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Tue, Jan 18, 2000 - Page 3 News List

Legal basis for conflict of interest to be established

STAFF WRITER

The Ministry of Justice (法務部) has completed the draft of the Civil Servant Conflict of Interest Prevention Act. The draft stipulates that civil servants, including public representatives, should avoid situations where there is a conflict of interest with the performance of their duties. Public servants who violate this ban will be liable to heavy fines.

The major points of the draft act are:

* Civil servants should avoid situations where they would profit through their positions either in the form of property, cash, savings, foreign currency and stock holdings, or a job position or promotion.

* Conflict of interest is defined as a civil servant profiting him/herself or their family by taking the initiative in, or not acting to, avoid opportunities to profit illicitly from the performance of their duties.

* Civil servants should try to avoid situations when there is a conflict of interest. They should not use the power of their position to lobby or request things solely for their own personal interest.

* Civil servants should not serve as a member of the board of directors or a manager to a company that has business dealings with the institution at which the public servant is employed.

* In terms of fines, if public servants do not try to prevent conflicts of interest according to regulations, they will be fined between NT$30,000 and NT$300,000. If they abuse their power for profit, they will be fined between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million, and the profits earned will be confiscated.

The draft proposed by the justice ministry will serve as the basic framework for regulations for handling conflicts of interest for public servants. The bill will be revised again after it has been in effect for two years.

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