Thu, May 29, 2008 - Page 3 News List

DPP caucus vows to campaign for more transparency

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday responded positively to a request by the Citizen Congress Watch (CCW) to help push for more transparency in the legislature.

The DPP caucus made the promise during a visit by CCW members yesterday morning.

Since the new legislative session commenced in February, the CCW has repeatedly campaigned for more transparency in the legislature.

Aside from making demands to allow outside access to the legislature’s video-on-demand (VOD) system that broadcasts legislative committee meetings live online, the group has also released lawmakers’ attendance records.

Upset by the group’s actions, lawmakers from the Transportation and Communication Committee panned the CCW for releasing “false information” and passed a resolution that put the group on the “unwelcome” list last month, effectively barring it from attending committee meetings.

Realizing that the information they were able to gather may be incomplete because of non-transparency in the legislature, the CCW said it would seek help directly from the lawmakers.

“It’s not easy to get all the information we need for the purpose of evaluating lawmakers, so some mistakes are inevitable,” said Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳), the group’s executive director.

“So we’ve sent out requests to the DPP and Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] caucuses saying that we would like to meet and talk with them face to face,” he said.

The KMT caucus had not responded to the request, Ho said.

During the meeting, DPP legislators Twu Shiing-jer (�?�) , Chen Chieh-ju (陳節如), William Lai (賴清德) and Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) all expressed their support for more transparency in the legislature, especially on allowing outside access to the VOD system.

Wong complained, however, that it was unfair to use attendance and bill proposal records as the only evaluation standards.

“You should look more into the content of each bill proposal, not the number of proposals,” Wong said.

CCW chairman Ku Chung-hwa (顧忠華) agreed, saying that the group would form a team of academics to evaluate the content of bill proposals.

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