PFP lawmaker slams FSC

`INSUFFICIENT RESPONSE': Lee Tung-hao said the commission's suggestions after the Procomp fiasco are a prime example of why improvements are needed

By Debby Wu and Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Fri, Jul 30, 2004 - Page 11

People First Party legislator Lee Tung-hao (李桐豪) yesterday criticized the cabinet-level Financial Supervisory Commission's process of making decisions.

Spokesmen for the commission strongly refuted the legislator's comments.

At a press conference held yesterday morning, Lee said the commission's decision making was "sloppy and rash." He urged the commission to improve its communication with other government agencies and its process for gathering opinions from the public before it makes any decisions regarding policies.

"I will also propose to amend the organic law of the commission to obligate the commission to publicize its meeting records, so that the public can become informed of their decision-making processes and thus prevent the commission from making arbitrary decisions," Lee said.

One example he gave of the commission's inappropriate actions was its response to the Procomp Informatics Ltd (博達科技) financial fiasco.

Procomp, the nation's first gallium arsenide epitaxial (GaAs) wafer foundry, failed to pay a NT$2.98 billion bond on June 16 despite financial reports showing that it had NT$6.3 billion in cash.

The default led to a suspension of trading of Procomp shares on June 23 and the detention of the company's chairwoman, Sophie Yeh (葉素菲), on June 27.

Lee pointed out that the commission proposed to amend the Securities and Exchange Law (證交法) and the Certified Public Accountant Law (會計師法) soon after the Procomp scandal happened, to force all the listed companies to have a board made up of at least one-fourth external or independent members.

Lee said the proposed solution was unfeasible, since the external board members would not be shareholders. Company shares would therefore be held in the hands of fewer people, he said, and thus even less people would be involved in real decision making.

In response, the commission said its policies and draft bills were made thorough discussion and deliberation.

"We cannot agree with such criticisms," said Susan Chang (張秀蓮), commission vice chairperson, at a press conference held yesterday afternoon.

"The decisions and proposed amendments are all formulated under long-term discussion with the full understanding of comments and opinions from all circles," Chang said.

The proposed amendments to the Securities and Exchange Law and the Certified Public Accountant Law were drawn up after numerous hearings and forums among industry leaders, government agencies and academic circles in the past few years.

Especially after the recent spate of scandals, such as the alleged fraud by Procomp, the commission sensed the need to transform the conclusions into concrete actions, Chang said.

The commission, which was just established on July 1, said it would establish a liaison office to communicate with the Legislative Yuan as soon as possible.