Sun, May 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ministry fails to recall overpaid KMT salaries

NEGLIGENCE:DPP Legislator Lai Jui-lung said the Ministry of Civil Service has only managed to inform 270 overpaid officials that their account totals need to be confirmed

By Chen Yu-fu  /  Staff reporter

Pan-green lawmakers slammed the Ministry of Civil Service for failing to recall excess salaries that the government had paid to former and incumbent Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials who doubled as civil servants during the party-state era, as the one-year deadline set by lawmakers in April last year expired on Friday.

The Legislative Yuan last year passed an amendment to the Act on the Settlement of the Combination of Years of Service in Public Sector and Political Organizations (公職人員年資併社團專職人員年資計發退離給與處理條例), which stipulates that the ministry should by May 11 this year reclaim overpaid salaries to KMT officials who held public office.

Notable among the officials are former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), former Executive Yuan president John Kuan (關中) and former Taichung mayor Jason Hu (胡志強).

The ministry has been unable to reclaim even one cent from the KMT officials over the past 12 months, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The ministry only late last month sent the Bank of Taiwan a letter, asking it for information on the amount of interest received by 270 KMT officials under the preferential interest rate of 18 percent paid to savings accounts of civil servants hired before 1995, the source said, adding that of those officials, 250 are civil servants and 20 are political appointees.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) accused the ministry of negligence over its failure to ascertain by Friday’s deadline how much the government overpaid the KMT members.

Lai said the ministry has only managed to issue a statement to the 270 that says: “Due to salary adjustments and changes in the preferential interest rate system and deposits in each individual’s Bank of Taiwan account, the actual figures [of excess pay] can only be confirmed after further investigation.”

Kuan used to oversee the ministry as Executive Yuan president, which could have attributed to ministry officials’ inefficiency in recalling excess payments, possibly out of concern of having a fallout with their former boss, Lai said, adding that if this were true, officials behind the postponement must be held accountable.

He urged the ministry to reclaim the excess payments as soon as possible, saying that its handling of the issue has disregarded last year’s legislation and goes against public expectations.

Lien in his 44-month term as the head of the KMT’s Public Service Association was overpaid at least NT$9 million (US$302,287), while Kuan and Hu — each of whom doubled as salaried KMT officials for about 10 years — were overpaid about NT$10 million and NT$8 million respectively, an estimate by the DPP legislative caucus showed.

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