[EDITORIALS]Wanted: Prudent hiringPresident Roh Moo-hyun should adopt a new approach toward personnel affairs if he wants to redeem the major failures of his administration and diminish his lame duck status. With only one year left in his term, the employment of new officials now or later this year is very important.
But the president has repeated his customary way of employing people. Lee Yong-sup, the minister of construction and transportation-to-be, is an expert on the tax system and has served as the head of the national tax office.
Credited for the reform he generated as the head of the tax office, Mr. Lee went on to become the presidential secretary for reforms. Recently, Mr. Lee became the Minister of Government Administration and Home Affairs.
If Mr. Lee was that skillful at reform, and if reform was of such importance, why should he be leaving the post after eight months? If he becomes the minister of construction and transportation, head of the main body to map and implement real estate policy, the government will send an undesirable message that it will continue to use taxation as a main tool to control the market. People wonder if there is someone more suitable for the job.
Park Myung-jae, a candidate for the minister of government administration and home affairs, also has many problems. He has served as a government official at the ministry for such a long time that he must be an expert in that field. But less than half a year has passed since he ran for the governor of North Gyeongsang province and lost.
If the government hires a person who lost an election for a post which is higher than what he was running for, how should constituents feel about that? Many people ran in elections knowing that they would lose, but still be rewarded with higher posts in the Roh administration.
Before Mr. Park’s case, people who ran for mayor of Daegu, Daejeon and Gwangju and for governor of South Jeolla and South Chungcheong province, were defeated. But they were later given ministry jobs, named directors of state-run firms or tabbed as presidential aides.
When the administration calls on people working in office to run for office, the government bodies where they work lose stability and effectiveness. As these people come back to their old posts, the professionalism of their ministries is damaged and the structure is shaken.
That is how the self-claimed “reform administration” has done so far.