Tue, Dec 30, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Interior minister returning his travel subsidy

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Following a controversy involving a subsidy that Justice Minister Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) was paid for traveling to committee meetings that he in fact rarely attended, Minister of the Interior Yu Chen-hsien (余政憲) came under fire in a similar situation and followed Chen's lead in returning a transportation subsidy.

Yu directed his aides yesterday to return NT$6,000 to the Executive Yuan.

On Dec. 28, People First Party Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) indicated that Yu was responsible for 46 separate administration duties.

Liu requested that Yu return to the government questionable transportation payments, as Chen had.

"As the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) encompasses many areas of administration," said Wang Huei-chu (王惠珠), director of the human resources department at the MOI, "Yu is a minister with a large number of duties. His duties are assigned according to the legal regulations of the administration units."

According to the MOI, as of Dec. 2003, Yu had responsibility for 48 administration duties, 39 of which were related to the MOI, with the balance unrelated.

"The reason that Yu has to work across many administration units," Wang said, "is that the current policy of the Executive Yuan is to streamline the implementation of important polices that might have an effect on several administration units."

Wang also said that according to the Executive Yuan's Military, Civil and Teaching Staff Multi-duty Transportation and Seminar Hourly Fee Regulation (軍公教人員兼職交通費及講座鐘點費支給規定), there is a cap to the amount of money that a staff member can receive for transportation.

"According to this regulation, regardless of the number of duties an individual is responsible for, he or she can only receive up to two sets of transportation payments. For instance, Yu can only collect two sets of transportation fees of NT$3,000 each for his membership duties at the Council for Cultural Affairs and at the Mainland Affairs Council (陸委會). In order words, he can collect up to NT$6,000 per month, " Wang said.

In response to criticism from opposition parties, Yu emphasized that his legal duties are as numerous as those of his predecessors. "By returning the transportation fees, I hope to put an end to the controversy," Yu said.

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