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‘High-ranking Officials Evaluated Last Month’

Posted November. 10, 2008 08:25,   


Amid expectations of a major Cabinet reshuffle at the end of the year, the Prime Minister’s Office reportedly conducted evaluations of top government officials including ministers, vice ministers and the heads of state-owned enterprises.

The chiefs of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, Financial Services Commission and the Korean National Police Agency reportedly underwent reviews. A former Grand National Party lawmaker is likely to assume the helm of one of four major government offices, including the National Intelligence Service.

Many interpret this as a prelude to a sweeping Cabinet reshuffle at the end of the year.

“A Cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place at the end of the year,” said a top government official said yesterday. “The Lee Myung-bak administration first held work evaluations in May immediately before conducting a partial Cabinet reshuffle. Many officials are closely following these developments because the administration moved up the date of the second review, which had been scheduled for the end of the year.”

The evaluations were conducted by an extra-departmental body of the Prime Minister’s Office. Top officials above director level at government organizations had face-to-face interviews on their leadership skills, relations with the National Assembly and media, major achievements and how well they followed the president’s administrative philosophy.

President Lee was reportedly briefed on the review results Oct. 25.

“Unlike in the past, the evaluation team sent no official document to notify of the performance review to organizations subject to the review, based on my knowledge,” a government official said.

An official from the Prime Minister’s Office said, “I know that an assessment of major pending policies of each ministry was conducted, but I haven’t been informed of performance reviews of ministers and vice ministers.”

Separate evaluations were regularly conducted on major government agencies, such as the offices of the senior presidential secretaries for civil affairs and planning and management; the government ethics section of the Prime Minister’s Office; the Defense Security Command; the National Intelligence Service; and the Korean National Police Agency.

An official from the presidential office said, however, “Work performance reviews on ministers usually come in the first half of the year and those on vice ministers in the second. The review for the first half took place in June and July, and that for the second has yet to come.”

Another presidential official said, “To our knowledge, audit and inspection organizations regularly evaluate the performances of ministers and vice ministers regardless of a Cabinet reshuffle.”

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