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Government Spending More on Publicity

Posted March. 27, 2006 03:09,   


In the three years since President Roh took office, publicity expenditures by the government’s ministries and agencies have increased by 30 percent every year, according to a Grand National Party-commissioned study (GNP).

GNP official Lee Kye-Kyung commissioned the National Assembly Budget Office to examine the public relations budgets of 37 ministries and agencies under the government from 2004 to 2006 (except for the Government Information Agency).

According to the study, the public relations budgets of 37 ministries and agencies increased from 15.576 billion won in 2004 to 20.688 billion won in 2005, a 32.5 percent jump, and to 27.809 billion won in 2006, a 34.4 percent year-on-year jump.

The number of ministry civil servants in charge of publicity increased from 348 in 2004 to 425 in 2005 to 459 in 2006, a 111 percent increase over three years.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy, which established two departments related to policy advertisement and policy management, and the civil affairs department in April, 2005, has seen the increase of its related personnel and budgets from 17 and 1.459 billion won in 2004 to 28 and 1.957 billion won in 2005, to 28 and 2.404 billion won in 2006, and increase of 11 and one billion won for three years.

As for the Rural Development Administration, which appointed a policy advertisement official in March 2005, it has tripled publicity budges from 522 million won in 2004 to 1.616 billion won in 2006, even though it hired only one more person in charge of publicity area.

The Arms Procurement Office, which was founded this year, appropriated 446 million won for publicity budgets and assigned 16 personnel in the policy advertisement department.

AS for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, publicity budget has risen seven times from 389.3 million won in 2004 to 2.35 billion won in 2006 for two years.

Regarding this, Lee Yang-ho, a public relations official of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said, “The expenses spent by the public relations department are about 2 billion won. Among them, some 1.85 billion won is used not for publicizing the Ministry, but for publicizing the public benefits of the agriculture. I don’t understand on what base the Ministry’s publicity expenses are said to be over 2.3 billion won.”

Lee maintained, “The budgets have significantly increased while reshuffling the ministry and increasing the personnel under the banner of publicity intensification. It is confirmed once again that the current administration is too obsessed with publicizing the government.”

Chin-Ku Lee sys1201@donga.com