Sat, Sep 21, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Nepotism tops list of violations: Control Yuan

By Lee Hsin-fan and Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporters

According to the Control Yuan’s statistics, 62 percent of violations of the Public Officials’ Conflicts of Interest Prevention Act (公職人員利益衝突迴避法) have resulted in fines since August 2008 and among them hiring family members as garbage collectors, janitors, drivers and temporary personnel were the most common cases.

Since the current Control Yuan members took their post in August 2008, fines due to illegal political donations have exceeded NT$100 million (US$3.4 million), with “excessive contribution by individuals” being the most common illegality.

The Control Yuan said other cases involved “non-property interests,” included Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁), who was fined NT$1 million for appointing his ex-wife as deputy commissioner, and former councilor of Greater Kaohsiung Tsai Ma-fu (蔡媽福), who was fined NT$1 million for pressuring the city government to employ his son.

Eighty-one percent of the violations involved individuals or their family members acquiring “non-property interests,” and 19 percent were about acquiring “property interests,” Control Yuan Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Hai-chuan (許海泉) said.

The Control Yuan’s Civil Servant Assets Declaration Reading Room said fines imposed for illegally gaining non-property interests have reached a total of NT$81.318 million.

A total of 574 cases of illegal political donations resulted in the imposition of NT$108.33 million in fines.

The Control Yuan said “excessive contribution by individuals” was the most common type of case related to political donations, accounting for 347 of 574 cases, followed by donations from businesses.

The Political Donations Act (政治獻金法) stipulates that individuals may not donate more than NT$100,000 to each candidate in one year and cannot donate more than NT$200,000 within a given year.

Statistics from the Control Yuan showed that media personality Sisy Chen (陳文茜) and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) have both been fined for excessive contribution of political donations.

It also said the percentage of false declarations have decreased from about 40 percent in 1993, when the Public Officials’ Conflicts of Interest Prevention Act was enacted, to between 5 percent and 10 percent at present.

There have been 110 cases of deliberate refusal to declare property between 2008 and last year, and many of the cases produced excuses such as spouses who are unwilling or unable to declare their property, but fines are still imposed in these cases if the individuals cannot provide sufficient evidence that the couple is legally separated, Hsu said.

In addition, some academics believe the current property declaration system has loopholes which may hinder its ability to discover all cases of bribery and corruption.

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