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1% Cut for Every 50 Government Regulations

Posted January. 25, 2008 08:15,   


The presidential transition committee requested each ministry reduce the number of its staff by 1 percent for every 50 government regulations. Government workers laid-off will be relocated to large government projects such as the grand canal project and the Saemangeum land reclamation project.

This is to sever the long-held vicious circle of an increase in regulations and the subsequent rise in the number of public officials.

The committee sent a directive to this effect to all 18 ministries, requesting them to submit their own reorganization plans by January 29.

According to the directive titled, “Standards of the Organization of Offices in Relation to Government Reorganization,” ministries are obliged to reduce their staff in two stages. First, they are required to cut overlapping staff, transfer their functions, and eliminate their position. Next, ministries need to cut the number of staff in proportion to the number of regulations: one percent for every 50 government regulations. For instance, if a ministry imposes 100 regulations and it has 500 staff after the first stage of reductions, it has to cut an additional 10 staff.

The committee anticipates that the first stage will lead to the elimination of 734 public workers and the second to cut another 810.

Only ministries that have more than 50 regulations at the time the reorganization plan was introduced will be subject to the second stage reduction plan. On the list are the Construction and Transportation Ministry, the Finance and Economy Ministry, the Commerce, Industry, and Energy Ministry, the Financial Supervisory Service, and the Fair Trade Commission. In the case of the Construction and Transportation Ministry, which according to the Regulatory Reform Committee imposes the largest number of regulations (692), is expected to reduce an additional 13 percent of its regular staff under the transition committee’s plan.

“The cut in staff in charge of regulations will result in deregulation,” said a spokesperson for the committee.

During the first stage of cuts, ministries that are merged need to reduce their staff significantly if there are overlapping departments. If a merged ministry has a smaller department compared to the other ministry, 25-35 percent of the department’s staff will be added to the consolidated one. In other words, if the number of staff in a larger department is less than twice that of the smaller one, 65 percent of the staff in the smaller department will be cut; twice to four times, then 70 percent will be cut; and over four times, then 75 percent will be cut. For example, if “Ministry A” has 10 officials in the planning department and “Ministry B” has 30 in the same department, only three officials in “Ministry A” will join the consolidated ministry, resulting in a total of 33 public workers.

Officials to be laid-off during the reduction process will be tasked to various government projects, like the Grand Canal project, the Science Business Belt project, and the 2012 Yeosu World Expo.

In line with the reduction, the presidential transition committee requested each ministry have an officer-in-charge of legal affairs to be responsible for regulatory reform.