Mon, May 20, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Control Yuan slams PTS board progress

By Lin Shu-hui and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Control Yuan on Thursday censured both the Executive Yuan and the Ministry of Culture for severe oversight over the delay in electing Public Television Service (PTS) board members

The station’s board of directors has not been able to function effectively for more than two years because of a lack of quorum and disputes over nominees.

The Public Television Act (公視法) stipulates that the board can only function when there are between 17 and 21 directors.

Currently there are only eight board members, including three that passed the review process last year.

The Control Yuan said the Executive Yuan has willfully set the matter aside, despite repeated petitions by former Government Information Office (GIO) ministers Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) and Philip Yang (楊永明), adding that the unexplained delay was grounds enough for such a censure.

The now-disbanded GIO had already been warned in August 2011, the Control Yuan added.

The Control Yuan’s censure said that despite the Executive Yuan’s decision to bring up the issue in February last year after the combined presidential and legislative elections, it failed to submit a list of nominees until June last year, two months after the Legislative Yuan had formed a review committee.

The Executive Yuan has also failed to push for more nominations after the review committee selected three board members in August last year, the Control Yuan said, adding that candidates to fill the remaining slots were not put forward until January.

Not only has the Executive Yuan made no further nominations, it also has not checked on the progress of candidate reviews, the censure said.

The Executive Yuan’s “passive and negligent attitude” toward the issue constitutes “a serious negligence of duty,” the Control Yuan added.

It also said that the ministry — as the TV station’s direct supervisor — was making the nation a laughing stock due to the slow pace of its administrative processes.

Commenting on the matter, PTS Union director Wang Yen-chieh (王燕杰) said the union hoped that the vacant board seats could be filled as soon as possible.

There are a lot of issues that require decisions, but they cannot be attended to because the board of directors remains incomplete, Wang said, adding that the union wished to have one of its own members on the board to ensure that “the PTS is well balanced.”

“We would ensure that the union’s representative has no affiliation to any political party,” Wang said, adding that the union only wanted a more transparent understanding of how the decision-making process of the PTS board works.

A PTS staff member who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Of course, the faster we make a decision on board members the quicker we can restore our image in the eyes of the public. Although the board is not instrumental to many of the PTS’ operations, it is a key part of the decision-making process for many key policies.”

In response to the censure, Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wen (鄭麗文) said the Executive Yuan continues to mediate any differences within the Ministry of Culture on the issue of PTS board members.

“We regret to hear that the board still lacks the number of members to function effectively,” Cheng said, adding that the Executive Yuan would back any motion by the ministry to amend laws if the problem stems from the legal system.

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