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A Study on the Relationship between the Independent Agency and Congress in Taiwan –The Case of the Fair Trade Commission
Chen, Wen-Cheng Ph.D.
Fair Trade Commission
The main characteristics of an independent agency are independency and professionalism. To cope with the government reform, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), one of nation’s independent agencies, has been under a series of reorganization works recently, including law amendment and institutional restructuring. This essay will examine the relationship between independent agencies and the Congress. Recommendations will be also proposed to the FTC on how to enhance the independency and strengthen the relationship with the Legislative Yuan (Congress). The thesis will be unfolded as following. First of all, based on political theories, such as the principle of separation of powers and checks-and-balances, the thesis will review the essence of independency of independent agencies and illustrate the institutional structures of the three independent agencies. In addition, I will compare the organic operations of the three agencies. Secondly, the author will analyze the agenda of the Legislative Yuan (Congress) containing the general interpellation, administration debriefing, budget and law reviews, and the Commissioner appointments of the FTC from 2012 to 2013. Furthermore, this thesis reviewed the relationship between the FTC and Congress from theoretic, juristic, and practical aspects. Lastly, this thesis will suggest five findings: First, the independency of independent agencies should be enhanced by strengthening their financial autonomy. It suggests that the independent agencies might modify their budget preparation process by following the Judicial Yuan's example. Second, the Administrative Appeal Act should be amended to let the court supervise the administrative activities of the FTC. Third, the head of the independent agencies should place importance on relationship with the Congress and strengthen liaison with the Legislative Yuan to boost the passage of bills and budgets. Fourth, the FTC should amend its Statute Governing the Department Affairs to assign the congressional and the press liaison to the Chief Secretary. Finally, in response to administrative and legislative supervision, the FTC should enhance advocacy of the Fair Trade Act and strengthen communication with the media.
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