Go to contents

Serious Misappropriation of KBS Funds

Posted April. 19, 2005 23:02,   


KBS internal auditing has discovered that some KBS employees have misappropriated corporate funds. Some frequently went to massage parlors with corporate cards to pay their service fees.

KBS is under criticism that its moral hazard is at an alarming level in that the corporation is a public broadcasting outlet run by the fund, half of which is from fees that taxpayers pay in a quasi-taxation form.

Grand National Party Rep. Shim Jae-cheol, a member of the National Assembly’s Culture and Tourism Committee, obtained and browsed through the audit report on April 18, discovering that a manager who was promoted to a director of provincial broadcasting outlets paid one million won with a corporate card at massage parlors and saunas. KBS held a meeting to review the case but did not hold him responsible.

However, KBS gave him a warning at the second meeting of personnel management, bearing the public criticism in mind. He served as the head of the labor union.

Shim claimed, “There is speculation that KBS promoted him to the director of provincial broadcasting outlets even after it knew of his irregularities.”

Another producer at a local broadcasting outlet pocketed corporate funds of 30 million won over the past two years, said Shim.

He made up an identity who did not appear in his program to manipulate the document, and he sent the performance fee into a third party’s bank account in order to transfer it later into his own bank account. KBS belatedly confirmed the embezzlement and launched a disciplinary action.

Suspicions Surrounding Misappropriation of Correspondents-

A correspondent was found to have spent 16 million won of corporate funds “to which he was not allowed” while working in Europe for three years.

However, KBS punished him with a slap on the wrist—only a one-month salary reduction. Specifics of where he spent the money have not been revealed.

After another correspondent was found to have illegally used three million won in corporate money right after his appointment, KBS collected the money from him. Yet there was no punishment.

KBS was embroiled in a series of scandals such as a parody that depicted Jeon Jae-hee, a representative of Grand National Party, during a KBS program and the management’s wiretapping of the labor union’s meeting, inviting censure that the public broadcasting corporation lacks corporate self-control.

“These cases clearly show that KBS is still not aware of its moral responsibilities,” said Shim, adding, “And the national broadcasting law proposed by the Grand National Party should be enacted to help the Korea Broadcasting System regain integrity by allowing the National Assembly to deliberate the usage of the KBS budget.”

Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com