NAO sets sights on illegal part-time workers
NTU prof./TV show host exempted from investigations
Investigations by the National Audit Office (NAO) into civil servants and teachers holding parttime jobs have been ongoing since last year, yet a high-profile professor who also works as a TV show host did not make it onto the investigation list.
“It is illegal for civil servants and teachers to conduct other commercially based actions,” stated NAO spokesman Li Shunpao ( ), “human resource sectors in each government sector will handle the legal process according to the presented evidence.”
Unnamed individuals who were questioned pointed fingers at television pundit Dennis Peng (
), a journalism professor at National Taiwan University (NTU) and a local TV show host, believing that Peng’s hosting job was the main reason the NAO rolled up its sleeves for such an all-out investigation.
In response, Li stated that Peng’s case was brought up by the Control Yuan, which was conducting investigations into an unnamed civil worker. In turn, the Control Yuan brought the matter to the NAO, asking for a full investigation into whether civil servants and teachers have been conducting commercial business on the side. Inheriting the family business also applies.
Peng’s case was not deemed a “commercial business,” as it did not include “enterprise registration,” Li stated. The NAO has targeted “quid pro quo” cases of all standard civil servants, contract employees, janitors, technicians and public school teachers who passed the required exams.
This round of NAO inquiries also covers lower-level government workers, and janitors who hold jobs outside the government sector could become a target for investigation. This has resulted in a backlash directed at the NAO from employees who have found the investigations unreasonable.
Clash between Professors
Peng’s case will be up for discussion next week at the teacher review committee, stated NTU.
NTU journalism school professor Liu Ching-yi called the university’s decision to let Peng host the talk show a “black box” operation. It was revealed by local media that Peng’s contract with NextTV’s ( ) political talk show was based on “industry- academic cooperation.”
At least four NTU students do paid internships at NextTV every year, head of NTU journalism school Wang Tai-li ( ) stated, further pointing out that the contract with NextTV is the “first of its kind,” and cooperates with departments ranging from news, programming, and marketing. “We are not just working with the talk show Peng is hosting.”
NTU journalism professors retorted, saying that Taiwanese talk shows breed rumors and slander. “Our journalism school wishes to cultivate a student’s editing and interviewing skills. Cooperation with a talk show does not show that.”
The industry- academic program with NextTV was shot down at the department’s institute affairs council.
In response, Peng stated that it was unheard of to see a proposal meet such obstacles, as NTU could usually pass over 150 cases within two to three days. He also shot back at Liu, saying that as a teacher at NTU’s Graduate Institute of National Development, she did not understand the inner workings of the journalism school.
Peng described the remarks made about his part-time job as envy of him and the talk show now being famous.