The Executive Yuan will soon unveil an investigative report on legal transgressions by commissioners of the controversial National Communications Commission (NCC), an official said yesterday.
According to the official who requested anonymity, the Executive Yuan formed a special task force in mid-February to investigate whether the NCC was guilty of dereliction of duty or in violation of any laws in reaching an out-of-court settlement late last year with Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC) over a 2004 decision by the Government Information Office to reclaim two BCC-controlled radio channels.
The task force was headed by Minister without Portfolio Hsu Chih-hsiung (許志雄). After more than a month of intensive probes, the official said, the task force has come up with a comprehensive report identifying 10 transgressions involving NCC members.
Noting that revoking the BCC control of the two radio channels was the government's established policy, the official said the NCC was not authorized to override the Executive Yuan's decision by settling the issue with BCC out of court.
Moreover, the official said the task force discovered other transgressions, including three commissioners illegally taking part-time jobs and one other commissioner having his son serve as his officially paid chauffeur.
The report also pointed out that two commissioners were present at meetings screening the transfer of ownership of two opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-owned media outlets -- China Television Co and BCC -- in violation of the principle to avoid conflicts of interest. The two commissioners had ties with the two KMT-held media organizations.
Claiming all these transgressions were very serious violations of existing laws and ethical rules, the official said the task force has recommended penalties for the law-breaking commissioners, including suspending them from their jobs or referring their cases to the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries or the Control Yuan for censure and discipline.
Some serious cases may be referred to judicial authorities to determine whether the commissioners in question had violated existing graft and corruption laws, the official added.
The NCC was created last year, with commissioners nominated by major political parties in proportion to the number of seats the parties held in the Legislative Yuan.
Such a partisan-based formation was declared unconstitutional by the Council of Grand Justices, which has set Dec. 31 next year as a deadline for disbanding the body. The NCC commissioners decided to step down when the tenure of the current legislature expires on Jan. 31 next year.
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