Public institutes get bad grades

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Public institutes get bad grades

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More public institutions got poorer grades in the latest government evaluation, alarming the public sector as it faces mounting pressure to reform from President Park Geun-hye’s drive to root out lax management.

According to an announcement by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance yesterday, 11 public institutions received an “E” grade, the lowest score possible, in the evaluation of their 2013 performance. Seven institutions received an “E” score in 2012.

The 11 institutions are: Korea Gas Corporation; Korea Coal Corporation; Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corp.; Korea Exchange; Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety; Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail); Small Enterprise & Market Authority; Korea Fisheries Resources Agency; Korea Meteorological Industry Promotion Agency; Korea Ship Safety Technology Authority and Ulsan Port Authority.

In the report, the government recommended that the heads of Ulsan Port Authority and Korea Testing Laboratory be asked to step down by the institutions’ boards.

The chiefs of the other E-level institutions had been in the leadership position for less than six months, so were not asked to step down. In the past, the government has requested that the heads of all E-level institutions be dismissed.

Ulsan Port Authority head Park Chong-rok was asked to step down because he has served in the position for more than two years.

The government also asked Namgung Min, president of Korea Testing Laboratory, to leave his post because the institution received a D for two years in a row and had showed no improvement.

The Finance Ministry’s evaluation was conducted on 117 public institutions and the overall number that received poorer grades increased compared to 2012.

None of the organizations were given an S, which is the highest level in the evaluation.

Korea Trade Investment Proamotion Agency (Kotra) and Korea Education and Research Information Service were the only two that received an A, the second-highest grade. In 2012, 16 institutions got an A.

The number that scored a B also dropped from 40 to 39 from 2012 to 2013.

But institutions that got a C, D or E climbed remarkably.

Forty-six institutions, including Busan Port Authority, Incheon International Airport Corporation, Korea Appraisal Board, Korea Resources Corporation, Korea Racing Association, Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), Korea National Oil Corporation, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation and Korea Railway Network Authority were given a C grade. Organizations that were ranked “C” accounted for 39.4 percent of the total evaluated.

Nineteen institutions: Korea Tourism Organization, Yeosu Gwangyang Port Authority, Korea Housing Guarantee Co., Korea District Heating Corporation, and Korea Land & Housing Corporation were in the D level.

The government decided to provide salary incentives to the 87 institutions that received a C grade or higher.

However, Kepco, K-Water, Korea Expressway Corp. and three others will get half the incentives they received in previous years.

In addition to wage incentives, the two A-level institutions will be given a 1 percent increase on their budgets, while those below D-level will have a 1 percent budget cut next year.

Twenty out of 30 public institutions that the government was closely monitoring received lower grades for their 2013 performances than in 2012, the ministry said.

“The ministry evaluated the public institutions with stricter standards than before, so many of them got poorer grades,” said Hyun Oh-seok, outgoing finance minister and deputy prime minister for economy. “The 2013 evaluations of the institutions were made before the government established the normalization plan for the public sector, so we expect better results in a mid-term evaluation in September.”

By song su-hyun [ssh@joongang.co.kr]




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