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(2nd LD) Yoon orders stern crackdown on civil organizations misusing government subsidies

Politics 15:06 June 05, 2023

(ATTNS: UPDATES with more info in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk Yeol ordered a stern crackdown on corruption involving government subsidies to civil organizations and a full recovery of misused funds, his spokesperson said Monday.

Yoon issued the instruction after an audit of government subsidies given to about 12,000 civil organizations over the past three years found a total of 1,865 cases of irregularities involving about 31.4 billion won (US$24 million), presidential spokesperson Lee Do-woon said.

The ruling People Power Party (PPP) heaped criticism on such civic groups.

"They are criminal organizations, not civic groups," the PPP's top spokesperson Yoo Sang-bum said in a radio interview, adding that the audit results showed they were "organizations of criminals trying to steal government funds."

Rep. Park Dae-chul, the PPP's floor leader, also accused the previous Moon Jae-in administration of squandering government money on civic groups sympathetic to the administration, noting that subsidies to civil organizations rose about 2 trillion won during the Moon administration.

Meanwhile, the PPP urged the government to take follow-up measures, such as retrieving the misused funds and launching an investigation into other organizations that were not subject to the audit.

It also called for regulatory improvements to properly monitor the financial flows of such organizations.

The Office for Government Policy Coordination under the prime minister's office said later in the day that it will hold a meeting of the audit officers of all government agencies Wednesday to discuss the findings of the audit.

Countermeasures, including the retrieval of government subsidies, referring an investigation, and conducting an additional audit, will also be discussed, according to the office.

President Yoon Suk Yeol (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol (Pool photo) (Yonhap)


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