Tue, Sep 03, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Kuan cautiously hopeful on pushing pension reform

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Examination Yuan President John Kuan answers questions at a press conference in Taipei yesterday marking the current Examination Yuan’s fifth anniversary in office.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

With just a year left in the six-year tenure of the Examination Yuan committee members, Examination Yuan President John Kuan (關中) yesterday said he was neither pessimistic nor blindly optimistic about the ongoing pension reform for private-sector workers and civil servants, but still harbored hopes for positive changes to the system.

Kuan was speaking at a press conference held to mark the committee members’ fifth anniversary in office, which was also attended by Examination Yuan Vice President Wu Jin-lin (伍錦霖) and a number of government officials.

“Every draft bill proposed by the Examination Yuan over the years were drawn up with the public’s best interest in mind. They had no bearing on specific ideologies, nor were they meant to serve the interest of a certain political party,” Kuan said in response to media inquiries about the legislative deadlock over the proposed reform.

Citing its proposed amendment to the Civil Servants Evaluation Act (公務人員考績法) last year as an example, Kuan said opinion polls show strong public support for the proposal

If passed, the amendment would allow the government to dismiss civil servants who receive a “D” rating for performance — which are evaluated on a four-scale system that goes from A to D — or have received a “C” grade three times during their career.

Kuan said the fate of major amendments usually changed after they were submitted to the legislature for review, as most lawmakers tend to fixate and speak only for their own electoral constituents, rather than seeking to represent the interests of the general public.

“The pension reform may not be of great personal importance to lawmakers, but the Examination Yuan will keep doing what it believes is right,” Kuan said, adding that the beginning of each legislative session was also the beginning of the Examination Yuan’s endeavor to fight for justice.

Negotiations over the pension reform between the legislative branch and the nation’s highest governing body for personnel arrangement are still ongoing and lawmakers have completed the amendments regarding the pension systems of civil servants, Kuan said.

However, Kuan said opinions were divided on whether to reform the pension systems for civil servants and private-sector employees altogether, with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) opposing the idea and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in favor of the approach.

“Things may go more smoothly after the amendments concerning private-sector workers’ pension systems pass the legislative committee review,” Kuan added.

Turning to rampant corruption among civil servants, Kuan said he was deeply ashamed and saddened to learn that there were still corrupt public servants in the government.

“Corruption may have only limited effects on individuals, but it could bring profoundly adverse impacts to the nation as a whole and to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) so-called clean government,” Kuan said.

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