Fri, Apr 10, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Executive Yuan backtracks on OCAC merger with MOFA

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Bowing to pressure from overseas compatriots, the Overseas Compatriots Affairs Commission (OCAC) will remain as an independent agency under the Executive Yuan instead of being merged with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) as the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) initially suggested.

The Cabinet yesterday approved an amendment to the Organic Act of the Executive Yuan (行政院組織法) that would downsize the number of the Executive Yuan’s subordinate agencies from 37 to 29 by 2011 if the amendment passes the legislature.

RDEC Minister Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said its proposal to incorporate the OCAC into MOFA was criticized by overseas compatriots.

Asked why the Cabinet compromised instead of using its legislative majority to pass the amendment, Jiang said the government would still work toward the merger.

The government explained the rationale for the merger to overseas compatriots but failed to convince them that the merger would not abrogate the OCAC, he said, adding the government would take “a gradual and orderly approach” to advance the reform.

The Cabinet yesterday also passed a proposal by the RDEC to lift caps on the number of government agencies in an amendment to the Organic Standard Act of Central Government Agencies (中央行政機關組織基準法).

The approved proposal reversed an amendment to the Act drafted in 2006, which suggested the current 37 agencies be reorganized into thirteen ministries, four commissions and five independent organs.

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