Samsung’s new compliance committee to be independent

Jan 10, 2020, 09:27 am

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Former Supreme Court Justice Kim Ji-hyung, who named to head Samsung’s new compliance committee, speaks at a press briefing held in Seoul on Thursday./ Source: Yonhap

By AsiaToday reporter Jung Suk-man 

Samsung Group’s new compliance monitoring committee will be officially launched in February. Headed by former Supreme Court Justice Kim Ji-hyung, the committee will be mostly comprised of outside advisers, two from civic groups and two from academia. It will be independently operated and be free from Samsung’s intervention. The head of Samsung’s anti-corruption committee said Lee Jae-yong, Samsung’s de facto leader, pledged to guarantee the panel’s autonomy and independence at a meeting.

Kim announced the formation of the panel and plans for future activities in a press briefing in Seoul on Thursday.

The six outside advisers of the committee include Kim Ji-hyung, former Supreme Court Justice; Go Gye-hyun, leader of Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty; Kwon Tae-sun, co-representative of Civil Society Organization Network in Korea; Kim Woo-jin, professor at Seoul National University; lawyer Bong Wook; and Shim In-sook, professor at Chung-Ang University. Most of them have expressed criticism towards chaebol’s pursuit of private interests and their governance. Former Samsung communications chief Rhee In-yong will be the only member from Samsung Electronics. 

The committee is slated to begin its work after concluding an agreement with Samsung’s seven major affiliates and receiving an official mandate through a board resolution. The affiliates are Samsung Electronics, Samsung C&T, Samsung Life Insurance, Samsung SDI, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Samsung SDS and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance. 

“The compliance monitoring committee will be operated totally independently and free from Samsung’s intervention as independence and autonomy are crucial,” Kim said.

The launch of the committee seems Samsung’s official response after the group’s heir Lee was ordered by a local court last October to take drastic innovation and implement internal reforms to minimize problems that come from the family-run chaebol system. In last December, the court called on Lee to present a response on what needs to be done for Samsung not to accept bribe demands before the next hearing set for January 17. “The function and role of the committee will not be much different from what the justice called for,” Kim said. 

Kim said the committee would closely look into a broad range of issues affecting the group, including bribery, fraud, risky external sponsorship and illegal internal transactions between affiliates as well as labor issues and management succession.

The business world is paying attention to whether Samsung will come up with other measures for “new management” ordered by the court along with the establishment of the compliance committee. “Let us boldly discard wrongful practices and ways of thinking and explore a new future,” Lee Jae-yong said during a visit to a chip R&D center in Hwaseong on January 2.

#Samsung #Lee Jae-yong #Kim Ji-hyung #compliance committee 
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