Wed, Sep 28, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Former lawmaker calls for reforms to aid in oversight

POWER GRAB:Lin Cho-shui said because the Control Yuan can’t remove officials from office, the legislature should have the ability to act on Control Yuan reports

Staff Writer, with CNA

Former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) said comprehensive reform of the legislature and Control Yuan is needed to maximize the investigative power of government institutions and improve the quality of public agencies.

According to Lin, a legislative body is supposed to have supervisory power. However, the legislature is limited to lawmaking, while the task of supervision falls to the Control Yuan, he said.

However, the Control Yuan, the watchdog arm of the government, has limited power over misconduct in government agencies, he said at a seminar on legislative reform held on Sunday by the Taiwan Thinktank.

The legislature was listed in the July/August issue of the US magazine Foreign Policy among a group of global governing bodies that failed to work properly.

Lin said although the legislature has been through a few reforms, the changes have produced either limited improvements or negative results that required further reform.

He said internally, the frequent rotation of lawmakers among different legislative committees should be discontinued. This would give legislators a chance to focus on one area, he added.

He further suggested that each legislative committee have one convener instead of two.

In terms of institutional changes, both the legislature and the Control Yuan should be able to exercise investigative powers and a hearing system should be established for ongoing investigations into official misconduct, he said.

The legislature should also build a fair electoral system and clearly define the rights and powers of each government institution, Lin said.

Although the Control Yuan has the right to impeach officials and censure government offices for inappropriate behavior, it does not have the power to remove anyone from their position, Lin said.

He said the legislature should amend the Control Act (監察法) to allow lawmakers to handle matters after receiving investigative reports from the Control Yuan.

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