Thu, May 21, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Hiring of foreign airport zone managers rejected

AIRPORT ZONE FIRM Legislators rejected the ministry’s proposal, saying foreign managers working in state firms should not be exempted from disclosing their assets

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday rejected a clause in a draft bill for the establishment of a state-run international airport zone company that would allow the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to appoint experts from overseas to management positions.

The bill was drafted following the passage of the Statute for Developing an International Airport Park (國際機場園區發展條例), which was promulgated by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in January.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said that the ministry included the proposal in the draft bill because it was hoping to recruit foreign experts to serve as vice president or in other top management positions to help manage the new airport company.

Mao cited Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok International Airport, which recently hired a professional manager from Taiwan, as an example.

To attract top foreign professionals, the ministry proposed that they be exempted from the Public Functionary Assets Disclosure Act (公職人員財產申報法).

“We have found that the asset disclosure requirement has prevented many potentially qualified professionals from accepting government-appointed positions,” Mao said.

“That is why a lot of state-run corporations have difficulty finding professionals from the private sector to serve as independent board directors,” he said.

Mao said that the company does not have to hire foreigners, but the article would have given it some leeway in offering positions to qualified individuals from overseas.

However, the ministry’s hopes were dashed when lawmakers insisted that the clause be removed.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Tsao Erh-chang (曹爾忠) said that since the airport management company is a state-run firm, Taiwanese nationals should be considered first.

It is more appropriate to hire foreigners as consultants, he said.

KMT Legislator Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) also opposed the regulation freeing foreigners from disclosing their assets.

Like their Taiwanese peers, they should be regulated by the Public Functionary Assets Disclosure Act, they said.

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