On the Appointing of Party Cronies to Government Controlled Posts

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On the Appointing of Party Cronies to Government Controlled Posts

In the weeks following the general election, there has been increasing arguments concerning the parachuting in of outside personnel into important positions controlled by the government. There is increasing noise being made about the appointment of ruling party members who failed to either be nominated for or win in the last general election to important positions in government invested institutions and sub-organizations. The internal competition is known to be extremely fierce for these 'last minute' personnel appointments of the current government. There are already 10 positions either taken or about to be occupied by ruling party members, and there is an expectation that about 40 additional positions as leaders, auditors, and directors of governmental organizations are to be created.

Although this is a ruling party ‘tradition,’ it is not morally sound to give public positions as if they were private institutions. The nation does not deserve to be administered by personnel without the bare minimum of expertise in important fields just because they get an appointment due to personal connections. If the government continues to act this way, why did they proceed with the privatization of public companies? It was done because the insolvency of public companies became a national burden. If personnel appointments based not on merit but personal connections were a catalyst for insolvency, this must not be repeated.

It is the current administration that made the criticizm about the 'impossibility of reform and the ruined management in public sectors due to the parachuting in of personnel.' Reviving the same old practices of the previous administration is nothing but self-denial. At the most, there was some justification for appointing those who made tremendous efforts in establishing the current ruling party in the early period of this administration. However, we are now in the second half of the administration, and it has become the priority to provide sound leadership and management for our nation, necessitating the disregard of personal connections and only considering ability and expertise.

If one of the major factors in the excessive election of opposition GNP politicians in Kyongsang Province politicians was the unbalanced appointment of personnel by the Kim Dae-jung administration, there should be countermeasures to resolve this issue. However, a section of the ruling party seems to think that if attempting to fairly represent all regions of the country in government positions has not resulted in consequent successes in the election, they may as well dole out favors to friends. This kind of thinking will inevitably result in non-merit-based appointments of 'my staff,' in order to cope with political wrangling in the second half of the administration.

This parachuting in of personnel can only achieve the dwindling of support by alienating and repelling the majority of the people and government officials to side with the opposition.

by Eum Song-jik

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