Public Television Service finally forms a new board

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jun 26, 2013 - Page 3

The new board of directors at the Public Television Service (PTS) was finally formed yesterday after the qualification review committee approved the nominations of four new directors.

Prior to the review session yesterday, the nation’s only public TV network had been unable to convene the board meeting for two-and-a-half years, because the government has four times failed to meet the minimum requirement regarding the number of directors.

According to the Public Television Act (公視法), the PTS board of directors must consist of 17 to 21 members.

The four nominees under review were former minister without portfolio Ovid Tseng (曾志朗), Acer founder Stan Shih (施振榮), former Government Information Office minister Shao Yu-ming (邵玉銘) and former DaAi TV director Eric Yao (姚仁祿). Their nominations won nearly unanimous approval during the first round of reviews, with Shih and Yao garnering the full support of the 15-member committee. Tseng and Shao secured 14 votes each.

Before the committee members began the review session yesterday morning, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) read a letter from a junior-high school student from Greater Kaohsiung. In her letter, the 14-year-old said that PTS has many good programs and that she hoped Lung understands the importance of PTS and does not handle the problem with the network’s board lightly.

“[The result] is a moment of victory for civic society in Taiwan. Starting today, the PTS has a clean and brand new start,” Lung said, adding that she could finally answer the letter and ask the girl to keep faith in the nation’s civic society.

“What the review committee members did today set an example for this 14-year-old child. Regardless of all the political schemes and frustrations that PTS had suffered in the past, each frustration holds a lesson to society,” she added.

Lung had previously indicated in the Legislative Yuan that she was least satisfied with the unresolved PTS problem, describing it as the nation’s “greatest international scandal.” She even said she regretted accepting her appointment as the nation’s first culture minister because of the controversies surrounding the public television service.

Regarding yesterday’s result, Lung thanked the legislative caucuses, members of the qualification review committee and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), as well as nominees who did not pass the qualification review.

She said the ministry has made the review sessions transparent to the public since it was officially formed last year, allowing the public to watch the entire review procedure online.

In the past, information about the nominees was only made available to the review committee members when they arrived for the session. Since the ministry’s establishment, the information was delivered to committee members before they attended the review session, Lung said.

The ministry also dismissed the lawsuits filed by the GIO against PTS management, she added.

Lung said she hoped that the board meeting could be convened in one month’s time, adding that some administrative procedures still need to be completed.

Regarding there being no board director representing the Hakka people or the employees of PTS, Lung said the Public Television Act does not list this specific requirement. However, she said she would communicate the issue to the PTS board and try to add new board directors.