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Defense Acquisition Program Administration

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) was launched on January 2,2006 as a streamlined military procurement agency, replacing the former DefenseProcurement Agency (DPA). DAPA is responsible for defense industry equipmentpurchases. The new agency was formed in order to ensure transparency in the defenseprocurement process and consolidates eight organizations that were responsible forprocurement and the development of technology that were formerly under the purview ofthe Ministry of National Defense and the separate military services. The former DPAwas managed by the military, however, DAPA will be a civilianized agency with militarysupport. DAPA will continue to report to the Defense Minister who is a civilian.

Corruption, particularly bribery, is not uncommon in emerging markets. Although domestic companies are more likely to pay bribes in emerging markets than foreign firms, multinationals are far from innocent. Transparency International (TI), a non-governmental organization that combats global corruption, compiles a Bribe Payers Index (BPI). The BPI ranks countries on a zero-to-10 scale in which high scores indicate a low propensity to pay bribes to public officials overseas. In May 2002 Australia, Sweden, and Switzerland ranked the highest. Japan and the United States ranked 13th among the 21 exporting countries, with 5.3 scores. Companies from Russia, China, Taiwan, and South Korea showed very high levels of bribery in emerging markets. Public works/construction, followed by arms and defense, were the sectors with the highest levels of perceived corruption.

Many business leaders and officials, including former ministers and former presidents, have been found guilty of corruption in recent years, sometimes for offenses committed years earlier. Still, few have paid heavy fines or served much time in prison. Political corruption can include generally illegal activities such as bribery, extortion, and fraud, as well as less clearly defined activities such as influence peddling, nepotism, misuse of public funds, tax avoidance, withholding of information, or even official intimidation of opposition groups. There are close connections among a society's cultural traditions, its history, and how it structures its politics, since all these factors interact with and influence each other. The patriarchal structuring of relationships is the basis of modern political corruption in Korea. Confucian patriarchal relations are maintained by reciprocity, which in turn creates the type of patron-client relationships in which corruption tends to flourish. Thus, corruption among Korea's political leadership stems from the widespread popular equation of order with Confucian-inspired patriarchy and patriarchal discipline.

Despite significant improvements in recent years, Korea's political structure still tolerates a degree of non-transparency in the formation of laws and regulations, which when combined with still-inadequate institutional "checks and balances" and a societal structure heavily based on personal ties can create opportunities and incentives for corruption and influence peddling.

This culture has also contributed to a widespread intolerance of corrupt behavior and the emergence of groups dedicated to its eradication. Korea's Pro-Confucian lobby has linked a rise in corruption with the simultaneous decline in traditional Confucian morality, which requires that patriarchal leaders become a model of Confucian morality and ethics. Amid spreading public sentiment denouncing bribery and corruption, particularly after the April 2000 general legislative election, civic groups have become very vocal and achieved considerable progress by identifying supposedly "corrupt" officials and working against their re-election. Public outrage helped propel Roh Moo-hyun, viewed by many as an untainted outsider, to the presidency in 2003.

On January 1, 2006, the MND identified reform tasks by inaugurating the "Preparation Team for Defense Management Innovation." The MND expanded civilian-based defense manpower by establishing a "Detailed Plan to Implement the Defense Management Innovation,"and enhanced the rationality of force operational systems by launching the Defense Acquisition and Procurement Agency (DAPA).

The execution of defense programs have been secured with transparency, credibility and predictability by the law of the defense program since the establishment of the new Defense Acquisition Program Administration. Main policies of defense program criticized by transparency arguments due to the closed decision-making process have been changed to be discussed and controlled by Defense Acquisition Program Executive Committee, which involves external expert participation.

All defense industrial personnel is required to sign off the Integrity Pact and any non-compliance may result in legal consequences. The Voluntary Clinic Audit system, one of its first kinds in the Korean government, provides the Project Managers(PM) with an in advance customized audit and inspection service to prevent any legal or budgetary problems during the program.

Since the establishment of DAPA, the efficiency of program management has been improved through the introduction of IPT. Time required for procurement administration has been reduced by improvement of procurement process and eventually saved required budget. Integrated Project Team (IPT) manage all processes from determination of requirements to completion of program, including planning and compilation of budget under the charge of project manager. Advanced countries have been administering the IPT system for the past several years.

Through the abolition of specialization systematization in defense acquisition program, monopoly and oligopoly system (legal delay to December 2008), DAPA has revitalized the entry of new companies to the market and has prevented the existing defense companies sitting back. DAPA is making every effort for international cooperation and market expansion to export defense products. As a result of such an effort, it exported 845 million dollars in 2007. It is taking a big step forward to become an advanced country that exports defense products with a goal of achieving exports of 3 billion dollars in 2012.

U.S. defense industry equipment standards are generally accepted in Korea since mostKorean defense systems are based on American standards. Defense equipment is marketed in Korea through the following channels: direct purchase, sales agents, andimporters. U.S. manufacturers and suppliers of defense equipment generally use a well-qualified agent in Korea who is familiar with the Korean defense system and who knows key members of the ROK Air Force (ROKAF), ROK Navy, ROK Army, and the Agencyfor Defense Development (ADD). The selected agent can provide U.S. suppliers withinformation about status of bids and procurement plans for defense equipment. FormerROKAF, ROKN, and ROK Army officials have good potential as agents in Korea. Localagents should register and be certified by the DAPA to supply their products andservices to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:45:04 ZULU