The Control Yuan yesterday censured the Executive Yuan and the Government Information Office (GIO) for oversights in their management of state-owned media and urged both to improve their performance to achieve “good governance.”
Control Yuan members Chou Yang-shan (周陽山) and Ma Hsiu-ru (馬秀如), who investigated events that took place over the past few years, accused the GIO of disregarding problems with the Central News Agency (CNA) during the three years Chen Shen-ching (陳申青) was chairman of the agency, beginning in July 2008.
Describing Chen’s leadership style as “arbitrary,” the Control Yuan said CNA staffers worked “in a state of anxiety” and “suffered from low morale” under his leadership.
Although the agency only has 340 employees, the number of personnel reshuffles during Chen’s three-year term totaled 600, the Control Yuan members said.
Senior staffers were coerced into resigning during the recession and Chen also tried to force then-CNA president Joe Hung (洪健昭) to resign by making derogatory comments against him, but Hung refused to leave.
The Control Yuan said that then-Government Information Office minister Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) overlooked the internal disturbances at the agency and schemed with Chen to evict Hung.
The Control Yuan also accused CNA of not devoting more attention to international news.
“As an important state-owned news agency and a source that provides the public with international news, CNA is seriously understaffed in terms of its overseas correspondents, with only 20 reporters in 21 cities around the world,” it said.
Chiang denied the allegations, saying he had not inteferred with either the agency’s administration or personal arrangements.
‧ Former CNA chairman Chen Shen-ching was criticized for his “arbitrary” and coercive management style.
‧ Ex-GIO minister Johnny Chiang was criticized for turning a blind eye to problems at CNA and plotting to get rid of its then-president.
‧ The GIO was criticized for not properly overseeing the Taiwan Broadcasting System.
State-owned Radio Taiwan International has also gone “in the wrong direction” as it continues to lay off its employees with expertise in foreign languages and Chinese dialects because of budget and personnel constraints, resulting in a loss of talent, the Control Yuan said.
The GIO was also found negligent in overseeing the Taiwan Broadcasting System, which is made up of the Public Television Service (PTS), Chinese Television System (CTS), Hakka TV, Taiwan Macroview TV and Taiwan Indigenous TV.
“It’s been eight months since the former PTS board members’ terms expired in December, but PTS hasn’t been able to bring legally elected new members to the board,” the Control Yuan members said.
The PTS has been embroiled in a management scandal since 2008, amid allegations of interference in the selection of its board members and operation by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government.
The two Control Yuan members also said the GIO failed to detect irregularities in the year-end performance bonuses given to then-CTS general manager Chen Jen-ran (陳正然) during his 2007 to 2009 term, when the company was in the red.