Saturday, 29 October 2011

News Brief: School Principals Arraigned for Lunch Kickbacks

More than 10 elementary-school principals from New Taipei City (新北市; formerly Taipei County) are being investigated for allegedly accepting kickbacks from school-lunch providers, the Taipei Times reported today (full article here).

The Banqiao District Prosecutors’ Office said it had arraigned six principals for questioning and had searched nine schools in Banqiao (板橋), Xinzhuang (新莊), Luzhou (蘆洲), Sanxia (三峽) and Shulin (樹林), as well as 10 lunch manufacturers, which supply as much as between 80 and 90 percent of the city's elementary school meals.

Preliminary investigations showed that lunch dealers might have bribed principals to receive better evaluations, enabling them to make bids to provide school lunches, the office said. Some principals were receiving up to NT$300,000 each semester, it added.

A Chinese-language article in the Liberty Times quoted a parent as saying that meals were so cheap at NT$40 that he didn't think they could be healthy for his daughter so he gave her a packed lunch everyday, and how much more true that must be if the principal was also taking a cut.

                                                          Text and photos © Jiyue Publications 2011

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