Saturday, September 03, 2005

David and The Five Yuans

Taiwan's government has five administrative branches (yuan): the Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan, Control Yuan, Judicial Yuan, and Examination Yuan. Most of us understand the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial because they are similar to the structures in various Western countries, but are kind of puzzled about the role of the Examination and Control Yuans.

The Examination Yuan presides over civil servants.
Specifically, the Examination Yuan oversees examination; qualification screening; security of tenure; pecuniary aid in case of death; retirement of civil servants; and all legal matters relating to the employment, discharge, performance evaluation, scale of salaries, promotion, transfer, commendation, and award of civil servants... Under the Examination Yuan are the Ministry of Examination, the Ministry of Civil Service, the Civil Service Protection and Training Commission, and the Supervisory Board of the Public Service Pension Fund. [source]

The Control Yuan is in charge of 'corrective measures' against government organizations and officials, including the powers to audit, censure, and impeach. In 2000, the Control Yuan lost its authority to impeach the President or VP but still lists it as one of its powers.

Why explain all of this? David at Jujuflop blogged on a problem back in April:
The Legislative, Executive, Judical and Examination bodies are functioning as you would expect, but the Control Yuan has been stuck in limbo since the previous incumbents left office at the end of January. The problem is that the members of the Control Yuan are proposed by the President, and this is then ratified by the Legislature... unfortunately when (pan-Green) President Chen proposed a list of members to the (pan-Blue controlled) Legislature, they refused to ratify it. Until agreement is reached, the government will continue to operate without one of its core bodies.
So the body in charge of auditing and impeaching government officials is in limbo. I guess it could be worse, they could be renegade. Limbo is better than renegade, right?

A little over a week ago, David linked to an article from the China Post:
In its press release, the Control Yuan stressed that although the new-term members of the yuan have yet to be sworn in, the yuan has been dealing with petition cases from the public in accordance with a set of provisional guidelines on how to settle the petition cases before the new members take office.
Maybe renegade is the word for it after all, but these mysterious 'provisional' workers wouldn't leave scary enough alone. Yesterday, David noted:
As noted before, the Control Yuan doesn't exist. This hasn't stopped it auditing charities and government bodies. It also hasn't stopped it being proposed for a hefty 12% increase in its budget.
This is certainly an issue worthy of continuing attention. If you don't already read One Whole Jujuflop Situation on a regular basis for its top-notch political commentary, you should certainly start, because he is the place to go for this issue and many more.