Kuan aims to shatter 'iron rice bowl' monicker
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The colloquial term “iron rice bowl” has long been a discredit to civil service, Examination Yuan President Kuan Chung (關中) said yesterday.
February 1, 2013, 1:01 am TWN
The monicker refers to the stability of state sector jobs, which, Kuan argues, inadvertently implies that government workers are often complacent and lazy due to the nature of their profession.
Kuan said that he has worked hard to break the metaphorical bowl in order to remove the taint that it has on civil service's reputation.
During a Wednesday interview with CNA, Kuan said that the above-mentioned term is more of a discredit to the civil service than the 18-percent preferential interest rate reserved for government retirees.
The state of the civil service has become stagnant, said Kuan, adding that once newcomers arrive, they end up in the company of older workers, and as a result, they become more conservative, like their senior counterparts, leading to a “less you do less mistakes you make” mentality, which is not conducive to growth.
The solution to this problem is to conduct stricter evaluations of the performance of civil servants, and to ensure that an elimination mechanism is in place, Kuan said.
“The performance of our civil service is still one of the main factors holding back the nation's competitiveness,” Kuan said.
Private sector corporations, on the other hand, have had brilliant achievements, whereas the state sector has fallen behind, Kuan said, adding that the fact of which has caused him to become anxious.
Kuan likened the state sector to a locomotive, saying that if the machine is in optimal condition, it can help spur national growth.