Go to contents

Reshuffles at Gov’t Ministries Continue

Posted December. 20, 2008 03:57,   


Top officials are stepping down at government ministries in the wake of the mass resignations at the Education Ministry and National Tax Service earlier this week.

Grade 1 officials at the Prime Minister’s Office will submit their resignations en masse as early as next week, government officials said yesterday.

Those expected to quit are eight deputy and director-general level ministers, including the deputy ministers for administrative affairs; social integration management; regulatory reform; policy analysis and evaluation; political affairs; and public information and press affairs.

All top-ranking officials at the Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry also turned in their resignations yesterday. The four Grade 1 officials of the ministry who were promoted by the incumbent administration are chief of planning and coordination; chief of the Food Industry Headquarters; head of the Fisheries Policy Office; and the director of the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute.

Many inside and outside of the government have pressed for a ministry reshuffle in the wake of the controversy over U.S. beef imports, corruption in rice subsidies, and the alleged bribery in Nonghyup Bank’s takeover of a securities company.

Food Minister Chang Tae-pyung told a news briefing Thursday, “There was no pressure (from the presidential office), but with the director-general post vacant and the end of the year approaching, the ministry is considering various measures.”

The Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said it will recommend voluntary resignations for ten top-ranking officials with no official duties.

“The move is to boost morale by resolving a shortage of posts before the year ends. In choosing candidates for voluntary resignation, we considered their retirement age and the possibility of them retaining posts in the future,” said a ministry official. “After that, we will promote nine director-general level officials.”

Those having just one year before retirement will be subject to voluntary resignation, though a list was not released.

“Mass resignations of Grade 1 officials are expected at one or two more ministries. After that, personnel shake-ups will likely end,” said one high-ranking official. “Mass resignations are part of year-end personnel changes. It’s not a sweeping overhaul of government organizations.”

ddr@donga.com jameshuh@donga.com