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There is something called Special business expenses which are used by the government. This money is usually provided to government officials who carry out special tasks such as investigation, inspection, budget plans and research.

 

  Recently, the issue of special business expenses has received spotlight through the Constitutional Court chief justice nominee, Lee Dong-heubs misappropriation of special business expenses. Lee used this money, which is public money given to him for special tasks, for personal purposes by keeping the money in his personal account and investing it at financial market products. However, he insisted that he just followed traditional practices and special business expense is used as personal money in other institutions as well.


<2012-2013 Budget Plan for Special Business Expense>


 (Unit: 1,000,000)


Institution

2010

2011

2012

2013

Variation

Board of Audit and Inspection

3,049

3,496

3,605

3,926

National Policy Agency

424,704

435,989

440,042

443,381

Ministry of Employment and Labor

4,792

4,808

4,664

4,442

Fair Trade Commission

438

463

691

1,032

Korea Customs Service

9,479

9,670

10,302

10,631

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology

153

170

89

63

National Science & Technology Commission

0

0

61

62

Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs

15

15

15

16

National Human Rights Commission of Korea

215

215

247

248

Prime Ministers Office

608

581

503

482

Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission

294

381

393

395

Ministry of National Defense

7,705

7,928

11,046

10,802

National Tax Service

46,187

49,767

50,160

47,917

Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs

224

224

210

250

National Assembly

11,224

12,396

17,743

17,875

Financial Services Commission

106

106

106

108

Korea Metrological Administration

17

17

18

19

Ministry of Strategy and Finance

858

858

1,009

1,030

Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

1,794

1,775

1,601

1,650

Rural Development Administration

20

28

30

34

Supreme Court of Korea

17,456

17,657

18,063

18,170

Office of the President

5,539

5,494

5,814

5,730

Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea

22

22

22

22

Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

54

55

80

82

The National Unification Advisory Council

117

117

119

120

Korea Communications Commission

212

212

257

258

Defense Acquisition Program Administration

94

94

96

90

Ministry of Justice

30,387

34,096

37,118

40,137

Ministry of Government Legislation

9

9

9

10

Military Manpower Administration

19

19

39

67

Ministry of Health & Welfare

256

42

42

44

Korea Forest Service

332

350

352

340

National Emergency Management Agency

547

560

578

591

Korea Food & Drug Administration

245

270

278

283

Ministry of Gender Equality & Family

45

224

223

224

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

14

14

14

15

Nuclear Safety and Security Commission

0

0

11

33

Public Procurement Service

1,001

1,028

1,071

1,085

Small & Medium Business Administration

19

19

21

22

National Election Commission

857

1,315

1,325

1,385

Ministry of Knowledge and Economy

156

162

162

162

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

277

0

0

0

Statistics Korea

3,120

3,120

3,098

3,049

Ministry of Unification

30

59

44

57

Office of Mister for Special Affairs

342

342

342

313

Korea Intellectual Property Office

82

84

85

99

Korea Coast Guard

29,045

32,123

33,372

33,613

Ministry of Public Administration and Security

743

855

914

848

Multifunctional Administrative City Construction Agency

10

10

14

12

Constitutional Court of Korea

1,040

1,040

1,065

1,082

Ministry of Environment

140

133

144

139

  : Increased less than 100 million /  : Increased more than 100 million 

 ▽ : Decreased less than 100 million /  : Decreased more than 100 million


  In order to understand the current state of special business expenses, the Center for Freedom of Information (CFOI) requested information disclosure to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance with regard to each institutions budget plan of special business expenses between 2010 and 2013.

 

  The total budget allocated for special business expenses in 2013 is 652.445 billion won. Sixty-eight percent of the total budget, which is equivalent to 443.381 billion won, is allocated to the National Police Agency followed by the National Tax Service, Ministry of Justice and Korea Coast Guard.

 

  Among 51 institutions that receive the money for special tasks, it is 35 institutions that increased their budget compared to 2012. More than 100 million won was increased on the budget plans of eight institutions including the National Police Agency (3.3 billion), Ministry of Justice (3 billion), Korea Coast guard (240 million), National Assembly (130 million), Korea Customs Service (320 million) and Fair Trade Commission (340 million). Remaining 27 institutions also increased the budget ranging from a low of 1 million to a high of 60 million.

 

  There are only 16 institutions that the budget is same or reduced. The National Tax Service showed the most dramatic decrease in its budget ( 2.24 billion) followed by the Ministry of National Defense (240 million) and the Ministry of Employment and Labor (220 million). Other than this, the Office of the President, Statistics Korea, Ministry of Public Administration and Security, Prime Ministers Office, Korea Forest Service, Office of Minister for Special Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Defence Acquisition Program Administration, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Multifunctional Administrative City Construction Agency decreased their budget for special business expenses ranging from a low of 2 million to a high of 84 million won. The Ministry of Knowledge and Economy and Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea kept their budget same.

 

 


<Source: EBS>

 

  After the incident of Lee Dong-heub, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance banned prepaying special business expenses and notified each institution that special business expenses more than 300,000 won a month should be paid with credit card keeping records the reason and amount of the payment. However, potential of the misappropriation of special business expenses still remains as there is no need to keep records for the cases under 300,000 won.

 

  A reform such as keeping receipts and records for every payment made is necessary to prevent this. Otherwise, special business expenses can always turn into a blinded tax.

 

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