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Head positions in state agencies vacant for 3,980 days

Posted May. 06, 2015 05:05,   


Head positions in government-related institutions have remained vacant twice longer under the Park Geun-hye administration than the former administrations. It is largely due to the delayed appointment of heads of government-related institutions as a result of the controversy over “gwanfia (civil servants + mafia)," or the practice of former high ranking officials taking top posts in the private sector, in the wake of the Sewol ferry disaster.

Citizens United for Better Society, a civic group, analyzed the vacancies of the heads of 177 state agencies that existed under the Roh Moo-hyun administration, the Lee Myung-bak administration and the Park Geun-hye administration. It said on Tuesday that the Park Geun-hye administration had vacancies in 67 state institutions in the second year of the administration. The duration of vacancies added up to 3,980 days.

It was 1,740 days in 59 institutions in the second year of the Roh Moo-hyun administration and 1,896 days in 27 institutions under the Lee Myung-bak administration. Vacancies in heads of government-related agencies under the current administration are more serious than its two predecessors.

Vacancies occur in the first year of presidency because the president replaces heads of the agencies with the launch of the new administration. They decrease in the second year, however. The duration of vacancies was 6,735 days in the first year of the Lee administration but it decreased to 4,839 days in the second year. Meanwhile, the Park administration witnessed only a 48-day decrease.

Some analysts say that it is related to the Sewol ferry disaster. Generally, the positions of heads of government-related agencies used to be given to retired government officials or politicians who contributed to the election of the president. With the controversy over “gwanfia” and “jeongfia (politicians + mafia), the administration has delayed appointments.

“If we include the directors and auditors of government-related agencies appointed by the government, vacancies would be much more serious,” said Kim Young-hoon, the head of the economic department of the civic group.