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Civil Service Training: Nurturing the Driving Force of Economic Development in Korea Interlocking Government Policy Needs with Training Program

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Civil Service Training: Nurturing the Driving Force of Economic Development in Korea

Sub-Theme 1 | Interlocking Government Policy Needs with Training Program


The overall training system for government officials was structured to reflect government policy needs. Training programs were provided by delivering institutions following the guidelines of the policymaking authority. 


Institutionalization of Training System

When the military government initiated the capacity building of government officials in 1961, the government established a system wherein the policymaking authority directly controlled the training institution. The Supreme Council for National Reconstruction (SCNR), the highest policymaking body of the military government holding both legislative and executive powers at that time enacted the Government Officials Training Act (GOT Act) and established the Central Officials Training Institute (COTI).[2] Besides, the government established the Education and Training Department within the Ministry of General Affairs (MOGA) in order to take charge of capacity building for government officials from a central government perspective. Accordingly, while the Education and Training Department was responsible for establishing an annual plan for government officials training, COTI was in charge of providing training programs. When the government later allowed central government ministries and provincial governments to establish their own training centers for the teaching of specialized functions, COTI’s responsibilities expanded to include supervision of these centers’ training activities. 

Central government ministries controlled the training of government officials. Specifically, COTI (for central government officials) was under the supervision of MOGA and the Local Administration Training Institute (LATI) for local government officials was under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA). Individual ministries ran their own training institutions specialized in the designated functional areas and provincial governments also operated training centers.

 
[Figure 1. Civil Service Training System]




Bridging the Policy Needs of Government in Training Programs

The Korean government established a civil service training plan that reflected the needs of economic development policies. By law, MOGA was required to establish an annual education and training plan and convey it to the heads of government ministries, agencies, and training institutions. MOGA, in its annual plan for education and training of government officials, reflected in the plan the major policy decisions of the Cabinet. In particular, training programs were newly developed or aspects of existing programs reorganized accordingly.

The Planning Program is a case in point. This program was opened to teach skills and techniques in planning to government officials working at planning offices in central ministries and agencies. This program supported the offices of planning and coordination established by the military government in central government ministries in 1962 in their efforts to effectively implement the First Five-year Economic Development Plan

Another example is a series of courses on new managerial techniques for mid-level officials added by COTI to existing programs in 1967. The courses included: the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT); the Critical Path Method (CPM); the Operational Research (OR); and the Program Planning and Budgeting System (PPBS)—all were very useful for establishing development policies. At that time, the government of the Third Republic needed to foster competent officials who could conduct planning tasks to prepare for the Second Five-Year Economic Development Plan.[3]

Even though the government lacked the necessary facilities and systems, it still provided advanced courses on managerial and statistical techniques to mid-level officials. Thus we can view such training as preemptive or concurrent—a strategy to equip mid-level officials with the advanced knowledge and techniques they would need to design and execute development policies.