The Constitutional Court of Korea was criticized Tuesday for allowing its employees to enjoy lavish trips in the name of overseas training at the cost of taxpayers’ money.
According to Rep. Lee Byung-seok of the ruling Saenuri Party, the court sent six judicial researchers to foreign countries such as the United States, Britain, France and Australia for 10-day overseas training sessions between October and February.
Rep. Lee, a member of the Legislation and Judiciary Committee at the National Assembly, said the court allowed its researchers to spend more than 10 million won ($9,800) each for the training, including air fares ― equivalent to about 1.07 million won per day.
Despite the high costs, researchers mostly toured foreign courts, colleges and cultural hotspots, and their final reports were merely a summary of daily itineraries and short personal statements, Rep. Lee said.
One researcher turned in a three-page report, mostly describing the tour schedule while setting aside only 12 lines for the contents of the training.
“The Constitutional Court is offering overseas training to researchers to strengthen their legal expertise, but the programs are nothing more than pleasure trips at the cost of taxpayers’ money,” Rep. Lee said.
Other state agencies have faced similar criticism for expensive, tour-oriented overseas programs. Last year, the National Pension Service, after it was slammed for its luxurious training programs, cut its budget for overseas training.
In 2012, the Bank of Korea also faced a public outcry for luxurious overseas training programs.
By Kim Da-sol (firstname.lastname@example.org)