Sun, Jan 18, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Control Yuan says pay was ‘legitimate’

NO PRORATING A media report said four members received payment for inspecting examinations throughout last year although they were only inaugurated in August

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Control Yuan Secretary-General Chen Feng-yi (陳豐義) yesterday denied a media report that accused Control Yuan members of employing self-serving practices to fatten their own pockets.

“There were no irregularities involved in the situations,” said Chen, in response to a report in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) yesterday.

The report said four Control Yuan members, although they did not assume their Control Yuan posts until August last year, are alleged to have received remunerations from the Examination Yuan for services as inspectors at national examinations throughout last year.

The report also mentioned extra payments earmarked for Control Yuan staffers under the category of assisting Control Yuan members in investigations.

The report said the payments should have been suspended from February 2005 to July last year because the Control Yuan remained idle as a result of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-dominated legislature’s boycott against former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) Control Yuan member nominations. However, an amount of between NT$4,000 and NT$8,000 per staffer per month was included in monthly payrolls, the report said.

In response, Chen Feng-yi yesterday said that the Examination Yuan had insisted on paying the Control Yuan members, even though some of them had told the Examination Yuan that they should only get one-third of the amount given because they were not inaugurated until August last year.

Chen said Control Yuan members Shen Mei-chen (沈美真) and Lee Ping-nan (李炳南) had explained the matter to him, and the Control Yuan would not look into whether there were other Control Yuan members involved as “it’s legitimate for Control Yuan members to receive the payments.”

The Examination Yuan yesterday also issued a press release, stating that the Control Yuan members were entitled to receive the remuneration.

“Although there were four national examinations held in June and July last year, ahead of the inauguration of Control Yuan members, the results came out in September. Given the fact that Control Yuan members who inspected the exams took full responsibility for the whole event, they had legitimate reason to receive the whole remuneration earmarked for the exams,” the statement said.

On the issue of extra payment for Control Yuan staffers, Chen said the payments were part of Control Yuan staffers’ salaries, which have been granted since July 1993.

Displaying an official document signed by then premier Lien Chan (連戰) that year, Chen said that “it’s within the Control Yuan staffers’ legal rights to collect the payments.”

The Control Yuan staffers dealt with a lot of petitions filed by the public during the three years without Control Yuan members, Chen said.

Unconvinced, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英) yesterday said: “Members of the Control Yuan are in charge of discipline and keeping an eye on public officials’ wrong-doings, yet they themselves are becoming thieves?”

At a separate press conference yesterday, Huang said: “How could they take public money for work they did not do?”

Saying the four Control Yuan members who received the payments “are dishonest and should return the money immediately,” Huang also urged prosecutors to launch an investigation into the matter and investigate whether there was any corruption.

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