Civil servants should immediately stop “liking” or commenting on social media posts by candidates running for local office, as such actions are in breach of the Civil Service Administrative Neutrality Act (公務人員行政中立法), the Examination Yuan said yesterday.
The Ministry of Civil Service has repeatedly warned government agencies at all levels that the act should be observed, Examination Yuan Secretary-General Lee Chi-hsuan (李繼玄) said.
Even clicking the “like” button on Facebook might be in contravention of the act, Lee said.
Government agencies must process any complaints about such actions if they are filed, Lee added.
Common infractions by civil servants include confidential staff doubling as deputy party chairperson or serving as the managing director of a local party chapter, or the head of a government division “mobilizing” the entire unit to attend a rally for a candidate, the Examination Yuan said.
Civil servants should not attend events or rallies hosted by political parties or candidates when leaving the office on official business, and should not circulate election pamphlets in their office, regardless of whether they pass them to colleagues or visitors, the Executive Yuan said.
Civil servants should not wear election-themed apparel to the office and confidential staff may not attend or host candidates’ fundraisers, it said.
Finally, deans of public schools must not write endorsements for candidates in mass media advertisements, it said.
Any breach of the act by civil servants is punishable under the Public Functionary Discipline Act (公務員懲戒法), the Civil Servants Evaluation Act (公務人員考績法) or other regulations, depending on the severity of the infraction, it said.
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