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12 Million Won to Clean Granite and 8.53 Million Won to Tune a Golf Cart?

12 Million Won to Clean Granite and 8.53 Million Won to Tune a Golf Cart?

Posted August. 20, 2005 03:04,   


Five hundred million won to buy bidets for the president’s office on December 21 2004, and 31.68 million won to make and install carpeting in the Cheong Wa Dae main building office.

These are just some examples of the budget money used by the presidential secretariat during December 10 to December 31, 2004, according to the disclosure of National Assembly Special Committee on Budget and Accounts member and GNP lawmaker Kim Sung-jo on August 19.

Special Activity Costs—

During this period, the secretariat spent a total amount of 6.99 billion won. Out of that, 927.96 million won was used for special activities.

Presidential Administration Secretary Chung Sang-moon explained, “That was used to pay to all 600 staff for their activities in collecting data for policy-making and listening to public opinion at the end of the year.”

In response, Rep. Kim criticized, “This means that in reality, special activity costs were used as bonuses to the staff, which is not what the budget is meant to be used for, and shows the moral hazard of Cheong Wa Dae.”

Government Office Management Costs—

The presidential secretariat spent 1.72 billion won on 344 items considered to be government office management costs during this period. This includes 12 million won to wash the granite of the main building entrance, 8.53 million won to tune the presidential security service’s golf carts, and 9.55 million won to reinforce electric carts.

It is also odd that 71 million won was spent in buying expensive plants such as 3,459 trees, including pine trees and other landscape architecture products in the middle of winter. A Cheong Wa Dae official explained, “That is because we have been planting trees in winter.”

Jung-Eun Lee lightee@donga.com