Cheong Wa Dae Aims to End Graft in Defense Procurement

Cheong Wa Dae is working out reforms to defense procurement to end frequent irregularities, an official said Tuesday. Under the plan, the roles of the Defense Ministry and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) will be reorganized.

A Cheong Wa Dae official said the plan, to be announced early next year, will focus on ending the long-standing monopoly of active-duty and retired military officers in the defense procurement process, which ranges from budget formulation to weapons procurement. It will also focus on increasing transparency.

DAPA has resisted the ministry's efforts to regain the authority to formulate the defense procurement budget, work out mid- and long-term defense programs, and supervise the Agency for Defense Development.

DAPA was launched as a spin-off agency of the ministry in January 2006 during the Roh Moo-hyun administration as part of defense reforms and to prevent corruption. But the official said irregularities in defense procurement have continued even after the inauguration of the Lee Myung-bak administration.

In a Cabinet meeting, President Lee Myung-bak said, "There is a risk of systematic corruption under the current system of weapons procurement and conscription administration" and called for a "drastic" reform plan. "I believe there is a way to save money and improve results" at the same time, he added.

The official said a taskforce is working out "strong" ways of revamping the defense procurement system.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 09, 2009 10:56 KST