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Public Administration

Administration of government employees’ education and training(1961 to 1972)

Phase 2: Under the Government Employees Training Act (1961 to 1972)

The passage of the Government Employees Training Act (GETA) in 1961 provided the first legal and institutional grounds for the training and education of government employees. The Act was accompanied by the creation of the Education and Training Division at the Administrative Management Bureau of the Ministry of Government Administration, which was charged with planning and coordination of government employee training. The passage of the Central Officials Training Institute Act in the same year also led to the creation of the Central Civil Service Training Institute (CCSTI).

The GETA (Law No. 754) granted the Secretary-General of the Cabinet the authority to devise basic policy on government employee training as well as coordinate and evaluate the training plans of various training agencies. The Secretary-General was also required, under Article 5 of the Act, to give government employees in supervisory positions at various administrative bodies the authority to train their subordinates to ensure the efficient and effective carrying out of job duties by government employees at all ranks. The GETA also allowed central administrative agencies and provincial administrations to create agencies for training their government employees, and provided provisions allowing these organizations to commission government employee training to external agencies, in Korea or abroad.

Upon the introduction of the GETA, administrative bodies of diverse types and ranks created agencies or expanded existing ones for the training of their employees. Provincial administrations also created new training organizations for their employees.

The GETA provided mainly for two different types of government employee training: one for general office-type tasks, and the other for technical tasks. Each type was subdivided into the introductory class (for government employees at the Grade 5 level), the general class (Grade 4), the advanced classes (Grades 2 and 3), the research classes (Grades 3-A, 2, and 1), the basic training class (for the newly hired), the special training class (for the newly hired who were not assigned to the basic training class), and the judge and prosecutor training class. Research, basic training, and special training classes included government employees working in offices and in technical positions.

In an effort to consolidate and improve the effectiveness of government employee training, the GETA also required that the training histories and performances of government employees be directly reflected in personnel decisions concerning them. Specifically, Article 12 states that “the training records and marks of government employees are to be taken into account for personnel decisions,” and that an up to 20 percent weight could be assigned to training performance in decisions concerning government employee promotions.[1] The GETA, however, also limited the number of government employees receiving training at once to 10 percent or less of the entire quota of government employees at a given time, so that training would not overburden or delay the administrative system.

Under the GETA, a three-phase general plan for government employee training was established (Kim Jungnyang, 2004). Phase-1 training, launched in 1962, focused on instilling anti-communism and reclaiming the reactionary mindset of government employees. Approximately 2,000 or so government employees underwent job training each year beginning in 1960, but the figure dramatically surged to 14,000 in 1962, suggesting that Phase-1 training reached a great number of government employees in a short span of time. Phase-2 training, from 1963 to 1966, sought to enhance the specialization of government employees, with programs and courses catering to different areas. The failure to widen the range of specialized programs offered, however, resulted in a rather uniform training experience.

Phase-3 training, from 1967 onward, was developed based on the results of investigations into the kind of training demanded in each area and type of civil service. It was during this period that government employee training on the whole shifted its focus to intensive and specialized on-the-job training (OJT) as well as the orientation of newly appointed employees.

 

[1] The legal provisions allowed a weight of up to 20 percent, meaning an administrative body could give a less than 20 percent weight for training performance if it desired. There are no extant records indicating how much training performances mattered in the promotion of government employees during this time period.

Source: Korea Institute of Public Administration. 2008. Korean Public Administration, 1948-2008, Edited by Korea Institute of Public Administration. Pajubookcity: Bobmunsa.