Go to contents

A Blind Purchase of a Site for a Training Center on Anmyeondo

A Blind Purchase of a Site for a Training Center on Anmyeondo

Posted August. 09, 2005 03:07,   


It was revealed that the Ministry of Court Administration (MCA) was spotlighted by the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) for buying some 17,000 pyeong of land around the international tourism site on Anmyeondo, Chungnam. The MCA purchased the land last year for an obscure reason—that the relocation of the administrative capital may require a training facility which can be used as a recreation facility.

Just to Acquire the Land without Project Plans-

The BAI said on August 8 that the MCA purchased 56,627m² (17,610 pyeong) of land around the beach of Anmyeondo in Chungnam in August of last year.

The land is appraised at about 6.8 billion won. The BAI said that the MCA acquired it in an exchange with the 3,548m² (1,075 pyeong) of idle land that the Supreme Court owned in the Seoul metropolitan area and the Chungcheong area, including the sites of former Gimpo registration office in Gyeonggi Province.

An inspection conducted by the BAI revealed that the MCA had bought the land without any project plans or budget consultation because “a relocation of administrative capital may need a court education and training institute in the Chungcheong area that can also be used as a recreation facility.”

The existing laws on national property and budget accounting stipulate that the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the minister of Justice shall draw up a long-term plan for courts and justice facilities belonging to the institutions affiliated with Justice Ministry and seek consultations with the minister of Planning and Budget for projects that require budgets.

Accordingly, a purchase of land for building a new training facility requires a feasibility review which includes the necessity of establishing such a facility, priority of projects related to court facilities, and a roadmap which demonstrates timetables for each year. Then the plan must be reflected in “the second long-term plan for justice facilities (2002 to 2011)” after consultation with the Ministry of Planning and Budget.

Furthermore, the law on national property states that the government shall present a clear purpose and confirm the appropriateness when it exchanges national properties.

Meanwhile, the act on building a new administrative capital, which includes the relocation of the Ministry of Justice to the Chungcheong area, was ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in October last year, two months after the MCA acquired the land.

Later, it was decided that the Justice Ministry was to remain in Seoul with plans of building a new administrative city and moving public institutions to provincial areas.

High Changes of Being “Idle Land” for Long-

The MCA has yet to come up with a plan to build a court training center on the land. A BAI official said, “As it is uncertain whether to push ahead with related projects, the land that the MCA bought is expected to remain idle for a long time.”

The BAI said that it urged the MCA in June to pay attention “not to acquire land in advance based on an obscure need in the future, and to come up with proper measures to prevent the acquired land from remaining idle for a long time.”

In response, a MCA official said, “We selected the Anmyeondo area in the process of searching for a proper site for a training center because the Justice Ministry lacks such a facility,” explaining, “We intended to acquire the land first and the finance budget later because the land prices in the area rose.” The official also added, “We are reviewing budget injection and ways to utilize the land.”

Meanwhile, the BAI found that the MCA pressed contractors to pay costs of overseas business trips of its staff in the process of carrying out the registration computerizing project, and that it used budgets allocated for constructing facilities for operating promotion and overseas training expenses.

Kang-Myoung Chang tesomiom@donga.com