[EDITORIALS]Stop this daylight robberyAmong 105 presidential secretaries who have worked for this administration, some 20 have been reported to have received wages after leaving their posts. Although they resigned from office, the Blue House delayed their resignation dates. The presidential office put them on a waiting list for other jobs or designated them as secretaries without portfolio. These people were paid without working for 1,000 days altogether. This means an average of 50 days per person. Some of them were paid for more than 100 days.
They are nothing but thieves. The Blue House said that even after their successors have been named, predecessors have to remain for a transition period. But it is hard to understand that a secretary needs three months for a transition. It is absurd.
Among the people in question, there are former student activists who make up the core of this administration and are close aides to President Roh Moo-hyun. These include a Blue House spokesman, a protocol secretary to the president, a presidential secretary for personnel affairs, a secretary who documented the Roh Moo-hyun briefing at his camp for the presidential campaign and a secretary for public information who later became a senior executive at a state-run company. These people received wages after their retirement. That means the Blue House favored these people. Is the budget of the Blue House a free cash machine for a club of college students? This practice reveals the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of the so-called reform administration. Even under military rule, presidential secretaries were an elite group that other civil servants aspired to join. They were competent and kept strict rules. However, the Blue House in this administration has been a source of trouble and has set a bad example for other civil servants. Student activists-turned-politicians have kept exchanging their ministry seats, presidential secretaries have intervened in the personnel affairs of government-financed bodies, a secretary to the president killed his wife and the office of the senior secretary to the president for public information has created chaos. Now, this theft has been revealed even though this administration has claimed out loud to be the party of reform.
The Blue House must publicize the amount of money that these people have wrongfully received and these people must return the money forthwith. Senior members such as the chief of staff should take responsibility for this. And the Board of Audit and Inspection should immediately set up a thorough investigation.