Wed, Aug 14, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Taichung bureau in hot water over ‘ethics’ document

By Chang Che-husan, Kang Tsai-hsin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Taichung Tourism and Travel Bureau Director Lin Hsiao-chi addresses the media in Taichung on June 10.

Photo: Chang Ching-ya, Taipei Times

Staff at the Taichung Tourism and Travel Bureau were reportedly upset after the agency last week issued an order instructing employees to be more polite to their colleagues.

The “Civil Servant Ethics Implementation Plan” stipulates that bureau employees are to be held to certain standards of etiquette, such as locking eyes when greeting each other, shaking hands, making a fist-in-palm salute and using polite language.

The document was published internally on Tuesday last week to facilitate “the internalization of polite attitudes.”

Responses from civil servants were mixed, with some saying that they felt insulted by the document.

“Are we in an elementary school or North Korea?” one bureau employee asked before requesting anonymity.

“I suppose we will spend time every day practicing how to make the palm-in-fist salute, shaking hands and giving high fives,” another said.

Bureau Director Lin Hsiao-chi (林筱淇) on Sunday said that the document was drafted by the bureau’s Office of Human Resources in accordance with the Examination Yuan’s regulations for civil servants.

Multiple supervisors at staff meetings reported feeling snubbed by their coworkers, Lin said, adding that she was inclined to ignore the complaints, but a subordinate told her that she had also caused offense.

“I approved the document in the hopes of improving the bureau. It was not intended as an accusation that my colleagues had been impolite,” she said. “No commendations or disciplinary measures will be given out in connection to the document.”

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