The government is in favor of not requiring board directors of state-owned enterprises and non-profit organizations to declare their assets, adding it would seek to have the regulation amended by the end of the year, Executive Yuan Spokeswoman Vanessa Shih (史亞平) said yesterday.
Shih made the remarks in response to a Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) report yesterday that 115 board members of institutions supervised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs had threatened to quit because of the asset-declaration ordinance.
Shih yesterday said the Executive Yuan had suggested that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus propose an amendment to the Act on Property-Declaration by Public Servants (公職人員財產申報法) and push it through as soon as possible.
“We will talk with the board members. We hope they can understand our position,” she said.
Under the new act, which came into force on Wednesday, board directors of state-owned enterprises and non-profits must declare their assets and those of their spouses.
The KMT-dominated legislature passed an amendment to the Act two years ago that extended the scope of asset declarations to cover the board directors.
Known as the “Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) clause,” after the former first lady, the regulation was seen as targeting problems by then-president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) with personnel assignment, as some of were friends and relatives of Wu.
The Liberty Times said one-fifth of the board members appointed by the ministry have said they plan on leaving the organizations. It said that seven of the 14-seat board of the Industrial Technology Research Institute, a national research organization, had decided to quit.
An official said the law made it more difficult for the government to recruit from the private sector.
As a result of the law, “Minister of Foreign Affairs Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) has faced many rejections in his attempt to attract individuals from the business sector,” the official said.
The KMT caucus presented to the legislature an amendment whereby board directors would not have to declare their assets, but the amendment has been stalled by the Democratic Progressive Party caucus.