Korea: President Lee gets a failing grade on governance

President Lee Myung-bak.
(Photo: Marco Castro/United Nations)

The Citizen’s Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ), focal point of Social Watch in the Republic of Korea, gave failing grades on the President Lee Myung-bak's performance during its time in power. The organization concluded that only 39.48% of Lee's 100 major governance tasks were executed. The administration scored a D+ grade for satisfaction with the results of those, reported journalist Jung Hwang-bong for The Hankyoreh daily newspaper.

The analysis was on five governance indicators, namely “a Country Rich in Talent,” “Active Welfare,” “a Lively Market Economy,” “a Government Serving the People,” and “a Global Korea”. Each of these had four governance strategies, for a total of twenty, with five governance tasks per strategy for a total of 100 tasks.

The execution rate was assessed based on “The 100 Governance Tasks of the Lee Myung-bak Administration,” a document published last June by the Office of the Prime Minister.

Based on these materials, the CCEJ determined the degree of progress on each task, giving a 100% rating for completed projects and 20% for projects that are currently under way. A rating of 0% was given for efforts that were announced early on after Lee’s inauguration but never pursued.

The rate of execution was 47.53% in the category of “a Country Rich in Talent,” which was related to education, science, and technology. This was followed by 41.76% in the area of “Active Welfare,” which involved welfare and jobs. The lowest rating was a 32.52% rate of execution for “a Global Korea,” which was related to reunification, national security, foreign affairs, and culture.

Because the 100 tasks were based on Lee‘s pledges as a presidential candidate, the results indicate that he has executed less than 40% of his promises.

A survey was also conducted to examine satisfaction with results from the governance indices. Around 30 professors, lawyers, and other experts were asked whether the goals were met and were well suited to resolving social issues. Only the “great human resources” category managed a C grade, with 2.17 points out of five. Ratings of D+ and D were assigned in all remaining categories.

“While it is problematic that the Lee Myung-bak administration’s execution of governance tasks has been so weak, a bigger problem is the mistaken policy decisions that informed those tasks,” said CCEJ politics and legislation team leader Kim Mi-yeong said,

“Given that the execution was along the lines of abolishing the total equity investment ceiling system to limit large company control of affiliates and market monopolization, it was unavoidable that he would receive low marks in satisfaction with governance tasks,” Kim explained.

The Hankyoreh: http://bit.ly/yQXfrV