History of the Audit And Inspection System of Korea

The audit and inspection system of Korea has a long history. It originated in the Sajeongbu, a government agency established some
1,300 years ago during the Silla Dynasty to tighten discipline among central and local government officials. This tradition had been
maintained by such government agencies as Osadae and Saheonbu in the Goryeo Dynasty, and Saheonbu and Saganwon in the
Joseon Dynasty. The main function of these ancient inspection organizations entailed uncovering wrongdoings of government officials.

Especially noteworthy was the establishment of the Secret Royal Inspectors system of the Joseon Dynasty in 1509. Secret Royal
Inspectors were appointed by the king from among promising young men who passed the state-administered examination called
Gwageo. They were charged with investigating administrative practices and any possible corruption within local governments. Secret
Royal Inspectors performed their duties in the guise of ordinary people in order not to reveal their identity. They each carried a Mapae
or an authorized horse medallion which enabled them to mobilize horses in case of need. The number of horses, from one to five,
engraved on the medallion indicated the number of horses that the inspector could mobilize to carry out his missions.

Right after the Republic of Korea was established in 1948, the Board of Audit was founded under the President as the supreme audit institution pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of 1948, to carry out audits of the central government, local vernments,government-invested organizations, and other organizations prescribed by law.

The Commission of Inspection was also established under the President in accordance with the provisions of the Government
Organization Act of 1948 to supervise and inspect the duties of the employees of central and local governments, government-invested
organizations, and other organizations prescribed by law. The Commission was renamed to the Commission of Supervision and
Control during the period 1955 to 1960, which was then reorganized under the Prime Minister with its original name, the Commission
of Inspection, in accordance with the Commission of Inspection Act of 1961.

Audits by the Board of Audit and inspections by the Commission of Inspection were in many cases so closely related that a line could
not be clearly distinguished. Taking this into account, the revised Constitution of 1962 prescribed the merger of these two
organizations into the current Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), which was established on March 20, 1963 under the Board of
Audit and Inspection Act of 1963.

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