Go to contents

New Government Official Evaluation System Sparks Controversy

New Government Official Evaluation System Sparks Controversy

Posted October. 09, 2007 03:24,   


Starting next year, judges, public prosecutors and military generals will likely be assessed by a new assessment system on which their salaries will be based.

However, controversy is expected as the Court and the Public Prosecutors’ Office have repeatedly argued against it, on the grounds that the new system may hinder the fair and impartial application of legal matters.

On October 8, the Ministry of Planning and Budget and the Civil Service Commission announced that over 7,500 senior government officials will be subject to the new evaluation system starting in January 2008.

The officials subject to the new system include 4,500 judges and prosecutors, 3,000 military officers above colonel rank, 70 police officers above the inspector general level, and a number of guard officials above the Director General level.

The government reached its decision under the rationale of further expanding the assessment system that had been introduced in 2000 in order to enhance efficiency in the public sector.

Nevertheless, the highest-ranking government officials receiving salaries equivalent to ministers and deputy ministers from the military, Prosecutors’ Office, the Supreme Court, and the police will not be subject to evaluation next year.

The government has decided to announce the details of the new evaluation system at the end of the year.

The court officials responded, “The courts have inherent independence of the legal body, rendering a bulk evaluation difficult,” and that “we will continue to collect opinions on this in order to derive a plan that can both be consistent with the government-driven performance-based pay system and the independence of the legal structure.”

The Prosecutors’ Office also pointed out that “Independence can be infringed upon if prosecutors consider the performance-based pay system in duty,” and that “the pending question is to devise a numerical gauging index of the tasks, upon which anyone can agree.”

In the police, performance evaluation is applied up to police superintendent level, equivalent to the head of a police station, but the system was not introduced to officers above the inspector general level for similar reasons as judges and prosecutors.

The military also have asserted that it is not only difficult to evaluate the results of commanding officers above Colonel level, but also undesirable to differentiate the salaries according to the evaluations. Currently, only Lieutenant Colonels and below are subject to the performance-based pay system.

cha@donga.com dnsp@donga.com