The Executive Yuan is the executive branch of the Republic of China (ROC) government. Its functions and obligations are stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of China and the Organizational Act of the Executive Yuan. The Executive Yuan has a premier; a vice premier; a number of ministers and chairpersons of commissions; and several ministers without portfolio. The premier is appointed by the president of the Republic. The vice premier, ministers and chairpersons are also appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier.
In addition to supervising the subordinate organs of the Executive Yuan, the premier explains administrative policies and reports to the Legislative Yuan (the central government’s lawmaking body) and responds, either orally or in writing, to the interpellations of legislators. For laws to take effect after enactment by the Legislative Yuan, they must be promulgated by the president and countersigned by the premier. In the event of vacancies in both the presidency and the vice presidency, the premier may perform the duties of the president for up to three months.
The Executive Yuan has a council (or Cabinet) comprised of the premier, who presides over its meetings, the vice premier, the heads of ministries and commissions, and ministers without portfolio. According to the Constitution, the council evaluates statutory and budgetary bills and bills concerning martial law, amnesty, declarations of war, conclusion of peace and treaties, and other important affairs, all of which are to be submitted to the Legislature, as well as matters of common concern to various ministries and commissions. The Executive Yuan Council may request that relevant personnel attend council meetings for interpellation.
The Executive Yuan has a secretary-general, two deputy secretaries-general and a spokesperson, all of whom attend meetings of the Executive Yuan Council. The secretary-general handles Executive Yuan administrative affairs. The deputy secretaries-general assist the secretary-general. The spokesperson, who heads the Office of Information Services, is in charge of Executive Yuan information and outreach.
Internal Organizational Structure of the Executive Yuan
To streamline the central government and improve its effectiveness, while at the same time enhancing flexibility within its departments, the Cabinet proposed several government-restructuring bills to the Legislative Yuan which were enacted and promulgated in early 2010. Among them are amendments to the Basic Code Governing Central Administrative Agencies Organizations and the Organizational Act of the Executive Yuan. In addition, the Central Government Agency Personnel Quota Act and the Provisional Act for Adjustment of Functions and Organizations of the Executive Yuan have come into force.
As a result, the number of Cabinet-level organizations will be reduced from 37 to 29 after the three-year (January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014) reorganization. The new Executive Yuan will consist of 14 ministries, eight councils, three independent agencies and four additional organizations. Six new ministries will be created through the reorganization or consolidation of existing agencies, including the Ministry of Culture (which was created May 20, 2012), Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Science and Technology. Meanwhile, several agencies will cease to exist after their functions are transferred to other commissions or ministries. These include the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, the National Youth Commission, the Atomic Energy Council, the Public Construction Commission, the Council for Economic Planning and Development, and the Sports Affairs Council. The Government Information Office ceased to exist on May 20, 2012, with its various missions assumed by the Executive Yuan Office of Information Services, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, respectively.
Further, the Legislative Yuan enacted a law in April 2011 enabling certain state-run organizations to be operated as independent administrative juridical persons to facilitate flexible recruitment and procurement processes. These include the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology under the Ministry of National Defense, the National Sports Training Center under the Ministry of Education, and the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction under the Executive Yuan’s National Disasters Prevention and Protection Commission and the National Science Council.
Structure of Cabinet-level Organizations
After Executive Yuan Reorganization
(Implementation period: Jan. 1, 2012 ~ Dec. 31, 2014)