In public evaluation, government prizes ethics

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In public evaluation, government prizes ethics

Five public institutions, including the Incheon International Airport Corporation, received the highest grade in the government’s annual evaluation of management performance on Tuesday, while Grand Korea Leisure, which operates casinos, and the Korea Coal Corporation were at the bottom.

The two key factors used in evaluating the 2017 performance of 128 public institutions, including 35 public companies, were ethical practices and contribution to job growth. The evaluation is important because it determines the size of incentives, such as bonuses, and next year’s budget for the institutions.

The number of institutions with high marks fell largely because of unfair hiring practices, including one high-profile case at the state-owned casino, Kangwon Land, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said.

Institutions that received the top A grade in last year’s evaluation accounted for 13.4 percent, while this year, they account for 10.6 percent. Those that received the second-highest B grade fell from 40.3 percent to 35.8 percent. But the portion of institutions that received the lowest E grade rose from 3.4 percent to 6.9 percent.

This is the first evaluation by the liberal Moon Jae-in administration, which has prized ethical conduct and job growth in its political agenda.

“While the reformed evaluation of public institutions will be applied for this year’s management, unfair hiring and job creation were first adopted for our evaluation of last year’s performance,” Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said on Tuesday. “By reflecting unfair hiring, which could harm the public’s trust [in government], we were able to raise the importance of ethical management.”

Kim said public institutions that created jobs were given additional points in their evaluation.

Chung Il-young of Incheon International Airport Corporation was among two public institution leaders that received the highest mark. The other was Park Sang-woo of LH Corporation, a government-owned housing corporation.

Chung earned accolades for giving regular employment status to the company’s contract workers. The airport was the first public institution that Moon visited after he was sworn into office to promote his initiative of income-led growth, which emphasizes job creation and boosting spending power to grow the economy.

The government said next year’s evaluation of this year’s performance will emphasize innovation.

“Public institutions with the mentality of ownership should make efforts to increase productivity and efficiency,” Finance Minister Kim said.

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