Wed, Oct 04, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Audit chief under fire over wages

FREEBIES?A legislator accused Su Chen-ping of receiving more than NT$10 million in additional wages and occupying two government housing units

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Auditor-General Su Chen-ping (蘇振平), who declared that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) use of a state fund might contain irregularities in a case that is currently under investigation, came under fire yesterday over the question of his own integrity.

Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) told a press conference that Su received illegal extra wages and occupied an additional dormitory in addition to the one that he was entitled to in his position.

"Su's extra wages amounted to NT$10 million [US$302,000] over the past 17 years, which violates the regulation that political appointees are not granted any extra wages," Liao said.

Liao said that monthly extra wages of NT$49,110 only apply to non-political appointees.

"Su was assigned a dormitory located in Xinyi Rd, but he chose to live in two stories of a building on Anhe Rd. The building was initially used by the ministry [of audit] as a venue for its employees' training," he added.

In response, Ministry of Audit Spokesman Wang Yung-hsing (王永興) denied the allegations, saying there was nothing illegal about Su's extra wages and housing.

"The extra wage for the auditor-general was decided in 1967, and Su's four predecessors also claimed extra wages like Su did," Wang said, adding that Su didn't plan to make any extra money but simply followed the ministry's convention.

Wang said that describing the auditor-general's extra wages as illegal was unfair because the budget earmarked for it was passed by the legislature.

"We do have the legal basis for providing the extra wages, but it might be hard to find the document attesting to its legality as the regulation was passed about 40 years ago," he said.

Wang said Su moved from the dormitory on Xinyi Rd to the building located on Anhe Rd after the 921 Earthquake, which damaged the dormitory.

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