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Audit Board ID’s 50 Wasteful Projects

Posted July. 05, 2006 03:20,   


The Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) gave the Ministry of Planning and Budget (MPB) and the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs (MOGAHA) notice that they should select 50 repetitive or wasteful business projects pursued by the central and local governments through audits for the period from June of last year to May this year, and cut down budgets for those selected projects in 2007.

Nine business projects that need to be stopped or reviewed include expanding the satellite communications system for fire fighting, establishing an institute for e-government promotion, opening a center for culture industry exchange and cooperation, and building the second campus of Korea University of Technology and Education.

Also pointed out are eight projects whose budgets need to be cut down, fifteen projects whose priority and timeline need to be adjusted, ten projects whose budget-related system needs to be reformed, and six other projects to be considered.

The representative business project to be reviewed overall is that of establishing the satellite communications system for fire fighting, which is pursued by the National Emergency Management Agency.

It is to expand the exiting satellite communications system with 49.2 billion won in funds until 2011 after building three satellite base stations and purchasing five satellite broadcasting vehicles with 12.4 billion won last year for the purpose of providing the visual information of emergency scenes and supporting communications through satellite.

However, an audit by the BAI shows that the satellite broadcasting vehicles have been used only 6.5 percent and that the MOGAHA has built a similar satellite communications system. Concerned that the 49.2 billion won funds would be wasted away, the BAI demanded an overall review of the project.

The BAI’s inspection of the Rural Development Administration’s project of building an additional 541 health centers for farmers with 27 billion won until 2008 revealed that it overlaps with another project. The BAI demanded the two similar projects be combined.

Although offices of education are planning to open 260 new elementary schools in land development areas until 2008, the BAI pointed out that 21 schools should be reviewed since the number of students goes down when the birth rate is lowered.

A source in the BAI said, “Government ministries and local governments are pursuing business projects excessively out of their egoism or for display effects. Although we pointed out projects to be reviewed, we are not sure how much will be cut down. The MPB and the MOGAHA promised to reflect our audit results in their budget planning for 2007.”

Min-Hyuk Park mhpark@donga.com