Tue, Feb 12, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Streamlined Cabinet on the agenda

LEANER The amendment was drafted following the conclusions reached at a meeting and in light of the pan-blue camp's majority in the legislature

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Cabinet has completed a draft to streamline its 36 agencies to 26, with 14 ministries, seven commissions and five independent institutions, Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) said yesterday.

Chen said that following approval of the amendment to the Organic Law of the Executive Yuan (行政院組織法) at tomorrow's Cabinet meeting, the Executive Yuan would then refer it to the new legislature for review.

In September 2004, premier Yu Shyi-kun sent an amendment to the law that suggested cutting the Executive Yuan's 36 agencies to 22, with 13 ministries, four commissions and five independent institutions.

Lawmakers from across party lines in the last legislature came close to agreeing to the earlier amendment after making some revisions at a cross-party negotiation meeting in December 2005, but it was then stalled in the legislature.

Chen said the new amendment was drafted on the basis of the conclusions reached at the negotiation meeting and in light of the pan-blue camp's three-quarter majority in the legislature.

NEW MINISTRIES

Under the new amendment, six new ministries would be established under the Executive Yuan to add to the eight ministries mandated by the Organic Law of the Executive Yuan.

The 14 ministries would cover interior and homeland security, foreign and overseas affairs, defense, finance, education and sports, judicial matters, the economy and trade, transportation and construction, labor and human resources, agriculture, public health and social security, culture and tourism, environmental resources and veterans affairs.

The seven commissions would include a new technology commission, a new maritime council, a new commission on gender equality, a new national development commission, the Hakka Council, the Aboriginal Council and the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC).

At the 2005 cross-party negotiation meeting, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus backed down on the Executive Yuan's intention to abolish the MAC and to integrate it with the premier's office.

DEFENSE

The DPP also made concessions to the opposition, as the Veterans Affairs Commission (VAC) will not be merged with the Ministry of National Defense (MND).

The Executive Yuan initially planned to create a new ministry that would combine the MND and the VAC.

The five independent institutions are the Central Bank of China, the Central Election Commission, the Fair Trade Commission, the Financial Supervisory Commission and the National Communication Commission.

The Cabinet is required by the Standard Organic Law of Central Government Agencies (中央政府機關組織基準法), passed in the legislature in June 2003, to release draft amendments to the law three months after the promulgation of the standard organic law.

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