(LEAD) State audit agency to launch inspection of jamboree mismanagement

South Korea's state audit agency could launch an inspection of what went wrong and who was responsible for the poor organization of the 2023 World Scout Jamboree as early as this week, officials said Sunday.

The Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) has begun preparations to inspect the organizing committee, the North Jeolla Province government, and the gender equality and interior ministries following the event's conclusion on Saturday, according to the officials.

The jamboree, which ran from Aug. 1-12, opened at a campsite in Saemangeum, a reclaimed wetland on the southwestern coast, but faced severe criticism for lacking the facilities to host some 40,000 participants from around the world during a scorching heat wave earlier this month.

The participants were later relocated to various cities across the nation to escape a powerful approaching typhoon.

Officials said the BAI will announce the launch of the inspection as soon as the number of inspectors is finalized. It is expected to cover everything from how Saemangeum was chosen to host the event, how the necessary infrastructure was built, the operations of the organizing committee and details of where the massive 100 billion won (US$75 million) budget for the jamboree was spent.

Meanwhile, ruling bloc officials pointed the finger at the former Moon Jae-in government for the poor preparations.

"The Moon administration and North Jeolla Province did nothing to reclaim the wetland or expand infrastructure for the event," Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon, head of the ruling People Power Party (PPP), said in a Facebook post. "The Yoon Suk Yeol government has managed to resolve the situation, but the opposition party has the audacity to criticize us."

Rep. Song Eon-seog of the ruling PPP also claimed a total of 11 trillion won in tax payers' money has been spent for the jamboree but the money has gone missing.

At the same time, former President Moon Jae-in made comments on the jamboree, for which South Korea was chosen as the host country in 2017, when he took office.

"Heaven did not lend a helping hand to the one who was poorly ready," he said on his Facebook. "We've seen our national status decrease and lost pride."

And he also offered an apology and sympathy to South Korean people, the jamboree Scouts, people in North Jeolla Province and sponsoring companies as president when the event was bid.

Source: Yonhap News Agency