Sat, Nov 15, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Executive Yuan set to cap number of civil servants

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Executive Yuan is planning to set a cap of 200,000 on the number of central government employees, slightly higher than the current 191,000, but vowed to reduce the number in the long term, Central Personnel Administration Minister Cheng Ching-hsiu (陳清秀) said on Thursday.

Chen made the remarks at a press conference after attending a Cabinet-level meeting convened by Vice Premier Paul Chiu (邱正雄) on streamlining the government.

The meeting was held to deliberate a draft bill that would cap the total number of civil servants employed in the five branches of central government and another that would transform some government agencies into administrative corporations in order to enhance efficiency.

Article 3 of the Constitution requires the total number of personnel of national organizations to be subject to standards set by law, but that bill has been stalled for years.

“To meet the requirement of the Constitution, we need to stipulate a ceiling [on the number of civil servants] in the bill, but it will not set a cap for each branch in order to provide necessary flexibility,” Chen said.

Chen said the newly established intellectual property courts and the ongoing opening up of cross-strait transportation services would necessitate more government employees.

“While the bill will give more leeway for government organizations to recruit more people, our long-term goal is to make gradual personnel cuts,” Chen said.

Chen said the Executive Yuan has yet to decide which national organizations will be transformed into administrative corporations, but those selected would be organizations such as research institutions and not those directly involved in the exercise of power.

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