Since Jason Hu was successfully re-elected as the 15th Mayor of Taichung City, the future developments of Taichung will focus on the key points of "Culture, Economy and International City". He has also proposed a blueprint for the development of Taichung with six major "Future Hopes for Taichung". In this series, you will be introduced to the polices of the Taichung City Government, and you will see how the confidence and persistence of the Taichung City Government team through their work in building a better greater Taichung.
Pictures and words by the Taichung City,Government Department of Ethics,Translated by Cara Steenstra
In the past, under the policy concepts of "Serving the Citizens First", a lot of energy has been generated in pushing forward government policies. In the future, the City Government will demonstrate its energy in pushing Taichung forward, and creating a corruption free image for Taichung under the new concept of "absolute corruption free government".
In depth plans to make our government corruption free
A just and honest personality gains the trust of others. A just and corruption free government that is efficient and conveniences the people are qualities that citizens expect from a government. Being just and incorrupt are also the basic work principals of civil servants. If we sow the seeds of justice now, we will surely have good results in the future. Ensuring that civil servants serve with justice and by promoting anti-corruption concepts, these efforts can help build an unbiased and efficient city government team.
In order to carry out the government policies that Mayor Hu set out when he was re-elected on December 20th, 2005, the city government team will continue to promote the policies of preventative measures, investigations and punitive measures. A "Taichung City Government Civil Servant Anti-Corruption Plan" has been implemented, with a three-pronged effort to carry out anti-corruption measure. The future focus in the next four years is on "prevention, education and investigation".
Government policies and representations are approved by the people
In order for the city government to understand how the people of Taichung feel about the employees of the city government and related schools and organizations, as well as their experiences with them, professional public surveys carried out by private organizations on behalf of the government has been conducted each year. The results of these surveys are also used as reference for future government policies. According to the survey conducted in 2005, 94% of those who were interviewed were satisfied with the service attitude of the city government and its related schools and organizations. The survey also indicated that when citizens come across corruption, many of them would report such incidences to the city government. The ratio of such reports has increased from 37.2% in 2004 to 40.1% in 2005. This is also an indication of the steady increase in the positive way citizens view the work of the city government and its ethics.
Preventing Corruption, Government Policies with Integrity: Prevent Squandering of Public Finance
Many local governments are experiencing financial problems. A lot of public facilities such as car parks and activity centers have been constructed but not effectively made use of and left under-utilized. A lot of hard-earned tax money is squandered this way and the media has heavily criticized this. The Ministry of Justice has asked the Department of Ethics of all county and city governments in the country to investigate whether or not any corruption has been involved in the construction of these public projects, and whether or not any unnecessary wastage has been involved. In an effort to find out whether or not unnecessary wastage has been taking place in public construction work or public financial management, the city government has conducted investigations of public works projects under taken by the Taichung City Government in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice. The investigation results have indicated that there are no serious problems of under-utilized public facilities. Follow up forums on government ethics for various related government departments have also been held. Joint efforts in improving the situation and coming up with solutions are also conducted. These efforts have received the support and approval of both the media and the people of Taichung.
Friendly Service and Anti-Corruption
In an effort to promote anti-corruption government policies, Taichung city has conducted many folk festival activities and other large scale activities in accordance with the "Sunshine City" series of promotional activities. Lantern Riddles Guessing, Q&A with prizes and other fun and educational activities have been held to help the public gain better understanding of the government's anti-corruption policies and to garner their support in this matter. Apart from this, various efforts such as specific investigations, ethical forums, spot-checking public projects, and regular check ups on management processes and others all help stop corruption from occurring. And under the constant supervision and continuous follow-ups, the work of the Taichung City government has seen a great deal of improvement already.
Sunshine Policy is carried out to fight corruption
The City Government has a series of policies and management operations to carry out the Sunshine Policy. One example is the government employee property declaration policy that has been put in practice since 1993. Although this policy has been in effect for many years, many people have still been penalized because they do not know the policies well enough. To avoid such incidences from happening again, property declaration policy forums are held each year to explain problems and situations that commonly occur. And since 2001, no one has been penalized due to ignorance of policy matters. Policies to help avoid incidences of conflicts if interests of public servants have also been put in place for over five years, yet there are still many public servants who are not familiar with these policies. On August 15th, 2005, the Ministry of Justice invited Mr. Guan Gao-Yue, the Head of the Department of Ethics to give a speech on this subject, and government employees were invited to attend. This was another effort to ensure that the Sunshine Policy would continue to be well enforced within every section of the city government.
Investigations and punitive measures are also effective methods of preventing further crimes of corruption. The city government insists upon the concepts of proactively seeking out such crimes and to deal with these problems in a speedy manner. The anti-corruption motto of public servants is "Would not, need not, cannot and dare not commit corruption". During 2005, the number of corruption cases that the Department of Ethics investigated and prosecuted as well as received information from the public came to a total of 368.
Clean and Corruption-free: the Basis of a Government
In an effort to ensure that Taichung is clean and corruption free, the city government has established rules and policies for public servants to follow. Ethical rules, how to deal with gifts, policies on banquets and entertainment, as well as policies on how to report these processes have all been put in place to keep track of the behavior of public servants. Government departments also check on their management processes to ensure that all units abide by ethical rules and regulations. There are also plans to establish hotlines and mailboxes for the public to report any corruption offenses, in the hopes that public awareness of such matters would help improve the quality of government projects. Regular seminars on anti-corruption are held to allow employees to learn more about related policies. The city government continues to promote the corruption prosecution hotline, encouraging the public to alert the government of any such incidences, so that the government can speedily investigate matters, and keep the identity of informants confidential. The city government also has special members from the Department of Ethics to carry out regular check ups and investigations of government employees so as to prevent corruption from happening.
Public awareness is also important. Educational promotion of the Sunshine Policy and other related policies are also carried out regularly to demonstrate the city government's determination in making Taichung city corruption-free. Scholars and professionals in related areas are also invited to give speeches and seminars on this subject. The results of the city government's anti-corruption efforts are also regularly released and promoted to let the public and government employees understand that one of the main focuses of the city government’s policies is to be "corruption-free".
Let's hear what they have to say~ suggestions and hopes for a corruption-free Taichung
Mayor Hu believes that even the best government facilities would be turned to waste without a corruption-free city government team. Mayor Hu places great importance in a corruption free government, and this has been placed in one of the six major government policies in the next four years. He is encouraging all city government employees and the people of Taichung to work together in this fight against corruption, to make Taichung a “corruption free, efficient and publicly convenient” sunshine city. ~ Xiao Xiang-Ning, Taichung City Government, Department of Ethics, Director.
Reform must begin from education. Education begins with young people. We must educate them with correct social concepts and ethics, because they are most likely to become the future government employees. If they do not have the right attitude, it will affect the greater good of the society. Positive and negative attitudes both have strong effects on society as a whole, therefore the importance of education is far greater than that of improving public facilities. ~Lin Shan-Xia, President, Taichung Chamber of Commerce.
A corruption-free government is a test of the authority of the city government team. The biggest problem that Taichung's shopping districts face is street side bullies, illegal use of public spaces, illegal shop signs and others. To effectively improve the overall environment of Taichung's shopping districts, and to create a prosperous economic city, all acceptances of "red envelops" and other illegal corrupt behavior must be stopped. I look forward to Taichung becoming a corruption ??"free model city.
~Lai Zhi-Xiong, President, Taichung City Association of Branded Businesses