Seoul criticized for ‘lax’ money management

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Seoul criticized for ‘lax’ money management

Seoul city government is spending taxpayers’ money in ways Seoulites may not be too happy about. Take these examples, for instance: giving low-interest loans to unqualified officials, letting officials take lectures for their doctorate degrees during working hours and running cafes and swimming pools at a significant deficit

A report by the Board of Audit and Inspection was released on Friday and detailed the lax financial oversight by the city. The study was done over a two-week period by 35 auditors from Sept. 27 to Oct. 15 of last year. It was undertaken to strengthen the transparency and efficiency of the city government.

“The Seoul city government should launch a committee to take measures against officials the report mentioned to be punished,” Yang Jae-ho, an audit board official told the Korea JoongAng Daily yesterday. “And it also must submit a report to the board, which proves they resolved the lax management.”

The report found that 12 city officials received government-run low-interest housing loans, which are allowed for officials who don’t own any real estate and haven’t returned the money, even though they own houses now. The money to be repaid amounts to about 515 million won ($486,800).

A civil servant who already purchased an apartment in May 2008 received a housing loan of about 70 million won in April 2010, the report said. Another official, who received 37 million won in May 2007, purchased an apartment in Seongbuk District five months later.

“The government should demand the officials pay back the loans and those who had already had their own apartments or houses should be punished,” the report said.

The report said seven officials took lectures at graduate schools for their doctorate degrees during working hours without authorization between 2009 and 2010.

“As officials were absent in their post for the lectures for 84 hours in total without approval,” the report said. “The Seoul city government is neglectful of supervising them.”

A city-run company that has run cafes and swimming pool businesses near the Han River since 2008 has lost 3.9 billion won up to last fall.

“At the beginning, the Seoul city government tried to revise the tourism law and launch a casino in an effort to attract foreign investors,” the report said. “But it failed to revise the law. The company that was supposed to run the casino is now running the Han River cafes and swimming pool businesses, suffering deficits.”

In July 2008, the government promoted 16 officials, more than the quota, the report said. “Six people retired and the government was allowed to promote 10 officials at the maximum,” the report said. “But it promoted 16 people.”

The report also said the Seoul city government is planning to spend 700 million won per year to pay for mobile phone bills for officials starting this month, which is against city rules.

“A local government isn’t allowed to pay for anything other than the official salary of civil servants,” the report said.


By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

서울시, 집 있는 직원에게 전세금 대출

감사원, 주먹구구 운영 지적

서울시 소속 8급 공무원 A씨는 2008년 5월 경기도 수원시에 내 집을 장만했다. 전용면적 59.5㎡ 아파트로 크진 않지만 세 식구가 살기엔 충분한 공간이었다. 하지만 그는 2년 뒤인 2010년 전세자금 7000만원(대출금리 연 3%)을 대출받았다. 서울시가 매년 시예산 50억원씩을 적립해 무주택 시 공무원들에게 빌려주는 돈이었다. A씨는 주택보유자인데도 서울시는 묻지도 않았다. A씨는 ‘무주택 서약서’ 한 장만 써주고 낮은 금리로 전세자금을 대출받았다.

서울시의 주먹구구식 조직관리 실태가 11일 드러났다. 감사원의 기관운영감사 결과 처분요구서를 통해서다. 요구서는 모두 35개의 지적사항을 담고 있다. 감사원은 서울시의 소속 공무원에 대한 부당한 전세자금 지원이 총 12건, 금액으로는 5억1500만원이라고 밝혔다. 이 전세자금은 모두 시민의 세금으로 조성한 돈이다. A씨는 집이 있는데도 전세 대출을 받은 사례다. 나머지 11명은 전세자금 대출을 받은 뒤 집을 샀는데도 대출금을 갚지 않았다. 감사원은 “대출상환 지연에 따른 연체이자 부과 규정도 없어 이들에게 제재를 가할 방법도 없다”고 지적했다.

급여성 경비를 제멋대로 집행한 사례도 드러났다. 2009년 7월 시 공무원노조는 오세훈 서울시장에게 “실무직원들이 휴대전화를 업무용으로 사용하면 요금을 시 예산으로 보전해 달라”고 요구했다. 오 시장은 이를 받아들여 서울시는 이듬해 7월부터 직원 9720명에게 매월 1만1900~1만3000원 상당의 휴대전화 기본요금을 지원했다. 지난해 하반기에만 그렇게 7억원이 쓰였다. 감사원은 “지방공무원법은 인건비와 복리후생비 외에는 어떤 급여성 경비도 지원하지 못하게 한다”며 시정토록 했다.

5급 이상 간부 7명은 한참 일할 시간에 대학원 수업을 듣다 적발됐다. B국장은 서울 모대학 주간 행정대학원을 다닌 것으로 감사에서 드러났다. 수업일 15일 중 결석은 단 하루였다. 업무시간 84시간을 학위 취득에 쏟은 것이다. 서울시 정효상 행정국장은 “공무원 업무태만과 예산 부당집행에 대한 감사원 지적사항을 수용해 곧 시정하겠다”고 말했다.

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