A wasted effortThe government graded itself on how well it met its objectives last year. It scored 89 points, roughly a B+, on diplomacy and security but earned more than 90 points, securing all A’s, in the rest of the categories. On average, it gave itself 91.7 points. However, the general public’s view of the government is the complete opposite. According to the government’s survey, the public gave the government 51.5 points, which is almost an F.
The reasons behind these ridiculous results are probably because each ministry graded itself and then the Public Service Evaluation Committee reviewed the scores. When the ministries did the grading, they all gave themselves A’s. It is questionable whether it was necessary to waste tax money for such a ridiculous evaluation. If the government officials had the slightest sense of honor, they should have come up with results that people could understand.
If we look into the evaluations in detail, it gets worse. The government said it did the best at the economy. It accomplished 89.6 percent of the 712 objectives that it set early last year and succeeded in macroeconomic control despite the strong won. What troubles and dissatisfies people the most is the microeconomy.
But the committee, co-chaired by the prime minister, is making unreasonable evaluations. Stabilizing commodity prices and exporting goods worth more than 325.5 billion won was accomplished through efforts of private companies rather than the government. Setting up the development and welfare plan, called “Vision 2030,” cannot be evaluated because there are no grounds yet to judge the plan’s feasibility. The government argues that with the plan it established foundations to resolve society’s polarization, but it is not known what kind of evidence the government has to support that argument. The government admitted society’s polarization has worsened.
An economic growth rate of 5 percent is lower than the initial goal and the increase of domestic demand that the government cited as one of its accomplishments is absolutely the opposite of the market’s evaluation.
The evaluation is worse than President Roh Moo-hyun’s remarks, claiming that the government has not caused economic problems. Some (including Blue House Chief of Staff Lee Byung-wan) would say that the evaluations by the government and the general public are so different because of “critical newspapers.” Since the government apparently cannot reflect upon itself, it cannot change. Thus, there is no hope.