The Ministry of Economic Affairs announced yesterday that CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) chairman Chu Shao-hua (朱少華) would be replaced by Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Sheng-chung (林聖忠) on July 2 as the head of the state-run oil refiner was being investigated for corruption.
The ministry said in a statement that Chu was expected to retire on July 1 and Lin was scheduled to take office on July 2.
However, Chu is stepping down against a backdrop of mounting complaints about the state-run CPC’s low efficiency and bad management since the company announced it would raise the prices of gasoline and diesel products by an average of 10.7 percent on April 2.
Kaohsiung prosecutors and the Agency Against Corruption (AAC) on Monday raided CPC offices over a suspect deal with a private contractor involving Chu.
Investigators searched CPC headquarters in Taipei, the offices of the company’s Talin refinery in Greater Kaohsiung and a Kaohsiung contractor, and seized a number of documents, the AAC said.
A Talin refinery manager, two engineers and four Kaohsiung contractors were summoned for questioning.
Chu is being investigated for contract rigging to help a private contractor win an oil leak monitoring system bid in 2006. The AAC said Chu had taken a trip to Singapore with the bid-winning contractor and suspected Chu of having taken bribes from the contractor.
On Friday last week, Chu told reporters that he was not involved in any bid-rigging, saying that the tender was not under his supervision in 2006, when he was vice president of the company, local media reported.
Lin told reporters yesterday that he would do his utmost to follow the suggestions provided by a task force created to review the performance of Taiwan’s state-run companies. The task force will come up with a first-stage review report by the end of this month.
Chu’s replacement came after the head of another state-run company, Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower, 台電), Edward Chen (陳貴明) was replaced by another vice minister of economic affairs, Hwang Jung-chiou (黃重球) on May 15.
Taipower has been accused of low efficiency and bad management after the state-run power supplier announced it would raise electricity rates in April.
In related news, the Ministry of Finance announced yesterday that former National Property Bureau Director-General Chang Pei-zhi (張佩智) had taken over the position of deputy finance minister on Friday.
The 63-year-old finance veteran retired from the bureau after Christina Liu (劉憶如) took the post of finance minister in February.
However, following Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) taking over Liu’s position on May 31, the new finance minister decided to reorganize the ministry’s first-tier officials by hiring veterans back.
Chou Hou-chieh (周後傑), who served as acting director-general of the bureau after Chang retired in February, was also promoted to formal director-general on Thursday, the ministry said in the same release.
Additional reporting by Amy Su