Almost No Civil Servants Are Fired for Incompetence

Almost no government employees are fired for getting poor evaluations, statistics show.

Over the past five years, only 103 out of 260,000 government employees or an average of 20 a year were dismissed for incompetence or poor work performance, according to data from the Ministry of Security and Public Administration's for 52 government agencies.

That suggests that a mere 0.008 percent of the total of 1.3 million officials in central government agencies during this period were dismissed if they were not up to the job.

The government's evaluation system is in itself problematic. Civil servants are rated based on their performance, but their percentile ranks are allocated arbitrarily by their supervisors and even those in the lowest percentile rank keep their jobs.

Supervisors are rarely reprimanded or punished if they fail to conduct the ratings in accordance with regulations.

Gross negligence or dangerous incompetence among civil servants is almost never punished by law, even in a massive disaster. And even if officials are criminally charged, they rarely serve prison terms.

In 1993, when 292 passengers were killed in a ferry disaster, government officials including the local officials responsible, were merely dismissed or suspended, but none were criminally charged.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 16, 2014 13:05 KST