Sun, Sep 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Legislature to mull Cabinet restructuring

By Chung Li-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration after seven years seeks to finish restructuring the Executive Yuan by scheduling the draft organic acts for the remaining six ministries to be reviewed at the legislature’s next session, which is to convene on Sept. 22.

The 2010 amendment to the Organic Act of the Executive Yuan (行政院組織法) would consolidate the branch’s agencies into 27 from 36.

The six ministries would be for economics and energy; transportation and construction; agriculture; environmental protection and natural resources; the interior; as well as the Mainland Affairs Council.

The consolidation or removal of agencies led to the implementation of the Provisional Statute on the Adjustment of the Functions, Businesses and Organizations of the Executive Yuan (行政院功能業務與組織調整暫行條例) in 2012 to ensure that functionality is maintained.

However, the statute has been extended twice and would be in effect until the end of January next year, said a government official who declined to be named.

It is possible that the provisional statute would have to be extended again, the official added.

The Executive Yuan has sought to expedite the reorganization, announcing on Aug. 15 that the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission would be merged with other ministries by the end of this year and pledging the establishment of a marine affairs committee by April next year.

Premier Lin Chuan (林全) has said that restructuring under the former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government consisted of relocating or combining agencies.

“We should return to the real goal of the restructuring,” Lin said, referring to the Democratic Progressive Party’s proposed restructuring goal, which is based on function.

The would-be ministries of economics and energy, and of transportation and construction are not as complex, so plans for these units are to be expedited to the legislature, officials said.

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is to be upgraded into the ministry of environmental protection and natural resources, which would combine the management of national resources, climate change mitigation and soil and water conservation.

However, the EPA has contested the jurisdiction transfer of the Forestry Bureau and national parks, while the Council of Agriculture said that the production and conservation of forests could not be separated.

The Ministry of the Interior also protested, saying that national parks are not only for nature conservation, but are also vital for national defense and disaster relief.

Lin has asked them to settle jurisdictional disputes before the next meeting, the official said.

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