Plan calls for 2 ministries, management office to move

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Plan calls for 2 ministries, management office to move

The government made public in its official gazette on Friday a plan to relocate some of its ministry offices.

The Ministry of the Interior said in the publication that the Ministry of Public Safety and Security and the Ministry of Personnel Affairs, as well as the Government Buildings Management Office, will move by March to Sejong City.

The Korean Coast Guard - which came under the Ministry of Public Safety and Security after it was blamed for its inefficient and flawed response to the sinking of the Sewol ferry on April 16, 2014 - and the Appeals Commission under the Ministry of Personnel Management were also included in the plan.

The Government Buildings Management Office under the Interior Ministry is also scheduled to move, though some employees will stay in the capital to manage the Seoul government complex. A total of 1,420 people from both ministries and the management office will be transferred to Sejong City.

The government had been discussing since March moving the ministries to Sejong City, despite arguments from the Sejong local government, civic groups and government offices located elsewhere.

After the announcement, the Sejong People’s Coalition for Participation and Autonomy, a civic group founded in 2013, released a statement also calling for the relocation of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

“The announcement of the plan, which does not include the relocation of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning goes against the special law on the establishment of the administrative government complex ... and only completes the plan halfway,” the statement read.

Earlier this month, the coalition filed a lawsuit against Interior Minister Chong Jong-sup due to the fact that the Futures Ministry is not currently scheduled to move, citing a special law that states that the Futures Ministry is not an exception in relocations.

The Incheon City Council is planning to adopt a resolution to oppose the relocation.

The Interior Ministry, however, said the Coast Guard’s move was intended to unify the country’s disaster control system and emphasized that its capacity would remain unchanged, pointing out that the Coast Guard office does not perform field rescues.

BY KIM BONG-MOON [kim.bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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