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The Center for Freedom of Information (CFOI) requested National Assembly Secretariat on January 25 to disclose the statement on 2011-2012 special business expenses and activity costs of National Assembly Speaker and Vice Speaker as well as activity costs of the standing committee.

 

  Much later, on February 18, National Assembly Secretariat notified us with a ridiculous reason that the relevant information cannot be disclosed.

 

  National Assembly Secretariat said they have no information on special business expenses of Assembly Speaker and Vice Speaker.

 

According to <2010-2013 Budget on Special Business Expense> revealed by the CFOI, however, the Assembly was allocated with 11.2 billion won in 2010, 12.3 billion won in 2011, 17.7 billion won in 2012 and 17.8 billion won in 2013 for the purpose of special business expenses. Following after Korean National Police Agency, National Tax Service, Ministry of Justice, Korean Coast Guard and Supreme Court of Korea, the Assembly has been allocated with the sixth biggest budget on special business expenses.

 

<2010-2013 National Assembly Budget on Special Business Expense>

2010

2011

2012

2013

National Assembly

11.224 billion won

12.396 billion won

17.743 billion won

17.875 billion won

 

The fact that the statement on special business expenses doesn’t exist despite such allocations of budget on special business expenses implies two possibilities. First, special business expenses were not paid to Assembly members. Second, special business expenses were paid to Assembly Members after they had been changed into different categories of budget.

 

  It is the reason they provided along with their nondisclosure notification that makes this situation more severe and ridiculous.

 

  National Assembly Secretariat notified us that activity costs of each standing commission, Assembly Speaker and Vice Speaker cannot be disclosed as those are the information applicable to Article 9 Clause 1 (2) and (5) of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

<Nondisclosure Notification of National Assembly Secretariat>


  Then let’s have a look at Article 9 Clause 1 (2) and (5).

 

Article 9 (Information on objects of non-disclosure) Clause 1: All information held and managed by public institutions shall be disclosed to the public. However, information falling under each of the following sub-paragraphs may not be disclosed to the public.

 

(2) Information pertaining to matters such as the national security, the national defense, unification, diplomatic relations, etc., which, if disclosed, is feared to seriously undermine national interest

 

(5) Information pertaining to matters such as audit, supervision, inspection, tests, regulations, tendering, contract, the development of technology, the management of personnel affairs, decision-making processes and internal review processes, etc., which if disclosed, carries a reasonably possibility of seriously impeding the proper performance of work as well as research and development.

 

  Would revealing activity costs of Assembly Speaker, Vice Speaker and Assembly members to the public really undermine national interest?

 

  Would this cause a serious impediment on the proper performance of work for National Assembly Secretariat and Assembly members?

 

  What does disclosing activity costs of Assembly Speaker, Vice Speaker and the standing committee have to do with national interest and proper work performance?

 

  Why did National Assembly Secretariat decide to undisclose the information way past their deadline with an unconvincing reason? How do you think?

 

  The CFOI cannot accept National Assembly Secretariats nondisclosure of its activity costs and therefore, we will take steps to raise an objection. In addition, we will discover how the Assemblys 18 billion won worth budget on special business expense is executed through continuous information disclosure.

 

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