Mon, Jul 23, 2012 - Page 1 News List

AAC asked Taipower for funds, despite graft probe

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

The Agency Against Corruption asked state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) to provide more than NT$1 million (US$33,000) in funding for a running event, despite Taipower being under investigation over irregular procurements, a legislator alleged yesterday.

Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) told reporters that the agency launched a probe in May into procurements relating to the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市). Several Taipower officials were released on bail following a search of company offices.

Huang said the agency had planned to celebrate its first anniversary by hosting a running event on Saturday, but last week it postponed the event in light of a corruption scandal involving former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世).

Huang said that although the event was postponed, she found the agency was still running event ads showing Taipower and Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Co (台灣菸酒公司) were sponsors of the event.

According to expenditure documents for the event, the agency was expecting to spend NT$2.38 million, with the agency and the Ministry of Economic Affairs each paying half of the money, or about NT$1.19 million, Huang said.

Huang said the ministry had approved a plan by Taipower to provide the NT$1.19 million.

Huang asked how the target of an investigation could become a sponsor for the agency, adding that the agency could have decided to go easy in its probe of Taipower because of the relationship.

Agency Against Corruption Deputy Head Yang Shih-chin (楊石金) said yesterday that the agency had discussed hosting the running event with the ministry in January and agreed that each would cover half of the expenditure.

Yang said the agency only launched its probe against Taipower in May, adding that the agency was currently looking into two cases involving Taipower and that it would definitely not go easy on the company if wrongdoing were uncovered.

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