As Control Yuan members seek to reopen inquiries into past political scandals, their requests for archive materials are blocked by opaque administrative rules, several Control Yuan members told the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister paper of the Taipei Times).
Over the past two months, none of the requests to peruse records of closed cases have been granted by the Control Yuan’s bureaucrats, a member said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Some of my colleagues suspect that the Control Yuan is stymieing investigations that touch upon [former president] Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) Taipei mayorship and his presidency,” the member said.
Control Yuan member Chang Wu-hsiu (張武修) said the institution does not allows direct access to its digital archive, except for Department of Supervisory Operations and Department of Supervisory Investigations personnel.
Internal rules require that all requests by Control Yuan members to see documents and records be forwarded to, and approved by, bureaucrats in these departments, he said.
“The procedures ostensibly exist to protect secrecy. In reality, they exist to obstruct unwanted investigations,” Chang said.
Another Control Yuan member, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that bureaucrats had blocked her request to examine past inquiries into official malfeasance, which she said might have been improperly conducted.
The records concern inquires on Fubon Bank’s buyout of Taipei Bank, the MeHAS City (美河市) urban renewal project and the Taipei Dome project, aspects of which touch on Ma’s Taipei mayorship, she said.
“If the investigations were fine, then what is there to be afraid of?” she asked.
Denying access to archived materials is an unconstitutional infringement on the Control Yuan’s right to peruse state records, she said.
The Control Yuan’s original inquiry into Fubon Bank’s acquisition of Taipei Bank was interrupted when Ma took office as president and refused to renominate the lead investigator in the case, then-Control Yuan member Ma Hsiu-ju (馬秀如), she said.
The Control Yuan’s investigations into the MeHas City scandal only resulted in the censure of two minor officials, who had worked for then-Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), she said.
“The development project cost the city NT$11 billion [US$377 million] in rights,” she said. “The number of zeroes in that figure clearly shows this was not a matter that two minor bureaucrats could have decided for themselves.”
The Control Yuan opened 10 inquiries into the Taipei Dome scandal, but none of its probes looked into the roles then-mayor Ma Ying-jeou or his city government could have played, she said.
“The blanks in the investigation cannot be filled until records are examined,” she said.
Control Yuan member Chao Yung-chin (趙永清) said that many of his colleagues wanted to reopen the case of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, but found their requests for documents blocked.
To open a new inquiry, Control Yuan members first needed to find out what previous investigations had covered, but this was impossible, as the records were sealed, Chao said.
Legislators are similarly denied access to the Control Yuan archives, he said.
Control Yuan Secretary-General Fu Meng-jung (傅孟融) said that regulations regarding records are complex, but the institution’s staff is “looking into” giving members more latitude in using the archive.
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