Fri, Mar 11, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Legislator slams TTC as waste of taxpayers’ money

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) might shut down the Telecom Technology Center (TTC) after lawmakers claimed its employees were being paid to do “absolutely nothing,” NCC Chairperson Su Herng (蘇蘅) said yesterday.

“We have evaluated the possibility [of closing the center]. If necessary, we will shut it down,” Su said at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee.

A presentation by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Luo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) had showed that while TTC chief executive Lin Ying-dar (林盈達) was a full-time employee at the center, he had several other part-time jobs at other organizations.

“He is employed full-time at TTC, yet he hardly visits the office,” Luo said.

Luo said that Lin’s total monthly pay might amount to as much as NT$350,000 and he accused the commission of nurturing a “fat cat.”

In her presentation, Luo said the office was almost always empty during office hours, adding that TTC employees were often chatting on MSN Messenger or posting messages on Plurk and Facebook.

Luo said one TTC employee who is paid NT$32,000 a month was only doing one thing at work — ordering lunchboxes for everybody.

“The government has given the center NT$2.3 billion over the past six years,” Luo said. “Look how we have spent taxpayers’ money.”

In response, Su said the commission would investigate the matter.

The center was set up as a research institution under the Directorate-General of Telecommunications, which was merged with the commission in 2006.

Lin, who also attended the meeting, said Luo’s allegations about his monthly salary were incorrect.

“I was temporarily transferred from National Chiang Tung University to help reorganize the center,” Lin said. “I only get paid by TTC and my salary from the university has been suspended and it will only resume when I return.”

Lin said he is paid NT$230,000 a month by TTC, which includes his salary and other stipends.

Lin said the center had several main functions, including maintaining the database for the Mobile Number Portability Service. It is also charged with inspecting and testing electronic devices and doing telecoms policy research for the commission, he said.

Lin said he would look into Luo’s accusations, but he also said that it was possible that the missing employees were at laboratories testing new devices.

Lin said Luo may have been given false information by disgruntled former employees who he fired when he assumed his position.

Lin said the center has an annual revenue of about NT$220 million and that more than half of that is spent on personnel. The average salary is NT$50,000 a month.

“We are aiming to reduce costs by cutting salaries by an average of 15 percent,” he said.

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