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[Editorial] New Cabinet in the Incoming Government should Filter PTC’s National Policy Goals

[Editorial] New Cabinet in the Incoming Government should Filter PTC’s National Policy Goals

Posted February. 21, 2003 22:43,   


Although the President-elect Roh Moo-hyun`s presidential transition committee presented three major goals, four principles, and twelve tasks the “participatory government” is expected to carry out in the next five years, one important thing is missing here. In other words, it failed to carry out examinations and assessments on the outgoing government’s administrative performances that can be regarded as a basic task for a government takeover team.

It is regrettable for the transition committee not to have placed a more importance on systematic and general analyses on the outgoing Kim Dae-jung government`s successes and failures in administrative polices on the ground that the incoming government has no choice but to deal with national polices, starting from what the outgoing government has left and reason for the transition team`s being is to maintain continuity of national policies. That the government transition team has invited series of accusations and criticisms of overstepping its authority and making trials and errors may have something to do with the omission of the important task.

Although it is difficult to judge the Roh`s government policy goals whose detailed tasks are composed of way over one hundred points in a word, in general, they do not seem to be sharply different from what the outgoing government implemented and be reinforced with reformist agenda. In particular, as the incoming government is emphasizing fair distribution of wealth, participatory politics, eradication of social discriminations and welfare in the fields of economy, labor, and society, confrontations are expected in the process of pushing for those polices.

It is certain that the incoming government’s policy direction and major policy goals the transition team has drawn up will have a great influence on setting the tone of its policies. The same is true for the presidential secretaries that generally show similar characteristics of the transition team. However, it might be impossible for the government transition team generally composed of reform-mined and junior academics to thoroughly examine the outgoing government’s overall policy problems in such a short period of fifty days, not to mention shaping policy goals in order. In addition, the transition committee-presented policy goals have no legal binding.

To minimize chances of the incoming government making mistakes in implementing policies, a new cabinet should decide on which policies should be given priorities over others. The new cabinet should desert half-baked national policy goals, taking into account concreteness, feasibility and expected impact of policy goals the transition committee has presented. And then, priority should be given remaining policy goals that will survive the cabinet`s through review, considering the administrative circumstances, such as national budget, constitutionality, social demand, and public opinion. In addition, the incoming government should maintain pragmatic attitude to flexibly cope with changes in circumstances, observing principles. If the incoming government is only obsessed with ideology and cause in ignorance of the reality, such an attitude risks causing the disruption of national affairs and division in public opinion.

The cabinet in the incoming government is different from the presidential transition committee and practices are not allowed when it comes to managing the nation. The success of national administration in the next five years depends heavily on the incoming government’s capability of filtering ill-considered and half-baked national policy goals at the early part of its coming into power.