Wed, Sep 19, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ministry dismisses Osaka allegations

‘THREAT’:A ‘C’ grade on a diplomat’s annual performance evaluation could have a negative impact on their prospects of gaining overseas assignments, Hector Kang said

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday dismissed allegations that it planned to give a “C” performance rating to all the staff at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office’s Osaka branch over their failure to properly handle the aftermath of Typhoon Jebi earlier this month.

The allegations were made by political pundit and media personality Hector Kang (康仁俊) in political talk show Facenews (新聞面對面) on Monday, three days after the branch’s director-general, Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠), committed suicide amid criticism of the office.

The criticism arose following a staff member’s alleged refusal to help a Taiwanese tourist stranded in Osaka find accommodation in the wake of Jebi.

Su, 61, had assumed leadership of the office in July.

Su had previously served as director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Naha, Okinawa, and as deputy secretary-general of what is now the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association.

Su’s suicide has triggered a wave of speculations on what drove him to take his own life, with some engaging in finger-pointing.

Citing an anonymous source, Kang alleged that after the office came under fire for its perceived failure to promptly respond to the needs of Taiwanese stranded in the area due to Jebi and the ensuing closure of Kansai International Airport, “a ministry official threatened to give all of the office staff a ‘C’ performance rating this year.”

A “C” grade on a diplomat’s annual performance evaluation could have a negative impact on their prospects of gaining overseas assignments, Kang said, adding that the Osaka office has six diplomats — including an economic official, an educational official, an immigration official, a compatriot affairs secretary and a legal affairs secretary — as well as 17 local hires.

“The ministry’s annual performance evaluation of its officials is in complete accordance with the Civil Servants Evaluation Act (公務人員考績法) and is given by each division superior based on their subordinates’ job performance, moral conduct, knowledge, talent and other criteria,” ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) told a news conference in Taipei.

The preliminary evaluation results would then need to be sent to an evaluation committee for further discussion, Lee said.

“It is impossible for the ministry to decide on a person’s performance rating before the evaluation even begins,” he said.

The ministry’s focus is to ensure that the nation’s overseas representative offices establish and properly implement emergency response mechanisms, so they can provide prompt and effective assistance to Taiwanese needing help, Lee said.

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