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NIS's hidden budget growing every year

Posted October. 11, 2000 20:21,   


The National Intelligence Service (NIS) was learned to have exploited tens of billions won in "hidden budgets" every year that were never deliberated upon or approved by National Assembly, and the amount of such budgets has been on the rise.

Rep. Kim Hong-Shin of the opposition Grand National Party, who belongs to the National Assembly's Special Committee on Budget and Accounts, argued Wednesday that the government has drawn up a budget for "national security activities" based on the "Special Law on Budgets and Accounts" that amounts to twice the general account budget of the NIS. He revealed this after analyzing the government's report on reserve fund expenditures and the Board of Audit and Inspection's financial inspection report.

According to the data presented by Rep. Kim, the budget for "national security activities" has continuously edged up from 250.1 billion won in 1991 to 333 billion won in 1993, 362.3 billion won in 1996 and 423 billion won last year.

The budget for "national security activities" is expressly provided in the special law on budgets and accounts and is defined as "expenses for gathering internal and external information and crucial criminal investigations of anti-state activities."

The budget, which is a part of the reserves managed by the Ministry of Planning and Budget, is made up as the sum total, requiring no prior deliberation or approval from the National Assembly.

Asserting that "the budget for 'national security activities¡¯ is apparently a hidden budget, considering the related laws and testimonies of NIS officials,¡± Rep. Kim urged the government to have the entire budget -- excluding the minimum necessary amount -- reflected in the NIS¡¯s main budget under due deliberation and the approval of the National Assembly.