暫行條例出爐,「精省」大勢底定

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1998 / 10月

文‧陳妙鈴



關乎我國政府效率、國家生存發展以及競爭力的政府再造工程,九月有了突破。「台灣省政府功能業務與組織調整暫行條例」,已於九月七日經行政院第三次精省會議通過,立法院則預計在怳諲怳迨擗T讀通過,精省法源已邁出第一步。

去年七月,國民與民進兩黨於修憲時達成共識:今年怳G月二怳@日展開精省工作。不過由於精省工程浩大,立法、修法曠日費時,省方的反彈聲浪又不絕於耳,期間風波不斷。

宋楚瑜以省長身分多次向中央提出建言,強調省府的功能與省民的權益。部分省府員工也組成員工權益自救聯盟,八月二怳C日動員一千多人,以「安定中求進步、理性中爭情理」為訴求,集結走上街頭。

一年多來,省與中央雖然出發點一致,卻因立場不同,經常處於對壘狀態。宋楚瑜在對省議會做最後一次施政報告時強調,省府員工和他深切體認並支持政府再造與精簡的需要,但是精省絕不能等於是「廢省」、「虛省」、「凍省」或是「不要省」;再者省府公務員都通過國家考試、依法晉用,應考量到他們的權益與感受。

對於省府的訴求,政府高層除了強調,精省絕非廢省、凍省,也具體提出優厚的員工權益保障辦法。內政部長黃主文甚至說,精省條例草案已對省府員工權益多所保障,例如服務滿二怞~以上、提前退休者,可以加發怳G個月俸給總額,以及凍結中央與省府有關人事,以安置省府員工等,若是省府員工還不滿意,他願意不拿一分錢辭職下台。

不過這些紛紛擾擾隨著宋楚瑜與總統李登輝、行政院長蕭萬長等中央高層多次溝通,「台灣省政府功能業務與組織調整暫行條例」(簡稱精省條例)日前於行政院順利通過,事態愈來愈明朗。

經過三次精省會議的討論,精省條例共有二怳G條條文。其中第怳@到怳E條,是關於省府員工的去留、安置、退休、資遣給與等辦法,其他則是關於省府未來的組織架構、功能業務以及資產與負債的處理方式。

未來省政府與其所屬機關或學校,將予以精簡、整併、改隸、改制、裁撤或移轉民營。原業務則視情況自行辦理,或分別調整移轉中央相關機關或台灣省各縣(市)政府辦理。

由於省府精簡之後,許多業務轉移給縣市,各縣市長無不對此高度重視。行政院因此由內政部出面,邀集縣市長,聽取意見。

許多縣市長認為,應增設兩位副縣市長,一級主管應全部改為政務官。台北縣長蘇貞昌則認為,行政院與各縣市應增設協調會報,增加互動,公文往來也不應再受省府牽制。

而業務方面,花蓮縣長王慶豐指出,水資源分配、垃圾處理、社會福利等全國事務,為免地方政府本位主義造成紛爭,應由中央統籌;至於因地制宜的都市計劃則應劃歸地方。

至於省精簡之後,行政區域是否該重新劃分,許多縣市長都認為,省轄市應取消,桃園縣長呂秀蓮認為,應將現有行政區域打破,重新依人口數多寡,分成「市、縣」兩級制。

對於縣市長的諸多建議,行政院長蕭萬長指出,目前二怳@縣市的自治條件不同,行政區域是有必要重新調整,不過行政區域劃分法草案尚未三讀通過,取代省縣自治法的「地方制度法」也尚未定案,因此還有待立院加速審議。

財政也是各縣市長討論的重點,多位縣市長認為,部分稅收應優先分配給地方,並且極力爭取非公用省產留給地方。而支出方面,包括嘉義市長張博雅、高雄縣長余政憲等人都認為,國民教育、警政、消防、社會福利等全國性支出,應由中央負擔。

不過,根據日前通過的精省條例,省有公用財產將依機關改隸一併移轉,非公用財產除省府保留者,其餘由國家承受,而省府負債部分也將由國家承受。稅收方面,財政部的聲明指出,省的預算將納入中央政府總預算,至於營業稅將改成國稅,直接由中央移撥給各縣市。

不過財政到底如何劃分,蕭萬長已保證,行政院一定會在怳G月前將「財政收支劃分法」、「地方制度法」送達立院。省的定位是否為公法人也必須儘快釐清,若台灣省非公法人,則省營事業未來將由國家管理。目前省與內政部仍各持論點、僵持不下,仍待大法官會議解釋。

精省列車已緩緩開動,蕭萬長強調,政府五怞~來的體制幾乎沒變,幅員狹小的台灣就有四級政府,為了迎接挑戰,所以必須政府再造。除了「台灣省政府功能業務與組織調整暫行條例」,未來還有「中央政府機關組織基準法」、「總員額法」、「行政院組織法」、「地方制度法」四項基本法待完成,再造之路雖然迢遙,政府正在加緊腳步、向前邁進。

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為了確保利益不被犧牲,省府員工集結走上街頭。(本刊資料)

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近期文章

EN

Temporary Provisions Set Direction for Provincial Government "Streamlining"

Marlene Chen /tr. by David Toman


In September, a breakthrough was ef-fected in the "government reorganization project" that will have tremendous impact on government efficiency, as well on as national fitness and competitiveness. On September 7, the third "Provincial Streamlining Work Meeting" of the Executive Yuan passed the "Temporary Provisions Governing Streamlining the Functions and Organization of the Taiwan Provincial Government." With expected ratification of the "Provisions" by the Legislative Yuan on October 15, the legal basis for provincial government streamlining shall thus be in place.

The Kuomintang (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) reached common ground on the provincial government issue during constitutional revision sessions held in July 1997. As a result, government streamlining work will officially commence on December 21, 1998. Nevertheless, due to the magnitude of the task, the time-consuming legislative and constitutional processes, and constant backlashes from the provincial government, the road to streamlining has thus far been fraught with difficulty.

Provincial governor James Soong has on multiple occasions addressed comments to the central government, stressing the functions of the provincial government and the rights and interests of his constituents. A number of provincial government employees banded together to form an employees' rights self-help league, taking to the streets on August 27th to deliver their message of "seeking progress amidst stability, appealing for empathy with reason."

Despite common starting points, the provincial and central governments have often found themselves at loggerheads over the past year or more. During his final work report to the provincial assembly, Governor James Soong stressed that both he and provincial government employees deeply appreciate and support the need for government reorganization and streamlining, but that provincial government streamlining cannot be taken as the equivalent of "dismantling," "hollowing out," "freezing," or for that matter "rejection" of the provincial government. Further, he added that provincial government civil servants have all been retained according to law via national civil service examinations, and as such deserve due consideration of their rights and feelings.

In response to provincial government appeals, high-level central government officials have not only stressed that provincial streamlining does not equal eradication or freezing of the provincial government, but have also introduced generous measures to protect the interests of provincial government employees. Minister of the Interior Huang Chu-wen took these promises one step further, stating on August 25 that the draft bill of the streamlining provisions contains multiple safeguards for provincial government workers' rights and privileges, including early retirement for those with 20 years of service, 12 months in additional severance pay per worker, and a freeze on new recruitment of central and provincial government personnel, so as to allow subsequent placement of provincial government employees. If, despite these safeguards, provincial government employees remain dissatisfied, Huang said he would be willing to step down from his post without pay.

While much hubbub has surrounded several high-level discussions Soong has held with President Lee Teng-hui and Premier Vincent Siew, with the recent passage of the "Temporary Provisions Governing Streamlining the Functions and Organization of the Taiwan Provincial Government" by the Executive Yuan, the situation is taking shape.

In the future, the provincial government and its constituent agencies and schools will be downsized, merged, reassigned jurisdiction, reorganized, dismantled, or turned over to private operation. Former provincial government tasks shall be handled case-by-case, or assigned to relevant departments in the central government, or various counties and municipalities of Taiwan Province.

Given that following downsizing, numerous tasks will be handed over to local governments, county magistrates and city mayors are naturally deeply interested in related developments. Consequently, the Ministry of the Interior has solicited opinions from county and city chiefs on behalf of the Executive Yuan.

A number of county magistrates and city mayors feel that in response to increased burdens, each county or city administration should be alloted two deputy administrators, and that top-level civil administrators should be appointed by the local elected officials. Taipei County magistrate Su Chen-chang holds that the Executive Yuan and local counties and cities should each establish mediation task forces to facilitate interaction with the Executive Yuan and speed the flow of documents by bypassing the provincial government.

Where former provincial government tasks are concerned, Hualien County magistrate Wang Ching-feng notes that in order to prevent local governments from causing tensions due to local parochialism where national issues such as water resource allocation, refuse treatment, and social welfare are concerned, the central government should exercise jurisdiction. On the other hand, Wang believes that such tasks as city planning are best left to local authorities.

As for whether or not administrative regions should be redrawn following provincial streamlining, many county magistrates and city mayors favor the wholesale elimination of provincial jurisdiction. Taoyuan County magistrate Annette Lu believes that existing administrative regions should be thrown out, and a two-tier system of counties and cities on the one hand and the central government on the other should be established, with the boundaries of the counties and cities re-drawn according to population.

In response to suggestions by county magistrates and city mayors, premier Vincent Siew notes that conditions of administrative autonomy vary among Taiwan's 21 counties and cities, and that while it is necessary to readjust administrative zones, the draft bill on administrative regional zoning that would supercede the "local government organization provisions" under the Provincial and County Government Self-government Law has yet to be passed, necessitating accelerated review by the Legislative Yuan.

Financial administration is also a main focus of discussion among local county and city chiefs, most of whom hold the opinion that priority allocation of a portion of tax revenues should be given to local authorities. Meanwhile, they are also fighting hard for non-public property currently held by the provincial government to be put in the hands of local authorities. As for expenditures, prominent elected officials including Chiayi City mayor Chang Po-ya and Kaohsiung County magistrate Yu Cheng-hsien agree that expenditures for areas that in Taiwan are governed by central agencies-including education, police administration, fire fighting, and social welfare-should fall under central government responsibility.

Nevertheless, according to the recently passed provisions on provincial government streamlining, public property held by the provincial government will be transferred in line with reassignment of administrative jurisdiction, and non-public property will be assumed by the state except where it will continue to be held by the provincial government. As for tax revenue, the Ministry of Finance declared that the provincial government budget will be incorporated into the overall central government budget, while provincial sales tax will become national tax, to be allocated directly by the central government to local cities and counties.

Premier Siew gave assurances that the details of financial administration will be ironed out no later than December 1. The question of whether the provincial government will assume the status of a public corporation must also be worked out as soon as possible. If Taiwan Province does take on such a status, then administration of provincial enterprises will be assumed by the state. At this time, provincial authorities and the Ministry of the Interior hold diverging views on this issue, and it will be up to a Council of Grand Justices to settle the impasse with a legal interpretation.

With provincial government streamlining slowly getting underway, Premier Vincent Siew stresses that over the past 50 years the bulky four-tier government structure of tiny Taiwan has hardly changed. Hence in order to confront the challenges at hand, government reorganization must be undertaken. In addition to the "Temporary Provisions Governing Streamlining the Functions and Organization of the Taiwan Provincial Government," other basic legal frameworks must be established. Siew said that while the road to reorganization is long, the government is striding forward at an accelerated pace.

p.50

Hoping to protect their interests, provincial government workers take to the streets.

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