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Lawmakers: KBC Funding Offer Violates Broadcasting Law

Posted November. 02, 2005 05:07,   


A report by the Culture and Tourism Committee of the National Assembly claims that

“the Korea Broadcasting Commission’s (KBC) offer of broadcasting development funds to support KBS is against the Broadcasting Law.”

The report, titled, “The Review of the Budget Bill for the Annual Expenditures of the KBC in 2006,” pointed out that financial support for KBS should be arranged out of general accounting funds, not the broadcasting development fund.

In September, KBC had decided to pull 6.056 billion won out of the fund to support production costs for KBS’s international and social education programs. KBC put the expenditure in its budget for 2006.

The report says that using the fund to support international and social education programs is against the purpose of the Broadcasting Law.

“[This kind of funding] is not included in Article 38 of the Broadcasting Law, which specifies the use of the broadcasting development fund,” the report says. According to Clause 12, Article 38, the fund can be used for projects that KBC believes is necessary for the promotion and development of broadcasting and its public image. However, the scale of the programs funded in this manner should be small, according to the committee.

The report also said that Article 54, which regulates the distribution of national subsidies, handles issues regarding production fees in case television fees are not enough to cover them, and that broadcasters should receive support from the national treasury, not the broadcasting development fund.

“This could set a precedent of fund misuse to relieve KBS deficits,” said Grand National Party lawmaker Park Chan-sook. “The National Assembly Standing Committee will take steps to reduce KBS costs.”

“Though the costs, if necessary, should be covered by the national treasury, KBC attempted to use the fund, which seems to resort to an expedient,” said an insider who participated in coming up with the report.

Dong-Yong Min mindy@donga.com