Wed, Dec 16, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Control Yuan censures accounting arm over Chen

‘IRREGULARITIES’ The Control Yuan said that the DGBAS did not probe the former president’s use of funds even though the audit department asked it to

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Control Yuan yesterday censured the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) for negligence in handling former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) alleged misuse of the “state affairs” fund.

Control Yuan member Shen Mei-chen (沈美真) said the DGBAS was involved in “serious irregularities” as it postponed investigation into the accountants who handled the fund in the Presidential Office after the scandal broke and it failed to clarify the fact that the nature of the state affairs fund was different from the “special allowance fund” to which government officials are entitled.

Chen and his wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), were given life sentences in September after being found guilty of corruption and embezzlement from the fund, while some of Chen’s former assistants were accused of helping Wu claim reimbursement using receipts from other individuals.

“The DGBAS was tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the operation of government accounting offices, but it had been excusing itself from probing the matter even though the Ministry of Audit sent it documents over and over again,” Shen said.

Shen said the DGBAS was also charged with coming to the presidential office’s defense by applying for a constitutional interpretation to wrongly argue that the state affairs fund was similar to the “special allowance fund,” which could be used at an official’s discretion.

The amount of the annual state affairs fund is between NT$30 million (US$930,000) and NT$50 million.

“If the state affairs fund were a kind of special allowance fund given to a president, it wouldn’t make any sense because the amount of the state affairs fund is about six to nine times higher than a president’s salary,” Shen said.

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