The Executive Yuan is the executive branch of the ROC government, headed by the premier. The premier is directly appointed by the president, while other members of the Executive Yuan Council, or Cabinet—comprising the vice premier, ministers, chairpersons of commissions, and ministers without portfolio—are appointed by the president of the Republic upon 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 (Legislature) and responds 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.
According to the Constitution, the Executive Yuan Council evaluates statutory and budgetary bills and bills concerning martial law, amnesty, declaration 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 leads work on Executive Yuan information and outreach.
To streamline the executive branch and improve its effectiveness, while at the same time enhancing flexibility within its departments, several government structure laws were amended between 2010 and 2011. Among them are the Basic Code Governing Central Administrative Agencies Organizations, the Organizational Act of the Executive Yuan, the Act Governing the Total Number of Personnel Headcounts of Central Government Agencies, the Provisional Act for Adjustment of Functions and Organizations of the Executive Yuan and the Non-Departmental Public Bodies Act.
As a result, several agencies will cease to exist after their functions are transferred to other commissions or ministries, and the number of Cabinet-level organizations will be reduced from 37 to 29 over the restructuring period that commenced January 1, 2012. When the process is complete, the Executive Yuan will consist of 14 ministries, eight councils, three independent agencies and four organizations. As of August 2015, four new ministries—the Ministry of Labor (MOL), Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), Ministry of Culture (MOC), and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)—had been created through the reorganization or consolidation of existing agencies. Two more new ministries—the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and Ministry of Agriculture—will be established after their organizational acts are passed by the Legislative Yuan.
The Government Information Office ceased operations on May 20, 2012, with its various missions respectively assumed by the MOC (which was upgraded from the Council for Cultural Affairs), the Executive Yuan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The National Youth Commission and the Sports Affairs Council were merged into the Ministry of Education on January 1, 2013. The MOHW was upgraded from the Department of Health on July 23, 2013 and additionally given the social welfare responsibilities previously held by the Ministry of the Interior.
The National Development Council—merging the functions of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission and the Public Construction Commission—was inaugurated on January 22, 2014. The MOL was upgraded from the Council of Labor Affairs on February 17, 2014. The MOST was reorganized from the National Science Council on March 3, 2014. As of August 2015, a total of 23 executive branch agencies had completed restructuring.
Internal Organizational Structure of the Executive Yuan
Structure of Cabinet-level Organizations
After Executive Yuan Reorganization
(Restructuring from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2014)