and outside directors.
Most retired Cheong Wa Dae officials immediately landed high-level jobs in the private sector. The committee waved through all 41 job applications it reviewed since January last year.
The Samsung Group remains the most active in hiring retired government officials. Since last year, among the 58 cases reviewed and authorized by the committee, 11 went to work for Samsung.
Samsung Electronics has a notorious preference for former prosecutors or retired police officers but has also hired ex-ambassadors to Vietnam and Saudi Arabia as full-time advisors.
Hanwha Group affiliates also hired 12 retired government officials, including former Cheong Wa Dae officials as outside directors.
KT and Lotte Group affiliates hired 11 former government officials each.