[EDITORIALS]Running state-run companies

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[EDITORIALS]Running state-run companies

It is nonsense that Korea Resources Corp., a state-run company, has selected two senior executives through a direct vote by the employees. The company said the vote was “a part of transparent management.” But transparency has nothing to do with such voting. It will only bring about factionalism and deteriorate management efficiency. Through the vote, two department heads were selected ― fortunately.
But if a freshman had obtained the most votes, what would the company do? It is just like selecting a divisional commander through a vote by soldiers. It is not understandable to transfer the authority to the employees.
The figure who brought about the voting incident is Park Yang-soo, the corporation’s president. He served as lawmaker at the 16th National Assembly and led the founding of the governing Uri Party. He seems to have decided to make the company another political circus by abandoning his duty of estimating workers, but introducing a popularity vote.
It is not only Korea Resources. Other state-run companies also have serious problems in their personnel system. Conflicts are breaking out here and there as the terms of many of those state-run companies’ chief executives, who had taken posts under the past administration, are going to expire.
The outside directors of Korea Gas Corp. voted for dismissal of the current chief executive. The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency and the Korea Racing Association are having difficulties in selecting their top managers. The Roh Moo-hyun administration formed a recommendation committee for chief executives of state-run companies, but the only thing that changed is that those top managers are now politicians instead of retired government officials and military generals.
On Monday, the Korea Independent Commission against Corruption ordered that the committee should be composed of members from the private sector only, excluding government officials. But it is doubtful whether the change will have the effect of improving the state-run companies’ personnel system.
The recent troubles involving the personnel reshuffle at state-run companies resulted from the will of the top government officials who promoted the reform of their personnel system. They should stop disguising their appointment of people who contributed in elections as the “reform of the state-run companies’ personnel system.”

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