Presidential committees to be drastically reduced

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Presidential committees to be drastically reduced


The number of presidential committees will be reduced from the current 20 to three in the incoming Park Geun-hye administration, a move seen as a response to criticism that the committees were inefficient.

“In regard to the presidential committees, we will newly create the national unity committee and the youth committee while maintaining and further developing the role of the existing presidential committee on regional development,” said Kim Yong-joon, chief of Park’s transition team, on Monday.

“Other [presidential] committees will be abolished in principle.”

Kim’s comments were made as he spoke in front of reporters on Monday about the newly organized structure of the presidential office.

Presidential committees have collected diverse opinions from private-sector experts in different fields, but questions have been raised in the past about their inefficiency. They have been seen as a channel to promote personal appointments.

Currently, under the Lee government, there are 20 presidential committees including the Presidential Council on National Competitiveness, the Presidential Council on National Branding, the Presidential Committee on Green Growth and the Presidential Council for Future and Vision.

In the incoming Park administration, however, these committees will be abolished and only the presidential committee on regional development will be retained. Park will create the other two.

Committees under government ministries are also expected to undergo restructuring. According to the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, there are 499 committees under ministries as of 2011 and 156 of them haven’t even held one meeting.

“There have been [so far] too many committees being established in which many of them have not sufficiently fulfilled their functions,” said Yoo Min-bong, head of the team’s subcommittee on planning state affairs.

“We will come up with a structure that makes the committees more efficient.”

Reducing the number of committees under the ministries was a major state agenda even five years ago when the Lee government was launched.

Back then, the transition team announced it would reduce the ministry committees from 416 as of June 2007, to 205. In reality, however, 89 more were added, increasing the number to 505.

The previous Roh Moo-hyun government restructured the ministry committees. However, after 2005, the committees were reinstated under the premise they would “collect various opinions from society.”

By Sohn Guk-hee, Lee Eun-joo []
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