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No Budget for Sports Foundation

Posted June. 14, 2007 07:26,   


In launching a foundation to support young sports talent, the Ministry of Culture announced, “We will assign 10 percent of the revenue gained from the sports betting game to a young talent support program. We have already secured 20 billion won in funding for this year and will save about 10 billion won every year to support the training of exceptional young athletes with a grant of 50 million won a year.”

However, the Korea Sports Council has strongly objected to the new program for its overlapping with the Council’s own programs stated in the national sports promotion law. A suspicion of “selections to repay kindness” was raised concerning Bae Jong-shin, former culture vice minister, who was appointed the director of the foundation.

The documentation of the foundation’s 2007 budget plan acquired by Dong-A on June 13 revealed that the foundation made its own budget for this year’s labor costs for staff and other expenses after failing to make an agreement with the Council.

Almost half of budget set aside for labor costs-

According to the Ministry of Culture, the budget for the foundation is 0.6 billion won, 45 percent of which goes for labor costs (269,209,000 won), to be followed by the office lease deposit (37,935,000 won), operational expenses (205,526,000 won), and benefits (28,715,000 won).

Expenses for the foundation’s business purposes amount only to 10.9 million won or 1.8 percent of the budget. The foundation consists of a total of six people, including Director Bae and Secretary-general Shim Young-seop (former culture ministry sports promotion department chief). The director position is a non-paid honorary one, but Bae is receiving three million won for activity expenses and 0.2 million won for a position allowance.

Debate on wasted taxes-

Some point out that the foundation is wasting taxes by hiring former culture ministry employees without a specific business plan.

A source in the Ministry of Culture explained, “We assigned only 0.6 billion won for operational expenses because no specific business plan was made this year. We will secure about 10 billion won next year to launch various programs.”

A source in the Council said, “We will discuss abandoning the foundation in the board of directors meeting in July since we have different views with the foundation.”