Control Yuan Secretary-General Chen Feng-yi (陳豐義) yesterday rebutted a media report that he had led a group of senior officials of the watchdog body on a government-paid junket under the pretext of educational training.
The controversy centers on a National Audit Office ban on the use of public money by public servants at all levels of government to pay for their travel expenses in the name of public causes.
In its latest issue, published yesterday, the Chinese-language Next Magazine reported that Chen had led a group of 23 officials on a two-day trip to Taitung County beginning on Saturday, which cost NT$100,000.
The group toured the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area in Taitung County, the Sazasa Forest Museum and other resort areas, where they engaged in activities such as hiking and biking, but did not attend any training courses, the report said.
In response, Chen said the tour was meant to inspire the public servants to create new ideas and to encourage them to show humanity.
Instead of sitting through classroom lectures, as is conventionally done, providing public servants with opportunities to get close to nature and to interact with local residents was a better educational experience to achieve the goals, Chen said.
The expenses were mostly reimbursed by allowance funds designated for Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien and Control Yuan Vice President Chen Jinn-lih (陳進利), he said.