Sat, Oct 01, 2016 - Page 3 News List

VAC executives’ salaries queried

By Aaron Tu  /  Staff reporter

Chairmen and top executives of Veterans Affairs Council (VAC) natural gas reinvestment businesses have drawn NT$2 million to NT$3 million (US$63,763 to US$95,645) annual salaries, despite none of the 15 entities showing a profit that would have required them to deposit into a provident fund, a report by the Legislative Yuan’s Budget Center said.

Article 12 of the Privately Owned Public Utilities Supervisory Act (民營公用事業監督條例) stipulates that when “the net income of privately owned public utilities exceeds 25 percent of the total paid-in capital, half of such excess amount shall be used for the betterment and expansion of the equipment, while the remaining half shall be the users’ provident fund in the event of a fee-reduction.”

Data provided by the council showed that of the 15 businesses, six chairmen and five chief executives are retired military officials.

Amid accusations that the firms are haboring “fat cats,” questions have been raised over whether the top-tier salaries are linked to performance and whether they are affecting profits.

Council Deputy Director Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) said the profitability of the natural gas reinvestment companies is higher than the reinvestment businesses of other government agencies and private natural gas companies, but the expenses have increased due to renovations and upgrades to pipelines, while natural gas prices have decreased greatly in the past few years.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said the council should put in place performance evaluation criteria for top executives to counter the appearance that the appointments are political rewards.

New Power Party Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said the council should undertake a review examining the qualifications of the executives.

Lee said the council is working on a performance evaluation system that would limit the term of a top executive director to three years and only those who score more than 90 points on a 100-point yearly evaluation could extend their terms.

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