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Ever-increasing Number of Public Servants

Posted April. 24, 2007 03:02,   


The number of public servants is expected to increase by about 10,000 annually over the next five years. For this year, the last year of the participatory government, the number is likely to increase by about 12,000. This is the estimate from the document released by the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs on Monday. According to the mid- and long-term plan for manpower management from 2007 to 2011, the administration plans to increase the number of public servants by 51,223 over the next five years. The expected number is greater than 50,500, which was the number from the mid-term plan (from 2006 to 2010) established last year.

Seo Pil-eon, the head of the Innovation Planning Office, said, "We are in consideration, but the exact number will come out in September." He added, "We are mapping out the mid-term plan for manpower management, but that does not mean an increase in the number of public servants."

However, the mid-term plan (from 2006 to 2010) set up last year showed that the number of public servants increased in 2006 and 2007 more than intended. Under the mid-term plan, the number was to increase by 17,500, but the actual increase was 18,187. This year also, it is highly likely to exceed the expected number of 10,000. The increase reflected in the national budget is 9,885 in total. However, the number is estimated to reach 12,000 given the unexpected demand for more public servants after the passage of a new law.

Since the inauguration of the participatory government in February 2003, the incumbent government has expanded the number of public servants including local officials by 50,994. Even worse, the increase is gaining speed as the administration nears its term.

Cheon Ho-seon, the spokesperson of the presidential office, said, "The participatory government has put emphasis on efficiency of the government organization." He added, "It is necessary to increase the number of public servants in response to a newly emerged need such as anti-aging measures.”

Meanwhile, the Grand National Party urged the government to reconsider the plan, saying that a small administration can effectively run the country. Na Gyeong-won, a party spokesperson, said, "The plan to increase the number of public servants could be misunderstood as a plan to garner public support since this is a presidential election year."

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