Reorganization of the government structure: The DONG-A ILBO

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Ahn Chul-soo, chairman of the presidential transition team, told a press conference on Thursday that it is desirable to focus on pressing matters rather than making rash decisions on reforming the government structure. . President Ahn further said that the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Affairs, which President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol promised to abolish during his campaign, will be kept as it is for now, and the Minister will be named and announced. This is intended to expedite the formation of the cabinet, while taking time to make decisions regarding the reorganization of the government structure.

Since the establishment of the government of the Republic of Korea in 1948, the government structure has been reformed about 60 times. Each time a new administration begins its term, it creates new ministries and removes the ministries of the previous administration, changing the name and role of the ministries. For example, the Ministry of Information and Communication under the Roh Moo-hyun administration was dissolved under the Lee Myung-bak administration, was re-established as the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning under the Park Geun-hye administration, and transformed into the Ministry of Science and ICT under the Moon Jae-in administration. People hardly remember the names of the ministries because of these frequent changes. This contrasts sharply with the United States, where the government structure has remained unchanged since the Department of Homeland Security was created in 2002 through three changes of administration.

To overhaul the government structure in a long-term perspective, there must be a serious discussion between the ruling party and the opposition party about the future of the nation. Continuing the reorganization of the government structure, just 50 days from local elections, will trigger political conflicts. The removal of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family which may impact voters is also an issue on which the ruling and opposition parties can hardly compromise. In fact, President-elect Yoon proposed scrapping the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family to win the votes of male voters in their twenties during the presidential campaign and was criticized for exploiting gender conflict to win. the voices. The harmful effect continues.

Outstanding issues the new administration needs to deal with inflation and North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. While it is necessary to consider the possibility of changes in government structure to respond effectively to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and societal changes, this issue should not be a black hole that absorbs all other outstanding issues. It is perhaps in this context that the president-elect ordered the transitional committee to “devise measures to stabilize the livelihoods of the people as the top priority of the new administration”. In light of the current structure of the National Assembly, where the ruling Democratic Party holds the majority of seats, the reorganization bill would not easily pass National Assembly approval without the approval and Democratic Party agreement. The two parties will only be able to reach an agreement when the agenda of the incoming administration is to draw up a plan for reorganizing the government structure that will last at least 10 years.

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