[EDITORIALS]Reshape the personnel systemIn connection with the controversy over the appointment of Lee Ki-jun as deputy prime minister and minister of education, President Roh Moo-hyun apologized to the people. The Blue House personnel selection committee members expressed their intention to resign.
The aftermath of the controversy is not over yet, and there are still worries over its progress. But the measures taken by the president and the secretariat seem to be out of recognition of the seriousness of the situation. We hope the Blue House will not repeat the same mistake when it selects a successor.
The controversy exposed many hidden problems. First of all, there is a big hole in the personnel inspection system of the Blue House. If the system had worked properly, it could have easily found the problems that have plagued Mr. Lee and his son. that media outlets reported after one or two days.
If the main reason for the failure was only the failed inspection system, it could be rather fortunate. Only fixing the system will be required.
More worrisome is the situation where civil affairs and personnel secretaries didn’t feel like carrying out proper inspection because they had to save the face of the person who recommended him or had to consider the power hierarchy inside the Blue House. The fact that the secretary for public servant affair’s opinion that “the reason for Mr. Lee’s resignation from Seoul National University president is burdensome,” was ignored indicates such a possibility. The Blue House should reflect on whether it is blinded by human curtain and if state affairs are monopolized by a handful of people.
The measures taken by the Blue House after the outbreak of the incident were also naive. It only tried to cover up by saying, “We investigated the problems fully and appointed him as we decided there was no problem.”
It was also unusual that there were complaints from the center of the ruling camp when the appointment was announced. It could be out of a simple power struggle, or an effort to check Mr. Roh from turning to pragmatism. Either way, leaving the issues unaddressed will make Mr. Roh’s remaining three years troublesome.
Taking this occasion, the government must reshape the personnel management system. It must also inspect the Blue House to see whether there are any problems. If the presidential office is realigned on this occasion, it can turn a bad luck into good fortune.
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