||After Taiwan underwent city-county consolidation and thus entered a new era of five Special Municipalities, the original counties, townships, and cities of elected representation have now been transformed into districts with official appointed leaders. By comparing the models and practices of these two local governance systems brought by the institutional reform, which has led our attention to the differences of behavior and reaction the two systems have while put in the same environment and under the same government affairs, this present study evaluates the two systems with special focus on their administrative performance and check-and-balance capability of the public sector. The ultimate purpose of this study is to analyze the merits and limits of elected representation and official appointment and through observing one real case, pinpoint and review the problems the two systems encounter in local governance, and finally propose advices to improve the current system.|
Methodologies adopted in this study include:
1. Case study: Liouguei District of Kaohsiung City (the original Liouguei Township of Kaohsiung County) is chosen to observe the impact of institutional reform.
2. Literature analysis: Relevant documents and data are collected and analyzed for the comparison of elected representation and official appointment in their organizational and functional differences.
3. In-depth interview: Administrative officials and township representatives who have experienced the transition are interviewed about their duty change and practical exercise of governance, in hope to investigate behavioral and consequential influences the new system has caused, and collect feedback and evaluation from local government.
This research comes to the following conclusions:
(1) Elected representation has its advantages in terms of administrative leadership, flexibility, and ability to react to public opinions.
(2) Official appointment has a more professional and rigidly-regulated manner in administration.
(3) Liouguei, when under elected representation, is found to lack in finance and administrative discipline, which leads to ineffective policy implementation.
(4) Liouguei, when under official appointment, is found to have insufficient
governance power so that it is not able to fully control local circumstances.
(5) To meet the needs of peripheral areas, current regional governance system indeed has space for improvement. It is suggested to re-evaluate the clarification and adjustment of regional governance on a short, medium, and long term basis.
Key words: institutional reform, elected representation, official appointment, administrative performance, public check and balance