Sun, Dec 29, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Public as the priority in relocation

By Chu Yann-fang 朱艷芳

The company announced the change using advertisements to provide information to the public. Information was posted inside MRT stations and in media outlets six months in advance of the new construction, and the TRTC brought on extra staff to answer questions from confused passengers during MRT operating hours.

The TRTC also allowed passengers to travel free of charge on the new lines for a limited period of time, so that passengers would have time to adjust to the changes.

Despite these efforts, there were still people who complained that there were too many notices and that changes were too complicated and obtrusive.

However, government planners and officials should take note of the TRTC’s approach to informing the public about the change.

Unfortunately, the government is already late in the process of providing relevant information to the public. The stable door is closing, but the horse has already bolted.

The relocation of the offices is imminent. However, it is still critical, at least for the benefit of the staff members who will be working in the new offices and for members of the public who will need to travel to the new location, to make information available.

By using a range of communication outlets and advertisements, providing the public with this crucial information is feasible. This will ensure that the general public is at least aware that the Executive Yuan departments will be changing locations.

The government could even allow members of the public to go and visit the new offices before they officially open. Not only would this give people a chance to anticipate potential transportation and logistical problems with the new location, it would also make it possible for the government departments to identify where improvements can be made.

Do not forget that government services should be contingent upon the needs of the public who use them and should not be solely based on the convenience and needs of the staff who work there and provide public services.

Access to the buildings should not be organized in such a way that the needs of the public are ignored.

As far as adapting to the new system, the initial phase of change is always challenging. This aspect is unavoidable.

However, the extent to which the process will be difficult for the public depends on how efficiently it is handled by the government.

It is important to familiarized people with the upcoming changes as soon as possible so that things can normalize as soon as possible. If the idea is to improve the quality and efficiency of service, the best way to accomplish this is to ensure that everyone is happy.

Chu Yann-fang is an associate professor at the Chungyu Institute of Technology.

Translated by Paul Cooper

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