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Pres. Lee Sends Stern Warning to Public Sector CEOs

Posted December. 31, 2008 05:31,   


President Lee Myung-bak yesterday warned that he will not hesitate to replace public sector executives whom he feels are lacking in restructuring drive.

“CEOs of public sector companies must be determined to conduct organizational reform, and anyone who doesn`t feel confident about this task must resign,“ he said at a briefing on major business plans for 2009 by 34 public organizations at the presidential office.

“As CEOs, you should not be lenient on public sector restructuring and I will evaluate CEOs in this regard with a cool mind.”

President Lee said, “Most public organizations are being condemned by the public for unprofessional, negligent and loose management practices, and they need reform more than anything else.”

“If you think it’s too difficult to carry out reform and don`t feel confident over streamlining complicated organizations, please quit your CEO post immediately.”

He added, “Anyone who neglectfully believes he will remain CEO as long as he does a bit better than before will fail. The heads of public organizations must take full responsibility for management and staff and transform their agencies into efficient organizations.

“In the past, certain public company heads colluded with unions and made their organizations very bloated to the point that it became impossible to correct.

Unions at public organizations are not private groups but state entities, and gone is the time when public sector CEOs can safely complete their terms in office if they collaborate with unions.”

President Lee also warned against moral hazard in the public sector, saying, “Corruption and malpractice in officialdom will be sternly dealt with and will not be easily forgiven.”

In the briefing of the president on 2009 business plans, 25 public organizations, said they will invest 57 trillion won (45.2 billion U.S. dollars) next year, especially in social overhead capital and energy, nine trillion won (7.1 billion dollars) more than this year.

The companies will also frontload 61 percent of next year’s investment in the first half to speed up economic recovery.

Korea Rail Network Authority will begin projects in March to lay high-speed railways on urban sections in Daejeon and Daegu, wherein trains slow down due to a lack of rail facilities.

The Gyeongin Canal linking the Han River and Incheon Port will also start around March under an initiative of the Korea Water Resources Corp.

The Korea Rural Corp. will draw up in May a master plan on the development of 96 water reservoirs adjacent to the country’s four major rivers into resorts and other facilities.

ddr@donga.com legman@donga.com