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Control Yuan’s Land Expropriation Investigation Leads to Land Usage Improvements

  • PostDate:2018-08-06

The National Audit Office’s report on the central government’s final accounts for 2011 revealed that governments at all levels spent more than NT$6.28 billion (US$20.7 million) on expropriating a total of 1.42 million square meters of public facilities land, with the longest period of land being left idle amounting to 34 years, which not only is a waste of land resources but also gives rise to discontent from previous land owners. The Control Yuan therefore launched an investigation in 2013 to compel the government to solve the problem. There has been improvement since the investigation report was issued.
The report states that regarding land that has been expropriated and still remains idle, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) should assist and compel the land applicants to conduct a comprehensive review of whether they still have a need to develop and use the land. If it is determined they still do after review, the land should be used for the approved development within the stipulated time limit. If it is determined they do not have the land usage need, then revocation and annulment of the land acquisition or review of the initial project should be conducted according to the regulations. With five years of follow-up monitoring by the Control Yuan, the MOI has made improvements, with the total area of land for which acquisition has been revoked or for which usage requirements have been met rising from 39.98 hectares in June 2014 to 72.31 hectares in December 2017, thereby helping to raise land use efficiency.
The investigation report also noted that the MOI, which is in charge of approving land expropriation applications, failed to thoroughly review land applicants’ ability to develop the land for the intended use and whether the projects were financially viable. Furthermore, the MOI was reprimanded for neglecting to determine the actual land usage situation on lands already expropriated before implementation of the Land Expropriation Act, and for failing to conduct follow-up supervision. After the CY’s follow-up monitoring for five years, the MOI came up with an improvement plan for expropriated land that has yet to be developed for its intended use and remains idle, and it holds regular review meetings to compel the land applicants to proactively handle matters, so as to gradually solve this problem.
As the nation’s human rights institution, the Control Yuan will continue follow-up monitoring of the government in order to safeguard citizens’ property rights, prevent excessive land expropriation, and ensure economically efficient and beneficial use of expropriated land resources.