공기업 지배구조의 개선방안
This monograph summarizes the policies of the successive administrations on the governance of large commercial SOEs in Korea since the early 1980s, explains the forces behind major changes in the policies in the last three decades, analyzes the properties of the current policies that are based on the Act on the Management of Public Institutions of 2007. It also identifies the major problems that exist in the current policy and proposes a set of measures that could potentially lead to the improvement in the internal efficiency of large commercial SOEs in Korea as well as in the allocative efficiency of the relevant industries.
Successive administrations since the early 1960s generally perceived commercial SOEs as policy instruments of the line ministries rather than commercial enterprises. However, during 1993 ~ 2002, two successive administrations attempted to privatize large commercial SOEs or to install a profit oriented governance structure in them. The efforts of the Kim Young-Sam administration to prepare large commercial SOEs for eventual privatization while at the same time expose them to the market principles culminated in the passing of the Special Act on Privatization of 1997, which paved the way to eventual mass privatization of commercial SOEs during the Kim Dae-Jung administration. However, the movement for privatization, efficiency, and competition in the SOE sector in Korea halted in 2003. Further, the Act on the Management of Public Institutions enacted in 2007, which provides details of the governance structures of commercial SOEs as well as a host of non-commercial public institutions, treats commercial SOEs as policy instruments of the line ministries and gives politicians and bureaucrats a near absolute power to intervene in the affairs of SOEs.
Current governance structure gives CEOs, board members, and employees of SOEs a weak incentive to pursue efficiency while giving them a strong incentive to take actions that would significantly undermine the firm value in order to meet the demands of the government. The monograph ends with a set of recommendations for a group of commercial SOEs that could potentially improve their efficiency as well as the allocative efficiency of the industries they belong to, including a proposal to establish a holding company for commercial SOEs. The proposal can be applied to other commercial SOEs in Korea.
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