Fri, May 24, 2002 - Page 3 News List

PFP lawmaker fires salvo at former defense minister


A PFP lawmaker yesterday accused former defense minister Tang Fei (唐飛) of violating ethics guidelines by getting himself involved in defense-related businesses after leaving government.

Lawmaker Pan Chien-kuo (龐建國) alleged that Tang apparently violated government ethics by heading a private company that has won NT$120 million worth of defense contracts over the past two years.

"According to government rules, a government official should not assume leadership positions for three years after leaving the government at a private company which runs businesses directly related to his prior governmental business," Pan said.

"Tang left the government in October 2000 when he stepped down from his job as premier. Prior to that he was the defense minister. It is less than two years since Tang left the government," the PFP lawmaker said.

Pan made the accusation yesterday at a press conference he called at the legislature.

Several defense officials showed up at the event to defend Tang and the military.

Speaking in Tang's defense was Rear Admiral Wei I-chiang (魏亦強), chief of the contracting division of the Ministry of National Defense's procurement bureau.

Tang was not available to respond to the accusation as he is traveling abroad, Pan said.

Tang is now the chairman of Taipei-based ECOM Universal Inc, which specializes in cyber-safety and has won six contracts over the past two years with the Ministry of National Defense.

Pan said that he was told by ECOM officials that Tang was not involved in the company's six defense contracts. Five of the contracts were granted by the ministry's procurement bureau, while the sixth contract was granted by the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology.

"They said Tang took over as ECOM's chairman in March, while the six contracts were won prior to that," Pan said.

Admiral Wei defended Tang by saying that the ministry's procurement bureau has never been lobbied by former defense leaders, including Tang.

"The procurement bureau gran-ted the five contracts to ECOM through a legal bidding process. There have been no irregularities found," Wei said.

Pan accepted Wei's explanation but insisted that Tang is still to blame for violating government ethics guidelines.

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