Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Ministry hands demerit to Taipower chairman

NOT PLEASED The punitive action came after the firm’s board of directors rejected an appointment for vice president that had been ratified by the premier

By Jerry Lin and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday gave a demerit to Edward Chen (陳貴明), chairman of the state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電), saying he had failed to do his best to carry out the ministry’s orders.

“The ministry decided to give Chen a demerit because he failed to clear the legal issue of the appointment [of a designated vice president] prior to the board meeting, which resulted in the firm’s board of directors not having the accurate information during its discussion,” Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hsieh Fa-dah (謝發達), told reporters at a briefing yesterday.

APPOINTMENT REJECTED

The ministry’s punitive action came after Taipower’s board of directors rejected the appointment of Huang Fu-yuan (黃傅源) as vice president during their board meeting on March 28, even though the personnel arrangement — subject to the Executive Yuan’s approval — had been ratified by Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) on March 21.

“Chen should not have made any judgments based on his personal impression of Huang,” Hsieh said.

Local media have speculated that Chen purposely disobeyed the ministry order because of a personal dislike of Huang. As a result, reports said, the ministry was considering removing Chen from his position if it were determined that he purposely disobeyed the order.

“In our investigation of Chen’s attitude at the firm’s board meeting [on March 28], we did not find any evidence that Chen purposely steered the meeting in a direction that the ministry did not want to see,” Hsieh said.

BRIBERY

Concerning allegations that Huang had paid a bribe to secure the position, the ministry said it had requested that the Taipei District Court investigate and would postpone the Taipower appointment until any investigation results were released.

In response to the ministry’s decision, Chen said in a written statement that “he sincerely apologized for any trouble this personnel case may have caused the minister of Economic Affairs [Steve Chen (陳瑞隆)].”

Meanwhile, Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) yesterday denied that he had personally selected Huang for the Taipower position.

Chen Chin-jun made the remarks after Steve Chen told lawmakers during a question-and-answer session that the ministry had selected Huang based on Chen Chin-jun’s recommendation.

Huang allegedly paid a bribe of NT$20 million to get the promotion, a charge that he has rebutted, vowing to take legal action against his detractors.

Chen Chin-jun said in a press statement that he acted on the recommendation of others when he suggested that Steve Chen consider Huang, but he denied that he pressured the minister into endorsing Huang.

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