&#91EDITORIALS&#93State jobs not a ‘booty call’

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[EDITORIALS]State jobs not a ‘booty call’

Leaders of the governing Millennium Democratic Party have repeatedly asked President Roh Moo-hyun to appoint hundreds of party members as heads of state-run corporations and organizations affiliated with government ministries. The president has ordered his chief of staff to discuss the matter with the party. We are very concerned that the government may once again use key posts at state-run firms and government-affiliated agencies as war trophies for ruling-party members who helped the Roh victory.
Well aware of these concerns, the reform-minded new administration has already announced that such practices are wrong. President Roh’s aide for personnel appointments has declared that doling out key positions at those firms and organizations as so-called rewards would undermine those entities’ competitiveness. Those remarks were probably made out of the perception that the major cause of losses and management inefficiency at many state-run organizations is “parachute” appointments that ignore the expertise of candidates.
The MDP leaders insist on this demand probably because its leader promised that 250 to 300 jobs at state-run firms and government-affiliated agencies would go to party members. The MDP’s motivation seems to be a need to downsize its organization, which became bloated during the presidential election. The ruling party says it will recommend candidates for the top jobs after fully considering their expertise and zeal for reform policies. But honestly, who believes that? The leader of the party has already announced that hundreds of its members will get the executive positions.
The MDP must not think of top jobs at state-run companies as war booty. The Blue House must not give in to this outrageous MDP demand. If the administration and the ruling party appoint politicians as executives at state-run firms and government-affiliated agencies, President Roh’s reform policies would be undermined. Also, such a practice would bring resistance from employees at those organizations, providing major stumbling blocks to public-sector restructuring.
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