Is President Chen implicated in any of the scandals that have surrounded him lately? Who knows. However, it’s encouraging to see that there are real investigations going on into these cases – which will hold a lot more weight than the rantings of a random legislator.
Officials from the Ministry of Audit (MOA) went to the Presidential Office yesterday to audit the expense accounts and determine if there were any irregularities as alleged by opposition lawmakers.
Spokesman Wang Yung-hsing at the MOA under the Control Yuan said two officials holding the position as section chiefs at the ministry spent two hours at the Presidential Office in the afternoon to exchange views on how the audit operations will proceed.
He said the two will return today to look into the invoices, receipts, and accounting books related to the distribution of gift vouchers of department stores and other expenses made by President Chen Shui-bian, his family and other officials. The audit operations are focused on if “government employees” had engaged in “disloyal and illegal actions” when using the fund, he explained.
Hold on. The corruption charges are being investigated by a ministry under the control of the Control Yuan? That’s the branch of government that hasn’t had any members for 18 months due to the Legislature’s obstruction. A little bit worrying that the people tasked with rooting out corruption have noone to report to or to tell them what to investigate.
Luckily, the news article points out we don’t have to rely solely on the Control Yuan to hunt down corruption:
Meanwhile, prosecutor Lin Pang-liang at the Taipei Prosecutors Office said prosecutors have almost finished checking a batch of gift vouchers issued by Pacific Sogo Department Store Co.
Err … there’s a problem here too. The role of public prosecutor-general (i.e. the most senior prosecutor, which presumably the Taipei Prosecutors Office is answerable to) is also vacant. 2 months ago, the nomination for this post was blocked by (you guessed it) the Legislature. President Chen has since nominated someone different, but the pan-Blues are also threatening to block him too. In a bizare twist, the PFP have promised to block any nomination to this post, on the basis that the DPP is too corrupt.
So, the two major bodies investigating (pan-Blue) allegations of corruption against the President both have no leadership because of (pan-Blue) obstruction. The MOA and the prosecutors can still do a job – but it hardly helps them that the people whose allegations they’re investigating are also actively hindering their work.