Blue House asks public to appraise its ministers

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Blue House asks public to appraise its ministers

The Blue House has conducted a performance evaluation of cabinet ministers for use as a possible reference for the next cabinet reshuffle, the JoongAng Ilbo reported Thursday.

The Lee Myung-bak administration’s 15 ministers and four minister-level commission chairmen were rated in a public opinion poll last month. The Blue House’s survey was conducted from Nov. 10 to 15 involving 2,027 adults around the nation. It is meant to evaluate each minister’s policy performance, recognition among the pubic, and respondents were also asked to rank the government’s 50 key policies.

“President Lee ordered the survey because he had learned from his regional trips that public awareness of government policies was very low,” a senior source in the ruling circle said. “The president said the survey should determine if ministries are following policies and actually promoting them to the public. The outcome of the evaluation may be reflected in a future cabinet reshuffle.”

According to the results obtained by the JoongAng Ilbo, Knowledge Economy Minister Choi Kyung-hwan was ranked highest for his performance of implementing government policies. Choi earned 3.1 out of 5 points.

The next highest rankings, in order, were earned by Maeng Hyung-kyu, minister of public administration and security; Yoon Jeung-hyun, minister of strategy and finance; Chin Soo-hee, minister of health and welfare; and Chin Dong-soo, Financial Services Commission chairman.

While politicians-turned-ministers have earned high scores, the justice, foreign, defense and education ministers were not evaluated positively.

Choi appeared to be ranked top thanks to the country’s strong export performance this year. The $221.5 billion worth of exports was ranked the seventh largest in the world. Efforts to export nuclear reactor technology also contributed to his good rating.

Maeng and Yoon appeared to earn good scores for the smooth hosting of the Group of 20 Summit, while Health and Welfare Minister Chin was helped by the government’s working-class-friendly policies, the Blue House said.

Financial Services Commission chairman Chin has received a lot of media coverage for his handling of the boardroom battle at Shinhan Financial Group.

Yu In-chon, an actor-turned-culture minister, was ranked number one for recognition by the public. More than 92 percent of the surveyed population said they knew Minister Yu.

According to the survey, then Defense Minister Kim Tae-young was ranked the second for his recognition, perhaps because of the media coverage of the sinking of Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island shelling.

Public Administration and Security Minister Maeng, Korea Communications Commission Chairman Choi See-joong and Health and Welfare Minister Chin came in the third, fourth and fifth in the recognition rankings.

Of the 50 key government policies, the Foreign Ministry’s international development and cooperation expansion was rated as the most successful. The Foreign and Knowledge Economy ministries’ joint policy of developing overseas resources and energy supplies was ranked second. The policy of improving Korea’s national branding was ranked third, while the low-carbon, green growth policy was ranked fourth. The policy of globalizing Korea’s culinary culture was ranked fifth most productive, according to the poll.

Following the JoongAng Ilbo report, a Blue House official said yesterday that the November evaluation followed one done in October.


By Kang Min-seok, Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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