Proposed Reform Law For Local Government

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Proposed Reform Law For Local Government

The Kim Dae-jung administration will submit a new law to the National Assembly by the first half of next year regarding local government reform. If enacted, the law will take effect in June, 2002.

Before approaching the Assembly, the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs said that it will convene a forum Wednesday to solicit public opinion.

"Although the local government system is reforming, there are unintended consequences. These include government officials' lack of responsibility, or their wasteful spending," a ministry official said.

"To promote an efficient and democratic society, we should improve the system as a whole."

Part of the proposed legislation states that ward chiefs at six major cities, including Seoul and Pusan, should be appointed by the government rather than being elected by the citizens.

It also calls for administrative districts of the wards to be rearranged.

The proposed law partly limits the right of the autonomous districts and provides salaries to the local assemblymen who do not currently receive them.

In addition, the revised law introduces a new voting system in which local residents have the right to control the activities of the heads of local governments.

by Ko Dae-hoon

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