[EDITORIALS]Far too many chefsBureaucracy in the Blue House of the President-elect Roh Moo-hyun overflows. Although Mr. Roh said he wants to form an efficiently operating Blue House, seven cabinet-level and 10 vice-minister-level bureaucracies are too much. In the past, the Blue House secretariat reigned over the cabinet, and the people are concerned over the cabinet's national governance even before the new administration is launched.
Some may understand an ambitious plan to expand the organization at this early stage of the administration, so it can do more work. However, the problem is the organization has expanded even before the work has begun. The Roh camp during the election pledged it would give more and real administrative power to the prime minister in order to change the imperialist presidency and not be caught in a secretariat's abuse of power.
The incoming government is now reinforcing the Blue House secretariat, contradicting its promise. The Blue House's power has always grown further as time goes on, after an administration launches. Thus, forming such a well-padded Blue House even before the administration begins will undeniably bring about centralization and distortions of administrative power.
The newly created Blue House posts will also create conflicts because their roles overlap with existing ones. The chief of staff, policy planning director-general and senior national security adviser were to share political affairs, national security and policy planning, but it has proven difficult to separate such roles. Furthermore, aides to those officials would overlap and a special task force team and four cabinet-level heads will further complicate the Blue House operation.
This administration's Blue House began with one chief, six senior secretaries and 35 secretaries, but it now has one chief, two minister-level advisers, eight senior secretaries and 41 secretaries. That's far too big at this point. The current plan of 17 minister and vice-minister-level Blue House staffers just doesn't fit with Mr. Roh's announced principle of a prime minister with more power. Mr. Roh should slim down this inappropriate blueprint of an overstuffed Blue House bureaucracy.