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Problematic state-backed R&D program

Posted October. 08, 2000 19:55,   


Allegations have been raised that two-thirds of the 2.2 trillion won invested in the national research and development projects have been misappropriated, with repeated investments in identical companies and certain inherent problems in the appropriation mechanism. As such, a revision of the policy is imperative.

The accusations came from a member of the National Assembly's Science, Technology, Information and Communication Committee, Rep. Kim Hui-Sun of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party, who cited reports from 17 departments currently involved in the implementation of government support. According to the reports, 101 projects (67.1%, 1.18 trillion won) receiving government support suffered from such problems.

According to the report, about 9 of the subsidy programs, including the subsidy for the promotion of human resources in the research area, need to be investigated for double investments. In addition, about 26 of the projects pursued by organizations like agricultural development agencies and crop inspection and testing agencies need an improved information-sharing network. The report also showed the necessity for the supplementation of about 31 projects, including those pursued by the Ministry of Construction and Transportation, Seoul Metropolitan Railway Authorities and the Agency for the Standardization of Vehicles.

Kim pointed out that the national R&D policies have been pursued by 17 government departments which felt that they may be driven to the back of the line if their investment proved to be less that of others. As such, even with the knowledge that the research was redundant, the agencies submitted requests for budget increases. The government pointed out that the lack of concerted effort and lack of central leadership have led to the current situation.