Civil servants might not enjoy their iron rice bowl for much longer as the Examination Yuan will set up a review system to weed out civil servants with at least two years of subpar performance, Examination Yuan President John Kuan (關中) said yesterday.
“Without an elimination system, [the civil service] is just like a pond of stagnant water. I do not want to see this phenomenon continuing,” Kuan said during his address at the government body’s New Year’s press conference yesterday.
Kuan said the Examination Yuan, the government branch responsible for the country’s civil service, will soon revise the existing performance review system for all civil servants, which he said failed to appraise the performance of individuals.
“Over the years, the performance review system has been no more than a formality. Particularly the performance review bonus, which has long been regarded by civil servants as part of their salary,” Kuan said.
Kuan said the Examination Yuan wanted to set up an evaluation system based on the Singaporean model, under which civil servants with poor performance are granted very little in bonuses or denied them altogether.
Civil servants who fail to obtain a performance review bonus for two consecutive years and are denied the bonus for a third year will be laid off, Kuan said.
Meanwhile, Kuan said that English would be included as a test subject in all civil service examinations starting next year, with the exception of the examinations held for disabled people, Aborigines and entry-level jobs for transportation.
“English proficiency is important as you can’t reach out to the world without the ability, not to mention the capability to garner information,” Kuan said.
Minister of Examinations Kirby Yang (楊朝祥) said English was currently included in 80 percent of the nation’s 315 categories of civil service exams.
English proficiency will not be included in the civil servant examinations held for Aborigines until next year, while the weight of English scores on the examinations will be 10 percent lower than that on the examinations held for the general public, Yang said.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
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