Fri, Jan 23, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Ministry disciplined over Taiwan Goal affair

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Control Yuan yesterday issued "corrective measures" to the Ministry of National Defense (MND) over its handling of the establishment of Taiwan Goal, an arms-dealing firm set up by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government last January that was disbanded after it became the subject of controversy.

The MND was charged with violating laws and regulations governing the separation of power between the military's command, administration and armaments bureaus.

Control Yuan members also charged the MND over its initial plan to fund 45 percent, or NT$90 million (US$2.7 million), of Taiwan Goal, as the MND is required by laws and regulations to keep any investment at less than 35 percent.

The rebuke also addressed the MND's failure to give a clear account of plans for the company.

Under Control Yuan regulations, the ministry now has two months to act upon the measures and make appropriate improvements to its operational procedures.

Former premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) confirmed the existence of Taiwan Goal last February.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers alleged the company was a vehicle for the DPP to make profits from arms trading as Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), a DPP stalwart, had been appointed president of the company.

The KMT alleged former vice premier Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) was in charge of establishing the company at the behest of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Former MND minister Lee Tien-yu (燠毞迼) resigned amid the mounting controversy.

At a press conference, Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien (卼膘嬧) was asked by reporters why no MND officials had been held accountable for the matter. Wang said the Control Yuan did not find any irregularities involving officials and could not impeach officials without solid evidence.

Control Yuan members found that Taiwan Goal was established based on instructions given by Chen at a meeting with the military on July 29, 2005.

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