Government ministries that face reorganization under the Park Geun-hye administration are maneuvering to secure as large a structure as possible.
Under President-elect Park Geun-hye’s plans, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will lose its science-related functions to the new Ministry of Future, Creation and Science.
She will also revive the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, removing maritime functions from the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.
Though the presidential transition committee has announced the general outline of the president-elect’s government reorganization plans, details for each ministry have yet to be revealed, leaving room for maneuvering among existing organizations.
|Democratic United Party emergency committee chief Moon Hee-sang (center) meets with deputy head of the presidential transition committee Chin Young (left) and Park Geun-hye’s chief secretary Yoo Il-ho in Seoul on Thursday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)|
For the new science ministry and the existing education ministry, one of the main issues is said to be which of the two organizations will oversee programs concerning universities.
At present, all university-related issues, including policies and research and development, are overseen by the University Support Bureau under the second vice minister for science.
While officials in charge of education issues are of the view that university-related functions should remain with the education ministry, those in science-related fields are said to be arguing that the bureau should go to the new science ministry, as universities serve as R&D organizations.
While the changes in store for the Ministry of Public Administration and Security may appear to be cosmetic in becoming the Ministry of Security and Public Administration under the Park administration, some of the current ministry’s functions are expected to be transferred.
One of the ministry’s organs that appears most likely to be transferred is the Informization Strategy Office as Park has given the role of overseeing information communication technology issues to the science ministry.
In addition, the Knowledge Economy Ministry’s departments working in software and other ICT-related fields are also being discussed for transfer.
In reviving the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, officials are said to be eyeing not only the relevant functions of the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, but also the Ministry of Knowledge Economy’s departments in charge of marine resource, shipbuilding and marine industrial plant policies.
Major changes are also unavoidable for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as Park plans to hand over trade-related functions of the ministry to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy to create a new body in charge of issues concerning trade, natural resources and industry.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org