National Taiwan University (NTU) president Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) was yesterday reprimanded by the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Public Functionaries for illegally taking on a part-time job while serving as a government official from 2014 to 2015.
From January 2014 to February 2015, as minister without portfolio and head of the National Development Council, Kuan was hired by Next Magazine to write anonymous editorial pieces on a biweekly basis, Court of the Judiciary Chief Clerk Lin Yu-ping (林玉苹) told a news conference at the commission following the ruling.
During that period, Kuan wrote 27 articles for the magazine and was paid NT$25,000 for each, she said.
By taking on part-time work outside his government duties, Kuan breached Article 14, Paragraph 1 of the Civil Servant Work Act (公務員服務法), she said.
The part-time job was in conflict with the nature of Kuan’s work as a government official and seriously tarnished the government’s image by giving the impression that officials were distracted from their duties due to a lack of discipline, she said.
Asked whether the ruling would affect Kuan’s position as university president, Lin said that the issue is not within the commission’s jurisdiction.
“Receiving a reprimand could affect a public servant’s performance reviews,” she said.
Kuan began working part-time for the magazine before February 2012, when he became minister without portfolio, and under the new Public Functionaries Discipline Act (公務員懲戒法), which took effect this year, public servants cannot be punished for things that took place more than five years ago, the commission said in a news release.
The Control Yuan in January passed a decision to impeach Kuan for breaching the Civil Servant Work Act and transferred the case to the commission for review.
Under the Public Functionaries Discipline Act, a public servant can be punished by dismissal, demotion, suspension, a reduction in salary, receipt of a demerit or a reprimand — with the last being the least severe punishment.
The Control Yuan respects the commission’s decision and hopes that Kuan would accept the ruling and not breach the act again, Control Yuan members Wang Yu-ling (王幼玲) and Tsai Chung-yi (蔡崇義) said in a statement.
Although Kuan had three times refused to report to the Control Yuan for questioning and described himself as a victim in the process, investigations found that he had consistently worked for the magazine over the three-year period, they said.
“The ruling is unacceptable,” said Chen Hsin-hung (陳信宏), Kuan’s lawyer. “It fails to ensure people’s freedom of speech.”
He and other lawyers are to determine whether to appeal after carefully studying the ruling, he said.
Kuan yesterday posted on Facebook that “even a white jade can be tarnished by a fly,” quoting Tang Dynasty poet Chen Ziang (陳子昂).
The sentence, written while Chen was in prison, is widely interpreted as a criticism of unfair political persecution that the poet suffered at the time.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education said that it respects the ruling and would deliver related documents to NTU after receiving them from the commission.
Tainan City Councilor Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sparked further controversy when he echoed remarks by KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) should be executed for an increase in domestic COVID-19 cases. Chen heads the Central Epidemic Command Center. Lu at a question-and-answer session at the Tainan City Council said that a lapse in disease prevention measures at China Airlines, which has led to a cluster infection, could have been controlled. However, as the airline’s pilots were allowed a shortened quarantine period of three days and were placed
SUFFICIENT SUPPLY: Taiwan has an abundance of pandemic-related goods in storage, and protocols have been implemented to ensure that the supply chain is not broken Hordes of customers descended on hypermarkets and supermarkets in Taipei and New Taipei City after the government yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert level for the two municipalities to level 3 until May 28. Earlier in the day, the Central Epidemic Command Center reported 180 new domestically transmitted cases, most of them in Taipei and New Taipei City. Despite the government urging the public to stop hoarding daily necessities, shelves were stripped bare while cashiers were working as fast as they could. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) at a news conference on Friday detailed the government’s inventory of masks, medical-grade isopropyl alcohol and protective clothing,
EYES AND EARS: The navy has commissioned the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to manufacture radars to upgrade the nation’s naval monitoring stations A military enthusiast yesterday posted photographs of Taiwanese F-16 jets taking off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu with two refueling aircraft, presumably returning to Taiwan from the US for upgrades. Asked about the matter, the Ministry of National Defense declined to comment. The jets had been part of training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and had briefly landed in Honolulu, where the photographer, Aeros808, had spotted them, a source said. The jets did not land in Guam, which had been done in 1996 when the US Air Force delivered F-16s to Taiwan, the source said, adding that the
‘STAY CALM’: The nation has more than 800 million masks in stock and can produce up to 40 million a day, while hand sanitizer stocks are also sufficient The nation has an ample supply of masks to meet demand amid concerns over an increase in the number of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Tuesday. Taiwan has more than 800 million masks in stock, with daily production of 18.3 million units on average and maximum daily capacity of 40 million units, the ministry said on Facebook. The ministry’s assurance came after Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), on Monday said that the nation has entered the community transmission stage after several new domestic