Thu, Jan 22, 2015 - Page 4 News List

Ministries wage war over office space

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday rebuffed attempts by the Ministry of Justice to expropriate land and office space in downtown Taipei, with the wrangling said to involve the Presidential Office and other leading government figures.

To defend its territory from incursion by justice ministry agencies, senior defense ministry officials insisted on the need to protect national security and ensure public safety in the area around the Presidential Office Building in the Boai Special District (博愛特區), which has a high concentration of government buildings.

Turning down the request from the justice ministry, Major General Huang Te-hsiao (黃德孝) from the Armaments Bureau yesterday said it should seek office space elsewhere.

The dispute over office space arose after the defense ministry’s headquarters, agencies and units, which used to be located in the Boai Special District, moved to a new office compound in Dazhi (大直).

Citing a shortage of office space, Minister of Justice Luo Ying Shay (羅瑩雪) reportedly lobbied the Presidential Office and senior government officials to expropriate the defense ministry’s Zhongai Military Compound (忠愛營區), which lies next to the offices of the justice ministry and its agencies, in a block bound by Boai Road and Aiguo W Road.

Earlier media reports said Luo had sought several meetings last year with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and then-premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) to lobby for more office space, including taking over part or all of the Zhongai compound after the defense ministry moves.

A decision was not made at the time, and a special task force was set up to serve as a communication platform for the two ministries. However, negotiations have gone nowhere, as the justice ministry has insisted on its demand, while the defense ministry has refused to yield.

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