The status of province in the political order of the Republic of China has changed over time. It was originally a subsidiary agency of the central government, referred to as a “Hsing Shu Sheng (Hsing Sheng),” which later evolved into an agency of local government known as a “Province.”
To take over administration of this province swiftly following the retrocession of Chinese jurisdiction over Taiwan, and to accommodate the actual situation at the time, the central government promulgated the Taiwan Province Administrative Official Public Ministry Organization Statute on Sept. 20, 1945. It established the Taiwan Province Administrative Official Public Ministry temporarily under the Executive Yuan to serve as the highest local administrative agency in Taiwan Province.
The Administrative Official Public Ministry was established on Oct. 25, 1945, and became the Taiwan Provincial Government in April 1947 through a resolution passed during the 784th meeting of the Executive Yuan.
The Self-Governance Law for Provinces and Counties was promulgated on July 29, 1994, with the Article 42 of the law stipulating that: “The Organizational Regulations of the Taiwan Provincial Government is to be formulated by the Taiwan Provincial Government and submitted to the Executive Yuan for review upon ratification by the Provincial Assembly.” The Organizational Regulations of the Taiwan Provincial Government were passed during the 10th session of the 9th Provincial Assembly on Sept. 21 of that same year, explicitly stipulating that one Governor be in charge of overall provincial administration and direct the supervision of subsidiary agencies; two Lieutenant Governors to assist the governor in managing provincial administration; one Secretary General to carry out the Governor’s orders and directives of the Lieutenant Governors, manage provincial matters, and direct supervision of subordinates; two Deputy Secretaries General to carry out the Governor’s orders and assist the Secretary General in managing provincial matters; and 11 to 15 Provincial Advisory Council members to advise the provincial government and handle major projects cutting across the discrete responsibilities of various administrations, offices, bureaus, councils and organizations.
On July 21, 1997, a presidential decree promulgated Additional Articles of the Constitution. Paragraph 3 of Article 9 stipulated that “Upon cessation of holding elections for members of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly and governor, modifications of the functions, business and organization of the Taiwan Provincial Government shall be specially stipulated by law.” Whereupon, the Executive Yuan drafted the Interim Statute To Modify the Functions, Business and Organization of the Taiwan Provincial Government and submitted it to the Legislature. After being passed by the Legislature, the law was promulgated by the President on Oct. 28, 1998 and came into effect on Dec. 21, 1998. The law constituted the major regulatory basis for modifying the system of the Taiwan Provincial Government. The Premier then declared that the streamlining of the Taiwan Provincial Government would be completed in three stages. The first stage, from the end of Dec. 1998 through June 1999 would involve reorganizing the Taiwan Provincial Government as a designated agency of the Executive Yuan. In the second stage, from July 1, 1999 to Dec. 31, 2000, the organizational structure of the Taiwan Provincial Government would be modified in accordance with Interim Organizational Regulations drafted by the Executive Yuan. These stipulated six divisions: Civil Affairs, Culture & Education, Economic Development, Financial Affairs, Social & Health Affairs, and Public Affairs; five offices: Information, Secretariat, Personnel, Budget & Accounting, and Governmental Ethics; two committees: Administrative Appeals and Regulations, to manage and supervise the self-government issues of counties and municipalities, carry out administrative affairs of the provincial government, and handle other matters assigned it by the Executive Yuan, as well as a Document Council and twelve Districts Vehicle Accident Appraisal Councils under provincial jurisdiction.
In line with the provisions of Article 4, Paragraph 3 of the Petition Law instituted on June 14, 2000, the Executive Yuan on Dec. 11, 2002, deleted the provisions concerning the establishment of a Administrative Appeals Committee in the Interim Organizational Regulations (hereinafter called “the regulations”). The Taiwan Provincial Document Council was incorporated under the National History Museum on Jan. 1, 2002 due to a transfer of responsibilities, and was renamed the Taiwan Historica under the National History Museum, whereupon the provisions of Article 5, Paragraph 2, Clause 4 and Article 13 of the regulations regarding the Document Council were amended or deleted.
Drawing upon fifty years of administrative experience, the Taiwan Provincial Government now carries out the following administrative directives: 1) implement civil administration and institute provincial administrative reform; 2) manage educational, sports and cultural matters; 3) promote economic development; 4) conduct vehicle accident appraisals and enhance service performance; 5) handle social, labor, health and environmental protection matters; 6) manage and maintain the public facilities of Chung Hsing New Village and plan improvements to its overall development; 7) enhance the operation and management of the Taiwan Provincial Information Museum and Library; and 8) manage legal matters, review and organize provincial laws and regulations, and conduct touring legal seminars. The government will put together high-quality working teams, make use of knowledge-based economics and information technology to improve the efficiency and convenience management systems, develop a broad outlook of foresight and sustainable operation, demonstrate consistently innovative management thinking, seek continual improvement, and establish strategic partnerships with each level of government to fully deploy its function of coordinating, communicating and fostering cooperation between governmental systems, as we build a leaner, but better and more vigorous government.