President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged civil servants to be proactive in serving the best interests of the public and instructed the administrative branch to be more efficient as he defended the government’s structural reform.
“The government’s restructuring plan is a huge project. Some people have expressed concerns about the plan’s impact on elections, but we cannot stall the plan any further as it affects the nation’s overall competitiveness,” he said yesterday at the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) headquarters during a meeting of the KMT’s Central Standing Committee.
The committee had invited Research, Development and Evaluation Commission Minister Sung Yu-hsieh (宋餘俠) to present a report on the implementation of the restructuring plan.
The plan was created under the Organic Act of the Executive Yuan (行政院組織法) and the Basic Act Governing Central Administrative Agencies Organizations (中央行政機關組織基準法) and was approved by the legislature in February 2010.
Since last year, 13 agencies have completed restructuring. The ministries of education, defense and finance are to be restructured this year, while amendments to the laws governing the other 13 agencies await legislative approval.
The number of Cabinet-level agencies is to be cut from 37 to 29 through mergers, while the number of central government employees will be capped at 173,000, down from 223,000, and agencies’ units will also be restructured.
Ma said the public are concerned about the influence of the restructuring plan on the politics, administrative efficiency and service of the public sector, and it is crucial that the government examine the impact of the plan from such perspectives.
“Our service in the public sector should meet the needs of the people, and we expect civil servants to take a more active role and abandon the old attitude of avoiding mistakes by doing less. It is the government’s duty to seek greater benefits for the people,” he said.