A man from Ji-an Township (吉安), Hualien County, accused the county’s Environmental Protection Bureau of administrative inefficiency, after being recently fined by the bureau for littering a cigarette butt — an infraction which he committed about two years ago.
“The administrative inefficiency of Taiwan’s government is utterly unbelievable. I have been divorced, then remarried, and even sold my car [during the two-year period,]” the resident, surnamed Han (韓), said.
At 4:59pm on Aug. 22, 2010, Han was throwing a cigarette butt from his car window when an informant captured his infraction with a video recorder.
However, Han did not receive a ticket for his illegal action until Thursday last week, a lengthy delay that greatly vexed the transgressor.
In response to Han’s accusations and grievances, Hualien County Environmental Protection Bureau Deputy Director Jao Jui-ling (饒瑞玲) yesterday apologized for the lengthy delay, which she said was attributed to the time the informant took to make the report.
Reports of infractions are deemed valid if they are made within three years from the date when the illegal act is committed, Jao said, citing Article 27 of the Administrative Penalty Act (行政罰法).
“At present, only one official at the environmental bureau is in charge of the matter, while the amount of reported cases it receives can pile up to as many as 1,000 within a given period,” Jao said.
Jao added that the sole investigator was required to closely look into each of the cases and to communicate with relevant government departments to acquire personal information for every one of the perpetrators. This can make the processing time for each case extremely long.
“That is why some people may wait for as long as two years after committing an infringement to receive a violation ticket,” she said.
In bid to address the matter, the environmental bureau has adopted an amendment to the Rewards for Report of Violations of the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物檢舉獎勵辦法), mandating that informants to be rewarded only for violations reported no later than three months after they have been committed, an official at the bureau said.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, Staff Writer