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Gov't not to pay expensive fees to goodwill ambassadors

All Headlines 11:49 January 02, 2017

SEJONG, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- The government said Monday it will not pay expensive fees to celebrities for serving as goodwill ambassadors to ensure honorary jobs will not become money-spinners.

The government will hire celebrities as goodwill ambassadors for either free of charge or paying compensation for real costs, said Oh Sang-woo, director of culture budget division at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

"The move is meant to ensure that honorary jobs will not become a means of making money," Oh said, noting that the job of a goodwill ambassador should be a part of service.

The decision is part of a government guideline on using budget and funds of government ministries.

The government has been under fire in recent years for paying expensive fees to celebrities for serving as goodwill ambassadors. The Korea Lottery Commission paid 572 million won (US$474,000) to a famous male celebrity for promoting public interest in the lottery, according to Oh. The commission is controlled by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

The National Election Commission paid 143 million won to another celebrity to encourage people to vote ahead of last year's parliamentary elections, Oh said, without naming the celebrity.
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