Mon, Aug 08, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Lawmakers chafe under corruption agency’s focus

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

Legislators across party lines yesterday complained that the recently established Agency Against Corruption (AAC) had so far only targeted legislators, which went against its mandate of addressing corruption within the executive branch.

The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported yesterday that officials at a company were questioned by the agency’s investigators late last month and that the interviews were all about a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator who had lobbied for the company in a procurement bid for a hospital in Keelung.

The report said some legislators found that agency investigators were paying too much attention to lawmakers’ actions, whose duty it was to lobby and serve the public.

‘NEW WHITE TERROR’

Legislators said they feared that if the agency remained focused on who legislators were meeting, which complaint cases legislators were helping out with and which meetings legislators were attending, they risked becoming the targets of a new “White Terror” era.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said that the agency should focus on corruption within the executive branch and that it was a mistake for the agency to look for clues of corruption in the legislature.

‘PERSECUTION’

Tsai said he was also concerned the KMT could use the new agency to persecute opposition lawmakers.

KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) said most complaint cases in which legislators provided assistance were related to malpractice or misconduct of government agencies, which was different from illegally intervening in the operations of government agencies.

Agency spokesman Chang Hung-mo (張宏謀) denied that in order to meet public expectations on the problem of corruption, the agency was looking for clues in the legislature.

The agency, which falls under the Ministry of Justice, was established on July 23.

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