Mon, Feb 27, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Executive Yuan approves NAA document collection

SEARCHING FOR TRUTHA stack of documents from government agencies towering 300m is being digitally archived in response to calls for transitional justice

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporter

A guard stands to the side of the visitor registration counter of the National Archives Administration in Taipei on June 4, 2013.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The Executive Yuan has approved a request to collect and organize political documents for use in researching historical truth for transitional justice, with the National Archives Administration (NAA) to have access to documents relating to the 228 Incident, the White Terror era and the Formosa Incident from all government agencies, sources said.

The administration has been given an additional NT$29 million (US$946,166) to digitize files on political victims, their relatives and other related matters for public perusal or research, the sources added.

Administration director-general Lin Chiu-yen (林秋燕) said her agency in June last year requested that all government agencies to sort their files and transfer them to the administration.

The digitization of the documents, which would be about 300m high if piled up, is expected to take about three years and they could be used by governmental and non-governmental organizations to further transitional justice, Lin said.

The administration is cataloging, analyzing and scanning the files from about 70 government agencies, including the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Justice, she said.

Lin said the administration is trying to speed up the cataloging process and streamlining the search process in response to complaints from people unable to find information in the archives.

According to a source familiar with the matter, President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) priority for transitional justice reforms was the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例), to prevent the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) from transferring its properties for safekeeping.

The next task is to promote transitional justice in the legislature and establish a committee to investigate the 228 Incident and the White Terror, the source said.

The investigations would be supported by a “political archive act,” the draft bill for which has been listed at the top of the legislative agenda by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus, along with the bill for promoting transitional justice, according to the source, who added that the political archive bill would call for the collection of files held by the KMT.

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