Contextual Analysis on the Annual Inspection of the National Assembly in Korea : 한국 국정감사제도에 대한 맥락적 분석

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행정대학원 행정학과
Issue Date
서울대학교 행정대학원
Congressional OversightAnnual InspectionPolice-Patrol OversightAccountabilityEffectivenessEfficiency
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 행정대학원 행정학과, 2017. 8. 권혁주.
Democracy is a political structure to realize what people want. It adopts the doctrines of separation of power and check and balance in order to prevent the abuse of government power. In recent days, the growing demand for the role of government led to bigger government function and heightened the need to control the administration because it can threaten peoples liberty by weakening these principles. The legislative branch has responded to this circumstance by enlarging oversight activities.
However, the growth of congressional oversight often aroused debates on its efficiency or effectiveness of the system. It is especially true in Korean Annual Inspection which is the periodic congressional oversight for all state affairs. Although previous researches indicated many problems, they just stuck to fragmentary aspects without paying much attention to its constitutional position. In addition, they did not consider the intrinsic characteristics of congressional oversight or suggest any objective criteria to judge efficiency or effectiveness, which made it difficult for feasible solutions to be proposed. Casting doubt on the way of past evaluations, this study focused on showing the current Korean Annual Inspection as objective as possible and tried to interpret it in its context from constitutional viewpoint.
According to the data of Annual Inspections from 2000 to 2012, the scope of inspection has grown gradually which was followed by the increase of inputs like documents and witnesses and by the rise of the requests that the National Assembly required the administration to correct. Standing committees often held hearings in collective style to cover the extended scope in a limited time. Another salient feature is that the issues that have been dealt with have become more controversial. The rising number of witnesses and falling attendance rate implies that Annual Inspection handled more controversial issues which made people reluctant to be involved in. It is presumed that polarized politics might have triggered this phenomenon. Although it was not easy to see any significance from observed data, effectiveness can be guessed by comparing Korean oversight system with US. When compared with US system, Korean National Assembly is not located at the institutional center of overseeing the government. Since congressional oversight is not continuous, its influence is intermittent and limited. Especially in policy arena, the lack of authority in policy formation might be linked to the weak influence of Annual Inspection in policy control.
Annual Inspection needs to be understood in the context of checks and balances which implies that the ultimate role is to hold the government accountable. Even when the National Assembly cannot directly rectify the administration, it can contribute to peoples right to know and prevent improper implementations. Beyond focusing on the function of finding faults, it is necessary to see how much control over the administration is done and how it is conducted. Even though there are many things to do, the National Assembly should first be equipped with thorough accountability and develop its capacity to the level of suggesting an alternative as a main actor of policy formation. When it is regarded as trustworthy by people, the National Assembly can carry out its duty to the fullest.
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Graduate School of Public Administration (행정대학원)Dept. of Public Administration (행정학과)Theses (Master's Degree_행정학과)
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