Tue, Mar 19, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Control Yuan announces probe into contest scandal

By Lin Miao-Jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Control Yuan yesterday announced it will investigate the government's handling of the Taiwan contest for the 2000 International Biology Olympiad. The event has become the focus of a scandal after a contestant's father claimed he was asked to pay for sexual services for an education official and provide loans for a teacher in return for his son being selected to participate.

Control Yuan members Ko Min-mou (柯明謀) and Hsieh Ching-hui (謝慶輝) will be responsible for the investigation.

Hsieh told reporters yesterday that they will interview Tseng Chu-ming (曾哲明) and Tang Ping-yuan (湯炳垣).

Tseng is the former director of Kaohsiung City Government's bureau of education, who was the judge and senior organizer of the contest and who is alleged to have made the demand. Tang is a teacher at Taipei's Chienkuo High School (建國中學), who is alleged to have demanded financial loans during the contest from Chen Chia-jen (陳家楨), the father of a Chienkuo student.

Hsieh said they would also interview staff of the Ministry of Education and National Taiwan Normal University.

Hsieh said that the fairness of the contest is important to all participating high school students since it can have a decisive influence on which university they attend. "The government's role should be to bolster the credibility of the contest. Scandals such as this only damage its credibility, and that's the last thing parents want to see," Hsieh said.

The focus of the investigation, said Hsieh, will be whether the contest's procedures can guarantee fair competition.

He added that if the ministry had not planned its oversight of the contest well, and then failed to scrutinize the contest effectively, "There must have been negligence during the process."

Meanwhile, officials from the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau and the Public Prosecutors' Office yesterday visited the education ministry and the Ta Tung Information Enterprise (大同資訊公司), which is in charge of the computer scoring for the contest, to investigate the competition's procedures. The Taipei branch of the investigation bureau also interviewed Chen and an assistant of Tang.

An official from the bureau said that Chen had presented, at the bureau's request, condoms and audio tapes to support his charges.

The official added that the bureau will interview Tseng and Tang as soon as this evidence has been examined.

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