Fri, Jan 23, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Watchdog criticizes lawmakers’ efforts to monitor budget

By Lii Wen  /  Staff reporter

Lawmakers’ attentiveness toward monitoring the government’s budget has reached a “new low,” watchdog Citizen Congress Watch (CCW) said yesterday, a day before the legislature’s current session comes to an end.

As of yesterday morning, legislators had slashed a total of NT$1.9 billion (US$60.17 million) from government budget proposals since the current legislative session began in September last year — the lowest amount in the past three years.

Given that budget proposals that went under review during the current session add up to more than NT$1.9 trillion, less than 0.1 percent of the proposed budget was rejected, CCW chairman Shih Hsin-min (施信民) said.

In anticipation of their next semi-annual report on individual legislators’ performance, which is to be published in March, the group yesterday released attendance records of the legislators over the past legislative session.

According to statistics compiled by the group, three legislators showed up for less than half of the meetings they were required to attend, including the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Weng Chung-chun (翁重鈞) and Lin Tsang-min (林滄敏), as well as the Democratic Progressive Party’s Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻).

They also released a list of legislators who failed to engage in inquiry sessions with government officials as required, including six legislators who were found to fulfill less than 10 percent of their inquiry duties — the KMT’s Lin Tsang-min, Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠), Yen Kuan-heng (顏寬恒), Weng Chung-chun, Alex Tsai (蔡正元) and Non-Partisan Solidarity Union legislator May Chin (高金素梅).

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