Wed, May 30, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Military unit denies overspending on Sun Moon Lake trip

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Armed Forces Reserve Command was yesterday accused of spending more than NT$1 million (US$33,750) on a luxury tour for more than 150 retired generals and their families. The agency has denied any wrongdoing.

The command, a unit under the Ministry of National Defense, organized a tour scheduled yesterday and today to various sight-seeing spots and institutions in central Taiwan for about 180 retired generals and their families.

Media reports said the tour cost more than NT$1 million, with participants checking in at a luxury hotel in Nantou County’s Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) and the ministry mobilizing more than 100 military personnel for the trip.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) accused the agency of squandering public funds at a time when most people are struggling to make ends meet and suffering from rising prices.

General Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正), commander of the reserves, said the activity was organized according to the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) and the families of the retired generals paid for the trip, adding that the trip was part of the annual training course for reserve military personnel.

The average expense for each reserve general for the two-day trip is about NT$6,000, which is reasonable, Chiu said.

Ministry spokesperson David Lo (羅紹和) said as many as 35 similar tours had been held regularly in the past, regardless of which political party was in power.

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