Yong-le: Year 17, Month 12, Day 27
12 Jan 1420
The Investigating Censor Huang Zong-zai, regional inspector of Jiao-zhi, advised: "The Jiao-zhi people have newly entered the records. In order to soothe and pacify them, we need to find able men. At present, the majority of the prefectural, subprefectural and county officials are "tribute students", officials from Guang-dong/Guang-xi, Yun-nan and such places and lower-level provincial graduates who have not been to the National University. Because they were willing to fill offices in the distant regions, they were appointed to these posts. They lack an advanced education and cultivation and do not have the skills of those who have passed through the various examinations. Thus, in looking after the people, they do not know how to tend them and, in arranging punishments, they are not clear as to the intent of the laws. If we wait nine years to demote or promote them, the problem will become even more acute. It should be ordered that all those who have been in their posts for upwards of two years are to be subject to rigorous examination by the regional inspector and investigating censor, the provincial administration commission and the provincial surveillance commission. On the basis of whether they are honest or corrupt and whether they are capable of otherwise, they will be demoted or promoted. By this means they will be encouraged or disciplined." The Emperor approved this and accordingly spoke to the officials of the Auxiliary Ministry of Personnel, saying: "The prefectural and county officials are the commanders of the people. If we do not find the right persons to be commanders, the people will suffer calamities. Formerly, when appointing officials for the various prefectures and counties of Jiao-zhi, the matter was handled in an expedient way. What the censor now says is correct. From now on, we mu st be careful in selecting these officials."
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 14, page 2181