Mon, Jan 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Intelligence official quits over claims

ALLEGATIONS:A high-level source said that the nation’s main intelligence agency has made repeated mistakes, misappropriated funds and has left important positions unfilled

By Lo Tien-pin and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

National Security Bureau Third Department Director Wang Shao-pai (王少白) has accepted responsibility for alleged mistakes in the daily national security briefing and tendered his resignation, a high-level source said on Saturday.

The “National Security Daily” (國安日報) is a generic term for the bureau’s daily compilation of important international, cross-strait and domestic intelligence, which contains time-sensitive and highly sensitive information and is only distributed to the president, vice president, premier and a select number of high-level government officials.

In a recent National Security Daily, a member of the bureau’s third department mistakenly attributed a politician’s criticism of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to a legislator who accompanied Tsai on last year’s visit to the nation’s diplomatic allies in the South Pacific, said the high-level source, speaking on condition of anonymity

A summary of the criticism was included in the written daily national security briefing, but the mistake was pointed out and corrected by the Presidential Office on the same day, the source said, adding that the office requested that the bureau look into the incident and address it.

The mistakes in the National Security Daily were caught by one of the high-level officials, the source said.

The incident makes clear that bureau’s internal control mechanisms are flawed and the problems did not develop overnight, as its internal control mechanisms have repeatedly failed, the source said.

Not only did the National Audit Office in a random check find many shortcomings in the bureau’s handling of funds allocated toward intelligence, but it even botched the daily national security briefing, which must be handled with the utmost care, the source said.

To stop the incident from leaking, bureau Director-General Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹) last week approved sudden personnel adjustments, the source said.

Bureau Secretariat Director Wang Chun-yi (王春益) is to take over the position of third department director, who oversees domestic intelligence gathering, the source said.

As Wang also holds the position of public relations office director, which is assigned on an ad hoc basis and whose duties cover interacting with the Legislative Yuan and the press, the bureau has already appointed a senior government official who is familiar with these fields to take over the position of secretariat director, the source added.

The behavior of the bureau over the past few years has been difficult for high-level government officials to understand, the source said.

Many important positions in the bureau have been left unfilled for as long as a year, the source said, adding that this complicated the bureau’s national security and intelligence-gathering duties.

The bureau has been unable to reassure high-level government officials about the quantity and quality of its national security intelligence, the source said.

During ad hoc meetings and budget reviews at the Legislative Yuan, lawmakers across party lines have requested that the bureau address the situation, but the results have been unsatisfactory, the source said.

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