The Control Yuan voted yesterday to impeach former vice minister of economic affairs (MOEA) Hou Ho-hsiung (侯和雄) for influence peddling, leaking business intelligence and lining the pockets of businessmen during his term in office.
The watchdog body, which is responsible for investigating corruption in government, voted 10-2 to impeach Hou.
In the same case, the Control Yuan voted 7-5 to impeach Chang Yi-min (張義敏), a bureau chief with the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Water Resources Agency, and Yang Shui-yuan (楊水源), a consultant with Taiwan Water Corp.
Hou, Chang and Yang allegedly collaborated to help businessmen win open bids for several infrastructure construction projects so that they could gain illegal profits, said the impeachment motion, which was proposed by Control Yuan members Yu Teng-fang (余騰芳) and Ger Yeong-kuang (葛永光).
Because Hou retired last month, the impeachment decision will not have any direct consequences for him, but it can serve as a warning to incumbent officials dealing with water conservation and related projects, the Control Yuan said.
The impeachment decisions will be referred to the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Public Functionaries for further investigation because Chang and Yang are still working at their posts, the Control Yuan said.
Meanwhile, the Control Yuan members expressed the hope that the Law on Discipline of Public Functionaries would be amended to allow for fines to be imposed on civil servants after retirement once they are found to have been involved in corruption.
Noting that Hou had already retired on June 22 this year, Yu and Ker said it was unfair that civil servants could go into retirement as a way to escape impeachment for breaking the law.
The practice has led to a high level of consensus among Control Yuan members that the Act on Discipline of Civil Servants (公務員懲戒法) should be amended and a “penalty clause” added so that civil servants will not be able to escape responsibility.