Fri, Mar 08, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Think tank to evaluate government

NATIONAL POLICY FOUNDATION Paul Chiu, who took over as president of the KMT-sponsored group yesterday, plans to stimulate debate by offering a critique of policy

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

KMT Chairman Lien Chan, center, schmoozes with Chiang Ping-kun, left, outgoing president of the National Policy Foundation, a KMT think tank, and his successor, Paul Chiu, right, during yesterday's handover ceremony.

PHOTO: CHU YU-PING, TAIPEI TIMES

The KMT-sponsored National Policy Foundation (國家政策研究基金會) is planning to release policy statements twice a year evaluating government decisions as a way to stimulate public-policy debate.

Paul Chiu (邱正雄), a KMT former minister of finance who replaced Chiang Ping-kun (江丙坤) as president of the foundation yesterday, said the idea was inspired by organizations in the US such as the Shadow Open Market Committee and Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee, whose members are drawn from various academic institutions and private groups.

"With their extensive experience and knowledge of implementing government policy, research fellows of the foundation will offer objective and comprehensive evaluation and recommendations on current policy," Chiu said.

While public-policy discussions in Taiwan usually become an emotional fight lacking any basis in experience, the foundation will cooperate with academic organizations and schools to critique its policy recommendations through discussion and debate, Chiu said.

The KMT think tank was founded in July 2000, after the party ended its 50 years in power. It consists of academics, Cabinet members from past administrations, sitting and retired lawmakers and business leaders.

The research areas of the foundation cover domestic affairs, foreign and security policy, education and culture, constitution and law, economy and technology, monetary and public finance policy, sustainable development and social security.

Chiu was offered the new position after Chiang resigned.

Chiang was sworn in as a legislator-at-large and elected vice speaker of the Legislative Yuan in February. Despite his resignation from the position of president, Chiang continues to be a vice chairman of the foundation.

KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), who is also chairman of the National Policy Foundation, promised that the foundation will work more closely with the legislature to push for legislation crucial to the nation's development.

Chiang, meanwhile, said support from the foundation will enable the KMT to initiate its agenda and bring its experience into full play in the legislature.

As well as laws to implement the consensus of last year's Economic Development Advisory Conference, the KMT will prioritize the enactment of "sunshine" legislation such as the Political Party Law, amendments to the Cross-strait Relations Act and a law for the national pension program in this legislative session, Chiang said.

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