Personnel reform neededPersonnel affairs are of the utmost importance, as revealed in state affairs these days. Problems in personnel affairs in the Blue House have been revealed since the Lee Myung-bak administration took office.
The people mockingly criticize the composition of the cabinet, saying the members have several things in common: they are rich, live in affluent southern Seoul, have attended prestigious universities and go to the same church as the president. This means that the president hired favored allies for the cabinet.
Three cabinet candidates were withdrawn from consideration and a presidential secretary was replaced. But these were minor moves, considering the seriousness of the problems that have been revealed.
Shortly after the administration was launched, the public still wanted to trust the administration and the small-scale reshuffle seemed sufficient.
But problems in personnel affairs have erupted in the 100 days since the administration took office, and they are much more serious than expected.
Those who lack moral ethics and competence can’t be left to handle state affairs. The president’s reforms in state affairs aimed at soothing the upset general public can be carried out through drastic reforms in personnel affairs.
Reforms in personnel affairs must start with finding out exactly what went wrong. The problems can be summarized in two ways. First, evaluation processes were not sufficient.
Those who prove to be eligible after strict evaluation should become candidates for certain posts. The powerful must end their practice of adjusting conditions in order to employ the people whom they favor. Instead, experts must become candidates after thorough evaluation procedures.
Second, the personnel pool was too small. It is wrong that people with close ties corner high posts in government.
Even a ruling party member who used to be called one of the most influential figures in the administration was publicly criticized that a presidential secretary was preoccupied with taking personal benefits from the job, instead of handling state affairs in a fair and transparent way.
Talented people can be found when the personnel pool is expanded. Only competent figures can handle state affairs in the right way. A measure to employ talented people from across the country is desperately needed.