Pres. Moon’s roadmap for decentralization under way
- The Moon Jae-in administration’s “autonomous decentralization roadmap” released on October 26, 2017, is now under consultation after finalization by the Ministry of the Interior and Safety. The administration expects to complete its consolidated plan following in-depth discussion over the roadmap in its Presidential Committee on Local Autonomy Development.
To reach its aims, the roadmap pursues a set of five key strategies:
First, innovative devolution, toward which standards will be established for the distribution of work between both central and local governments as well as upper and lower local governments. The scheme includes the comprehensive transfer of functions that resonate closely with communities, such as education, public safety and security, and regional economies.
Second, strong fiscal decentralization, through the promotion of incremental improvements to the national-local tax ratio. The government seeks to bring the present ratio of 8:2 to 7:3 and, subsequently, 6:4, by expanding local taxes on income and consumption.
Third, enhanced capacity of autonomous local governments, by broadening their independence in organizational and staffing matters and by cultivating capable public officials. This will be coupled with enhancing the authority and expertise of local councils, along with constructing a system that is open, transparent, and responsible.
Fourth, strengthened grassroots resident autonomy, to establish regional sovereignty and promote representative democracy. Toward this end, the government is striving for a constitutional revision to solidify local autonomy.
Fifth, an interconnected system of local administration, which can overcome the administrative barriers to flexible links and partnerships between local governments.
Moving forward, utmost importance is being placed by the government on keeping in line with public consensus. Further discussion will be necessary on how to broaden both the autonomy and corresponding responsibilities of local governments in conjunction with the roadmap. Cooperation with the National Assembly will also be crucial to the roadmap’s success.
The Presidential Committee on Local Autonomy Development has been in deliberations on the draft of the roadmap as finalized by the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, and is expected to confirm it in the latter half of the year following its report to President Moon.