State auditor to inspect presidential office relocation process

SEOUL– The state audit agency has decided to look into whether there were illegal acts, such as abuse of power, in the process of the government’s decision to relocate the presidential office and residence, a civic group said Monday.

The People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) said the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) has accepted parts of its requests for inspection into the presidential compound relocation process.

President Yoon Suk-yeol has relocated both the presidential office and the presidential residence from the Cheong Wa Dae compound to the central Seoul district of Yongsan to fulfill his campaign pledge to connect better with the public.

The PSPD asked the state auditor in October to investigate five suspicions related to the relocation process.

At a deliberation meeting on the civic group’s requests on Dec. 14, the BAI decided to look into two of the five suspicions — alleged corruption and abuse of power in the decision-making process and alleged violation of the state contract law in the process of concluding construction contracts.

But the BAI rejected three other audit requests — alleged violation of the National Finance Act related to relocation expenditure estimate, budgeting and execution; alleged violation of the National Finance Act due to waste of national budget; and legitimacy related to the presidential office’s employee recruitment.

The PSPD said it will closely monitor the BAI’s planned inspection into the presidential compound relocation process.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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