Go to contents

Bureaucrats Comprise Half of Pres. Office Staff

Posted November. 19, 2008 02:59,   


Former government officials account for half of the presidential office’s staff, a survey released yesterday said.

A two-day background survey of 452 presidential staff conducted by the Dong-A Ilbo showed that 52.2 percent or 236 are bureaucrats. The figure includes former government officials who never ran for office.

Those who worked for Lee Myung-bak from the party primaries races to the presidential election last year account for a meager 18.1 percent (82). Along with members of the Anguk Forum, the early Lee support camp for the presidential race, they played a key role in getting Lee elected.

Secretary-level officials or higher consist mostly of professors, journalists and researchers. Of 53 high-ranking staff including Presidential Chief of Staff Chung Chung-kil, 39.6 percent or 21 are from professional groups. Bureaucrats comprise 35.8 percent (19), staff from the Anguk Forum 20.8 percent (11), and members of the ruling Grand National Party 3.8 percent (two).

The survey confirmed rumors spreading at the presidential office and the ruling party of “bureaucrats taking over the presidential office” and “the key forces of the Lee administration losing ground.”

In the presidential secretariat, the secretarial office for foreign affairs and national security has the highest concentration of bureaucrats with 85.2 percent, or 46 out of 54 posts; that for economic affairs 73.8 percent (31 out of 42); and that for civil administration 72 percent (54 out of 75).

The spokesman’s office had 21 bureaucrats out of its 39 staff (53.8 percent) and the secretarial office for public affairs 13 out of 42 for 31 percent.

Forty-four staff (9.7 percent) are from the ruling party and moved to the presidential office from party offices or the National Assembly.

Forty-nine officials (10.9 percent) are professionals, most of whom hail from academia, media and think tanks and who were not involved in the presidential election.

The survey excluded 30 staff who work at the presidential office for administrative affairs.