[EDITORIALS]Still looking for a modelThe presidential transition committee has concluded its operation. The committee has drawn a rough sketch of the plans of the Roh Moo-hyun administration. But it has made trial and error and noise its hallmark during the course of its 54-day run. The transition team was established by law to help the newly elected president prepare for the transfer of power. It is a temporary body.
Now its members must reflect on whether it has lived up to its name. The current committee will be dissolved soon, but a new one will be established five years later. The current team’s performance should be evaluated.
First of all, the committee’s operation and limits should be clearly defined. The question has been raised whether the committee can change or scrap government policy or projects that were promoted by previous governments. This transition panel has scraped the decision to relax regulations on Korean students’ admission to foreign schools, which has gone through three years of public debate. It nullified the Seoul-Incheon canal project, then reversed its decision. It was wrong that the committee behaved as if it can do almost everything. That is why it was said, “The committee behaves as if it is an occupation force.”
Many mistakes were made because of excessive zeal and amateurism. Refusing to hear a government agency’s report on the reason that the report did not mesh with the philosophy of the new government and announcing and then cancelling a decision to change the currency denomination were outside of its duty.
The activity performed by the special envoy to Washington to explain the new government’s position on the North Korean nuclear issue was criticized as unprofessional. The repeated mistakes and miscues made people uneasy instead of inspiring hope in the new government.
This is the fourth transition team, but there is no model team so far. An evaluation of the current team will help create a new model in 2007 and to define what a transition team should do.