Thu, Nov 02, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Reform-minded groups press for sunshine laws

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Several civic groups yesterday urged the legislature to pass sunshine bills and establish an independent commission against corruption as soon as possible.

At a joint press conference, the Taipei Society, Transparency International Taiwan (TI-Taiwan) and the Judicial Reform Foundation highlighted the need for bills such as a lobby law, a party law and amendments to the Legislators' Conduct Act (立法委員行為法) and the Public Officials' Conflicts of Interest Prevention Act (公職人員利益衝突迴避法) to be passed.

The president of the Taipei Society, Hawang Shiow-duan (黃秀端), said the legislature has not achieved anything since the beginning of the current session, even though every party has pledged to battle corruption.

The battle against corruption, however, involves changes to the government, the judicial system and politicians' own actions, Hawang said.

She said her organization and the other groups believe it is imperative for the government to establish an independent commission against corruption in order to restore the people's confidence in the government.

TI-Taiwan's chief executive officer, Chilik Yu (余致力), said a proposal to set up such a commission has been blocked in the legislature's Procedure Committee since 2000, but such a new commission would have substantial strength in the fight against corruption because it would not have the "historical burdens" that more established governmental agencies do.

Ku Chung-hua (顧忠華), a Taipei Society executive, said that all political parties, ruling or in the opposition, should review their approach to combating graft.

The three groups said they would evaluate legislators based on how much they do to get the sunshine bills passed and would announce the results next year.

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