&#91EDITORIALS&#93These advisers spell trouble

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&#91EDITORIALS&#93These advisers spell trouble

It is good for the president to listen to opinions and to consider them in conducting state affairs. It is a blessing for the president, isolated in the Blue House, to be able to hear views from the street. Citing this point, President Roh Moo-hyun is planning to designate his closest political aides as special advisers. But the plan should be killed, since it entails many problems.
The Blue House said it would create unpaid posts for these advisers who are close political confidants of the president. According to the Blue House, if they work for the president without official title, people would think the president maintains a secret advisory network. The plan is an idea that stems from ignorance about what government posts are and how they work.
The activities of government agencies are regarded as the nation’s activities. Accordingly, the qualifications, authority, responsibilities and pay of the employees of these agencies are rigorously prescribed by law. But the Blue House is planning to create posts under the rubric “honorary special aides,” based only on a remark by the president, as if they were adding to the posts of an alumni association.
This Blue House secretariat, with 13 minister- and vice-minister-level officials, is fatter than that of any past administration. But, if Mr. Roh needs some people desperately, he should place them in official positions, rather than letting them enter the Blue House on the weight of a name card.
Mr. Roh’s plan can bring about confusion and conflict with his official staff. And, if these people intervene here and there as special aides to the president, they will certainly spark backbiting, gossip and doubts. The government should conduct its affairs on the basis of the law. If appointing these special aides is vital, the Blue House should employ them officially.
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