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Military seeks to improve efficiency in management

The Ministry of National Defense plans to introduce enhanced management methods in a variety of areas to cut its budget by 2.3 trillion won ($2.1 billion) by 2015, officials said Wednesday.

It has decided on around 10 tasks to enhance efficiency in managing military facilities and equipment, and to remove wasteful spending.

“In areas of military power enhancement, logistical support and defense facilities, we have selected 10 tasks in order to reduce our defense budget,” Vice Defense Minister Lee Yong-gul told reporters in a press briefing.

“For efficiency in defense management, we will set up systems not only to cut our budget but also to prevent wasteful spending. To carry them out consistently is important, and the military leadership also needs to manage their units with this management mindset.”

The tasks include improving the process of making military spending plans, and the overhaul and maintenance; purchasing more civilian commercial products; and employing advanced management tools in the logistical support area.

In the logistics area, the ministry plans to introduce the “Lean 6 Sigma” method, which has been touted in the civilian sectors as a management innovation to improve efficiency in producing products and their quality, and minimizing waste.

It also seeks to purchase more high-quality, less expensive civilian products.

The military has so far used products specially designed to meet the requirements for military operations. But these products were not cost-effective in some cases. The ministry plans to determine which items they would replace with civilian ones by November.

The ministry also seeks to expand the military’s capacity for overhaul and maintenance works, many of which have been outsourced. It will hire 37 technicians for the maintenance of K-77 armored vehicles. It anticipates a budget reduction of 11.7 billion won in maintenance costs.

Others include running a special center at Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, which will focus on developing an efficient model for military inventory management.

By Song Sang-ho (