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Promoting civil servants
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Only by breaking the guarantee of civil servants' lifelong jobs can the spirit of serving the public be stimulated, says an article in Outlook Weekly. The following is an excerpt:

Recently, the municipal organization department and the personnel department of Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, jointly issued a circular on civil servants. The circular stipulated that civil servants would be promoted to a higher rank if they pass for three consecutive years an annual examination. They would be fired if they cannot pass it for two consecutive years.

For many years, once a person is appointed to a civil service job, he or she cannot be fired if there are no obvious misdeeds.

The annual test adopted by Wuhan is of landmark significance. Civil servants will have to perform better if they are to remain in their jobs. It breaks the iron rice bowl mentality.

The tests provide motivation for the civil servants to do better.

What we need to stress is that there is still the problem of how the annual test should be conducted and who has the right to evaluate civil servants who sit for it. The public should be allowed to participate to ensure transparency.

The stipulation of firing civil servants who cannot pass the test for two consecutive years must be strictly enforced. We should prevent the test from becoming a vehicle where only one or two civil servants are fired out of thousands. If so, the test will lose its purpose

(China Daily January 3, 2008)

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