Mon, Jan 10, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Presidential Office to look for more petition operators

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Presidential Office yesterday said it would recruit more volunteers to handle public petitions.

The office said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) attached great importance to public petitions and therefore set a goal of answering them within six days.

Hoping to set an example for all government agencies, Ma went to the petition center in late November to talk with people. During his 40-minute visit, he answered two phone calls and one e-mail.

However, volunteers at the center usually have a heavier workload than that. They are required to wrap up phone calls from petitioners in 10 minutes and compile and submit all petitions to the Department of Public Affairs for responses.

It is estimated that the Presidential Office receives 40 phone calls, 60 letters and 500 e-mails per day from petitioners.

“The work of a volunteer is challenging because of the heavy workload,” the official said.

He said that in 2007, the number of Presidential Office petitions recorded was 60,000, but that since Ma took office in May 2008, the number has been rising and had reached 120,000 in 2009.

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