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Ex-civil servants dominate top posts of public corporations

Retired provincial public service employees and politicians dominate management posts of local public firms, even though many have no corporate management experience, reports said.

Chief executives or board chairmen in 95 of the 127 provincial public firms are former local civil servants or politicians, Yonhap news agency reported Sunday, citing the Ministry of Public Administration and Security.

Out of 50 public corporations under provincial governments, 25 are controlled by retired local government employees or council speakers who are appointed by the administration.

Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corp. has recently appointed Kim Ki-choon, former head of Seoul transport division of Seoul Metropolitan Government, as president.

Busan Transportation Corp. is managed by CEO Ahn Joon-tae, former vice mayor of Busan, Daegu Metropolitan Transit Corp. by Kim In-hwan, who worked as vice head of Susong district in Daegu, and Incheon Metro by Lee Gwang-young, former director of the construction and transportation bureau of Incheon City Government.

Chungnam Development Corp. is headed by Kim Gwang-bae, retired director of the autonomous administration bureau of South Chungcheong provincial government. Gwangju Metropolitan City Corp. is run by Kim Young-jin, former director of construction of Gwangju Metropolitan Government.

Incheon Transit Corp. and Hanam City Development Corp. are respectively managed by Park Gyu-hong, former secretary of the Democratic Party’s Incheon chapter, and Kim Si-hwa, retired speaker of Hanam City Council.

City or district public corporations tend to be managed by former councilors of their respective jurisdictions, or their assistants who were deeply related to the local politics and administrations.

In Gangnam, Gangdong, Gwangjin, Dongjak, Seodaemun, Seongdong, Songpa, Yongsan and Joongrang, retired bureau directors from related district offices sit on the boards of district units of the Seoul Facilities Management Corp.

Busan Infrastructure Corp., Daegu Infrastructure Corp., Incheon City Facilities Management Corp., Gwangju Environmental Installations Co. are also governed by former high ranking officials, too.

“The fact that these people lack field experience in business management is a serious problem. But what is even worse is that they are deeply glued to the local authorities and politicians, hurting the autonomy of the corporations,” Prof. Ha Jai-ryong of Sun Moon University told the news agency.

“It seems that the administrators appoint those who helped them during election or major projects as head of corporations. The chief executives are inclined to show their loyalty in adopting plans.“

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)
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