The legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday approved the Central Weather Bureau’s (CWB) budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
And rather than questioning whether the bureau had inflated the costs of any item on the budget, lawmakers instead asked if the accuracy of weather forecasts would be compromised with such a small amount allotted to the nation’s weather authority.
The bureau has budgeted a total of NT$165 million (US$5 million) for the next fiscal year, a 0.7 percent increase compared to last year’s budget.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuo Wen-chen (郭玟成) asked if the bureau would suffer because of the budget cut to the Transportation Committee, which reduced funding for some of the science projects initiated by the bureau.
Other legislators, on the other hand, complained about the accuracy of the bureau’s rainfall forecasts.
They pointed to the amount of accumulated rain when Typhoon Kalmaegi hit the nation in July, which exceeded the amount forecast by the bureau and flooded many parts of central and southern Taiwan.
DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) said the bureau had sent the information on the amount of expected rainfall to the administrative authorities in charge of water resources when the typhoon hit the nation, but the latter did not seem to take the information seriously.
The budget review went smoothly and was wrapped up by 12:30pm.
Based on the budget proposal, the bureau will try to compile a six-month weather forecast by 2012. Currently, the bureau has provided daily, weekly, monthly as well as seasonal weather forecasts.
The seasonal weather forecast service began in 2005.
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