Thu, May 13, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Control Yuan clears Ma, censures city over MRT line

WENSHAN-NEIHU LINE The Control Yuan said the Taipei City Government failed to conduct full test runs to ensure stability in its rush to start operations

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Control Yuan yesterday censured the Taipei City Government over its construction of the problem-ridden Wenshan-Neihu MRT line, demanding that officials be held accountable.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who was mayor of Taipei City when the line was built, was cleared of any administrative wrongdoing in the design and construction of the project.

The Control Yuan held a meeting in February to deliberate a motion to censure the city government, but rejected the motion due to lack of evidence.

Control Yuan member Ger Yeong-kuang (葛永光), who is in charge of the case, said that they did not make any major revisions to the investigation report, apart from including more material.

Chao Jung-yao (趙榮耀), another Control Yuan member, said the city government had failed to evaluate the ability of Bombardier, the firm contracted to build the MRT line, to undertake the project.

LOWER STANDARDS

“First of all, the city government lowered the standards so that Bombardier was able to qualify as a bidder,” Chao said. “However, the incidents that occurred on the line were mainly caused by Bombardier's network system.”

The Control Yuan members also blamed the city government for rushing to open the line after only 13 weeks of trials.

“It was formally opened when the system was not stable, which meant that the city government did not conduct a thorough trial operation,” Ger said.

Instead of summoning Ma for questioning, the Control Yuan members “gathered for tea” with him in late January to gain an understanding of the policy-making process for the design and construction of the project.

In response to the censure, Taipei City Government spokesperson Chao Hsin-ping (趙心屏) said the city government respected the Control Yuan’s decision, adding that it would seek accountability and compile a list of people who should be punished after it receives the Control Yuan’s formal letter.

IMPROVEMENTS

Chao said the city government had spared no effort in ensuring the quality of the line, and the stability of the line had greatly improved after it suspended the service on weekends in August last year for inspections.

“We will handle the issue according to the regulations, and we will look into the responsibilities of those who should be blamed whether they are government officials or retired,” she said at Taipei City Hall.

She declined to say whether Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) should take the blame for the problematic decision-making process.

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