Hire issuesOpen recruitment for chief executive officers and executives at 305 public organizations and companies has started as the restructuring of these entities, and possibly privatization and merger, is now in the works.
However, the fact that the CEOs of public entities are being replaced is more worrying than hopeful, as personnel decisions by the government have been disappointing so far.
Moreover, the process of replacing heads of public organizations and companies has been problematic, causing distrustful glares at people who are going to be appointed to these entities.
The government said it is looking for professional, reform-minded CEOs as principles for appointment. We hope that the criteria will be strictly followed.
However, there are all kinds of negative rumors about the appointments circulating already.
The rumors say candidates with certain educational, regional and religious backgrounds are preferred.
Some say the open recruitment is a mere show for a person who is privately selected by an influential government official.
The existence of such rumors reflects the level of distrust that the public is leveling at the government’s personnel affairs.
Instead, the ongoing appointments are a chance to dissolve the doubts of the public, which were caused by confusion surrounding the selection of major government officials by the incumbent administration.
For that purpose, the government should hire individuals talented enough to be acknowledged by everyone concerned.
But this process needs to be carried out in a fair and transparent way.
If decisions are taken because someone has contributed to the birth of this government, has positioned himself close to the real power in the government and has a certain background, the appointments will be an abject failure.
A failure in personnel decisions does not end here; it would also result in the loss of public trust. Most of all, the open recruitment should not just be a formality to disguise a parachute appointment. The government should not give in to outside pressure and requests for favors.
The decision should be strictly based on competence. This is going to be a test case for the qualifications and ethics of the government.
The people of Korea will watch the appointment process carefully from now on.