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
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
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)