Mon, Mar 02, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Citizen Congress Watch praises progress

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Citizen Congress Watch chairman Ku Chung-hwa (顧忠華) yesterday praised lawmakers for improving their performance in the legislative session that ended in January.

“Compared with the first session [of this legislature], lawmakers made some progress in terms of job performance. For example, overall attendance was better and legislators talked more at meetings too,” Ku told a press conference after the group released the results of an evaluation.

“This shows that our efforts to monitor legislators have not been wasted,” he said.

More than 100 evaluators — including academics, journalists, college students and representatives from civic groups — took part in a review meeting in Taipei yesterday.

Lawmakers in each legislative committee were assigned scores and ranked within their committees based on criteria including his or her attendance and number of legislative proposals and whether he or she had supported bills to increase transparency in the legislature.

Chinese Nationalist Party Legislator (KMT) Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆), a member of the Internal Administration Committee, made the most progress in his performance, Citizen Congress Watch said.

Tsai received the lowest ranking in the committee for the first legislative session and accused the group of bias.

His ranking for the second legislative session jumped to second in the committee.

Tsai filed a slander lawsuit against Ku and Citizen Congress Watch executive director Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳) after the last evaluation.

“Information we’ve gathered shows that Tsai attended more meetings in the legislature, spoke more at the meetings and took more active part in the law-making process [in the second legislative session], Ho said.

“This is a good thing,” Ho said. “Tsai’s case also shows that Citizen Congress Watch is not biased. As long as you work hard, the public will see.”

Tsai was not available for comment yesterday.

Instead of releasing the names of lawmakers who received the lowest rankings as they did last time, this time the group put lawmakers with lower scores on a “watch list.”

“Some lawmakers are on the watch list not because they performed poorly but because we expect more from them,” Ku said.

The lawmakers who topped their respective committees were KMT legislators Chiang Yi-hsiung (江義雄) in the Education and Culture Committee and Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) in the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, as well as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Chen Chieh-ju (陳節如) in the Internal Administration Committee, Twu Shiing-jer (?? in the Foreign and National Defense Committee, Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) in the Economics Committee, Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) in the Finance Committee, Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) in the Transportation Committee, and Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英) and William Lai (賴清德) in the Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee.

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