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Culture Ministry to be latest addition in government overhaul

2012/05/12 20:20:17

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) Taiwan will open a new Ministry of Culture and a revamped Aviation Safety Council on May 20 while the Government Information Office (GIO) will be shut down for good in the latest phase of a campaign to overhaul the structure of its government.

The Executive Yuan began on Jan. 1 an organizational restructuring process that will cut the number of Cabinet-level agencies from 37 to 29, leaving 14 ministries, eight councils, three independent commissions and four other agencies, including the National Palace Museum and the Central Bank.

The Ministry of Culture will be created through an upgrade of the existing Council for Cultural Affairs and the GIO, which was established in 1947 to publicize Taiwan at home and abroad and regulate the local media and film industry.

The Culture Ministry will take over the GIO's operations in the broadcasting, publishing and film industry sectors, said Sung Yu-hsia, a deputy chief of the Research Development and Evaluation Commission that has orchestrated the government overhaul.

Other GIO services will be taken over by the Executive Yuan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said.

Sung also noted that the new ministry will begin its operations on a trial basis on Sunday to see what improvements are needed.

Since assuming office on May 20, 2008, President Ma Ying-jeou has promoted streamlining the government, and an amendment to the Organic Act of the Executive Yuan paving the way for the reform process cleared the Legislative Yuan on Jan. 12, 2010.

The revised act took effect on Jan. 1 this year, and since then the agencies listed have been activated once the Legislature has passed amendments to their individual organic acts.

So far, eight out of the 29 agencies have been re-opened in their adjusted form.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)