A Preliminary Assessment of Public Management Reform in Taiwan's Local Government

Milan Tung-Wen Sun


Although the “Administrative Reform Program” was initiated by former Premier Lian Chain in 1993, the comprehensive “Government Reinvention” programs which emphasized the notion of entrepreneurial government were proposed and implemented by former Premier Vincent Shiew in 1998, and similar reform strategies and designs have been followed by the DPP administration since 2000. Despite the continuity in reform efforts, full scale reform assessment based on concrete empirical evidences is still difficult to be found. The proposed study attempts to evaluate the results of government reform in Taiwan’s local government by focusing on one major question: Have local governments in Taiwan become “smaller and better”? This question will be addressed by looking at indicators in three areas: changes in the size of local government in terms of human and financial resources, changes in the level of corruption, and changes in citizen’s evaluation of the performance of local government. It is argued that the progress of government reform at the local level is slow, and the tentative evaluation show warning signals.

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