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Finance Ministry Tightens Grip Over External Offices

Posted February. 16, 2009 03:50,   


The Strategy and Finance Ministry is stepping up control over the heads of four external offices under its umbrella by requiring quarterly briefings to the finance minister and other measures.

Insiders and analysts say the ministry’s move is aimed at tightening its grip on the National Tax Service, which is undergoing an organizational reshuffle following the dismissal of its chiefs in succession due to graft.

The ministry said yesterday that it posted on the Feb. 10th issue of the government gazette a revised ordinance on "the control of the heads of administrative offices under the strategy and finance minister," and begin its implementation.

According to the new ordinance, the finance minister will call a quarterly meeting of the heads of the four offices to be briefed on key tasks and their progress. The heads of the four offices also must report to the minister when attending international conferences or taking overseas business trips.

Even before the revision of the ordinance, the minister had the authority to assemble a meeting of external offices, but the introduction of a written rule and a provision on advance briefings will likely increase his control over external offices significantly.