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The National Assembly Futures Institute publishes reports that predict and analyze the changes in the future environment based on a comprehensive perspective, and derive mid- to long-term national development strategies in consideration of the preferences of the citizens
Series of Research on Long-Term Strategies for National Development Ⅱ Research on the Governance Reform Agenda for Long-Term National Development

Date : 2019-12-31 item : Research Report 19-08 P.I : Lee Sun-hwa

This report analyzes how the top governance system of national policies, i.e. the long-term strategy of the government and the national decision-making system that determines the policy directions and delivery, works. In organizational terms, the report focuses on the legislative branch (the political party and the National Assembly), the administrative bureaucracy and the financial authorities. In functional terms, the report focuses on the decision-making system through representative democracy, policy enforcement through bureaucracy, and financial management by financial authorities.

The main question of the research can be summarized as whether the current government system and the related systems are suitable for solving the challenges faced by the Korean community, and what kinds of innovations must take place to secure problem solving skills for new issues that have arisen.

Part Ⅰ explains the significance of studying the long-term national development in terms of the governance system. The reason why governance systems, including decision-making processes for national policies, are important is that the success of relocating public resources and providing public service in various areas of public policies, including economy, society, labor, and education, depends on how the policy demands and preferences of a sovereign are delivered and made into policies.

Part Ⅱ analyzes the representative democratic system, which is the constitutional principle upon which national decision-making processes are based, and the functions of the legislative branch. The problem with the current decision-making process in Korea is the fact that the governance system that was oriented toward the president and the administration that valued efficiency during the rapid growth period, still exists even to this day, and this has made the gap between the democratic system and its practice even greater. Based on this idea, the research defined the problem of the decision-making system in Korea as being a “non-compromising, winner-take-all” system, and suggested that in the future, the decision-making system should incorporate the following criteria: politics of competition and negotiation, the alleviation of unbalanced responsibility and authority, alleviation of an information asymmetry between the National Assembly and the administration, the increase of public participation, and improvement of acceptance. The research team has suggested a decision-making system that considers the future social problems and policy demands within the boundaries of the current power structure and the Constitution. It is largely divided into problems within the National Assembly, problems between the National Assembly and the administrations, and issues related to decision-making based on public participation.

Part Ⅲ focuses on the bureaucracy in charge of delivering policies. The research team questioned why the bureaucratic system, which had been praised as the driving force behind the successful rapid growth of Korea in the past, is no longer effective, and why various past efforts for innovation of the system had failed. In order to answer these questions, the research first highlighted the history of development of the Korean bureaucracy in terms of system and operation.

Next, the research presented the possible reforms of bureaucracy required to enhance the performance of the policy delivery system under the policy environment of democratization, marketization, and politicization. The reforms were classified into strengthening the policy capabilities of the bureaucrats, overcoming departmental silos, and solving the problem of the politicization of bureaucrats. The research proposed reforms in the recruitment and promotion systems to reinforce the policy capabilities of bureaucrats, and changes in jurisdiction and establishment of a cooperative system among departments to resolve the issues of departmental silos.

To resolve the politicization of bureaucrats, the research presented the possible methods of reform by dividing them into two parts of admitting the politicization and reinforcing the neutral political stance. Part Ⅳ discusses financial governance for a sustainable fiscal management. Fiscal governance refers to a decision-making system related to the compilation, deliberation, and approval of budgets under economic (budget) constraints that limit policy enforcement. The financial functions of fiscal governance are largely summarized into two parts of supporting government policies in terms of budget, and maintaining fiscal stability from a macroscopic perspective.

Part Ⅳ also highlights the successes of fiscal management during the rapid growth stage of Korea and the present limitations, while presenting possible tasks for fiscal management in response to the environmental changes. The current problems in the financial sector are that the fiscal governance did not adequately adapt to changes in the political environment of socio-economic structure and democracy, resulting in a lower sustainability of fiscal management. In terms of reform in the financial sector, the research suggests that there should be a way to manage fiscal constraints of revenue-expenditure-national debt and the role of fiscal governance that includes the National Assembly and the fiscal authorities of the administration.

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