Chapter I General Principles
This Code was ratified to establish common rules for the organization of central administrative agencies and increase their administrative efficiency.
The Executive Yuan and its subordinate agencies (hereinafter referred to as “agencies”) shall be governed by this Code, with the exceptions of national defense, overseas diplomatic missions, police, prosecutorial, investigative, and coast guard agencies whose organizations are otherwise provided by their respective acts.
The Executive Yuan is defined as the first-level agency, and its subordinate agencies are defined as second-level, third-level or fourth-level agencies according to their hierarchies. The hierarchies of agencies may be determined in accordance with the complexity of agency functions and organization size with superior-subordinate, command and supervisory relations clearly defined, and need not contain each and every level.
The definition of terms used in this Code shall be as follows:
1.“Agency” means an organization established in accordance with organic laws or decrees (hereinafter referred to as “organic laws and regulations”) exercising public authority by making and expressing the will of the country within the scope of its defined functions.
2.“Independent agency” means a commission-type collegial organization that exercises its powers and functions independently without the supervision of other agencies, and operates autonomously unless otherwise stipulated.
3.“Affiliated institution” means an organization subordinate to an agency established in accordance with organic laws and regulations and vested with partial authority and duties to handle functions in line with the purpose of its establishment.
4.“Unit” means an organization established within an agency based on the division of organizational functions.
The organization of the following agencies shall be governed by laws, while the organization of other agencies shall be governed by decrees:
1. First-level, second-level and third-level agencies.
2. Independent agencies.
The establishment, adjustment and dissolution of agencies established by decrees as mentioned above shall be sent to the Legislative Yuan upon promulgation of the decree.
Chapter II Organic Laws and Regulations, and Names of Agencies
Organic laws governing agencies and organizations shall be described as “codes”. However, organic laws governing agencies that have similar functions and similar authority but fall under different jurisdiction areas shall be described as “acts”.
Organic decrees governing agencies shall be described as “regulations”. However, organic decrees governing agencies that have similar functions and similar authority but fall under different jurisdiction areas shall be described as “regulations”.
After the promulgation of this Code, with the exception of this Code and organic laws and regulations of various agencies, no other laws or regulations may be used to govern the organization of agencies.
The names of administrative agencies shall be defined as follows:
1. Yuan: First-level agency.
2. Ministry: Second-level agency.
3. Council, Commission: Second-level agency or independent agency.
4. Administration, Bureau: Third-level agency.
5. Branch: Fourth-level agency.
An agency may also be named otherwise due to special nature of its functions.
Organic laws and regulations of agencies shall contain the following:
1. Agency name.
2. Basis or purpose for establishing the agency.
3. Superior-subordinate relationship with other agencies.
4. Authority and functions of the agency.
5. Job title, official position and number of agency heads and deputy heads.
6. Job title, official position and number of political posts within the agency.
7. Job title and official position of the chief of staff.
8. Names of subordinate agencies (if any) established according to agency functions.
9. Existence period of agency (if any).
10.Scope of collegial decisions, parliamentary procedures and resolution approaches adopted in case of an independent agency.
For agencies whose organization is governed by laws, the division of duties within internal units shall be stipulated by regulations governing departmental affairs. For agencies whose organization is governed by decrees, the division of duties within internal units shall be stipulated by operational regulations.
Agencies may establish detailed charts of hierarchical responsibilities to define the authorized scope of hierarchical responsibilities and delegation of authority according to rank.
Chapter III Establishment, Adjustment and Dissolution of Agencies
Agencies may not be established under any of the conditions listed in the following subsections:
1. Those whose functions overlap with existing agencies.
2. Those whose functions can be adjusted and performed by existing agencies.
3. Those whose functions can be better performed by the private sector.
Agencies and their internal units shall be adjusted or dissolved under any of the conditions listed in the following subsections:
1. Those whose current functions have been completed or policies have been changed.
2. Those whose duties or functions have declined significantly or overlap with other agencies.
3. Those whose jurisdiction areas have been adjusted and merged.
4. Those whose functions can be performed more economically by delegation or outsourcing.
5. Those being dissolved and merged after receiving poor performance reviews.
6. Those whose duties have been adjusted or transferred to other agencies or units.
Procedures for the establishment of agencies whose organization is governed by laws in accordance with this Code:
1. First-level agencies: Proposals shall be submitted directly to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation.
2. Second-level, third-level and independent agencies: Proposals shall be drafted by the superior agency or the agency appointed by the superior agency, submitted to the first-level agency and transferred to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation.
The adjustment or dissolution of agencies shall be drafted by the agency or superior agency, and conducted in accordance with procedures stipulated in the preceding paragraph.
Procedures for the establishment, adjustment and dissolution of agencies whose organization is governed by decrees in accordance with this Code:
1. Establishment or dissolution of agencies: Proposals shall be drafted by the superior agency or the agency appointed by the superior agency and submitted to the first-level agency for approval.
2. Adjustment of agencies: Proposals shall be drafted by the agency, submitted to the superior agency for approval and transferred to the first-level agency for final approval.
First-level agencies shall conduct organizational reviews regularly, which shall serve as the basis for the establishment, adjustment or dissolution of agencies.
Chapter IV Establishment of an Agency’s Authority, Duties and Key Functions
Superior agencies shall exercise command and supervisory authority over their subordinate agencies in accordance with laws.
The command and supervision of non-subordinate agencies shall be governed by existing laws and regulations.
Second-level and third-level agencies may establish regional branches with regard to the needs of their jurisdiction areas and grassroots services within their scope of authority and duties as governed by organic laws.
Agencies may establish experimental (testing), inspection, research, cultural and education, medical, social welfare, corrective, sheltering, training and other affiliated institutions within their scope of authority and functions as governed by organic laws and regulations.
The organization of affiliated institutions mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall be governed mutatis mutandis by the provisions of this Code.
The agency head shall manage agency affairs, represent the agency externally, and command and supervise the agency’s subordinate agencies and personnel.
The head of single-head agencies shall be called a “Minister”. The head of council/commission-type agencies shall be called a “Minister”. However, titles for heads of agencies with special functions shall be stipulated separately.
The heads of first-level and second-level agencies shall be political posts. The heads of third-level agencies shall be ex-officio posts, unless otherwise specified because of special functions or by law. The heads of fourth-level agencies shall be ex-officio posts.
Unless otherwise stipulated by laws due to special functions, agency heads shall be full-time posts.
First-level agencies shall have one political official as a deputy head.
Second-level agencies shall have one ex-officio official and up to two political officials as deputy heads.
Third-level agencies shall have no more than three ex-officio officials as deputy heads.
First-level agencies shall have one political post of secretary-general as the chief of staff; second-level agencies or agencies of lower levels shall have a chief secretary or secretary responsible for staff affairs as needed.
First-level agencies may have one to three deputy secretary-generals according to needs. One or two of the deputy secretary-generals may be political post, but at least one deputy secretary-general shall be an ex-officio post.
The term of office, and proceedings for the appointment, suspension and discharge of commission members of independent agencies shall be clearly stipulated. Nominations for full-time commission members of second-level independent agencies must be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for approval. For other independent agencies, commission members shall be appointed by the head of first-level agency.
When making appointments mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the head of first-level agency shall designate one of the members as head of the agency and another member as deputy head.
The number of commission members referred to in Paragraph 1 shall be five to eleven in principle unless otherwise required. The number of members belonging to the same political party shall not exceed a certain proportion.
Chapter V Internal Units
The establishment and adjustment of an agency’s internal units shall follow the principles of functional compatibility, balanced functions, clear accountability, management economy, overall coordination, and appropriate scale.
Internal units of an agency shall be classified as follows:
1. Implementation unit: A unit responsible for implementing the functions of the agency.
2. Supporting unit: A unit responsible secretarial matters, general affairs, personnel, accounting and statistics, research and evaluation, information management, legal affairs, civil ethics, public relations or other support functions.
The names of a government agency’s internal units shall reflect their functions. District names may be used for functions limited to certain districts.
Internal units of an agency may be classified into first-level or second-level units, and named as follows:
1. First-level internal units:
(1) Department (Chu): First-level agencies, independent agencies equivalent to second-level agencies, and implementation units of second-level agency commissions.
(2) Department (Si): Implementation units of second-level agencies.
(3) Division (Zu): Implementation units of third-level agencies.
(4) Section (Ke): Implementation units of fourth-level agencies.
(5) Department, Office (Chu, Shi): Supporting units of various agencies.
2. Second-level internal units: Section (Ke).
The levels for an agency’s internal units may be flexibly adjusted in view of the nature and actual needs of the agency’s functions, and need not contain each and every level. However, a fourth-level agency’s internal units shall be of the same level, except for agencies with heavy workload and large organization size, which may set up subsections (Gu) under section to handle the section affairs.
The internal units of affiliated agencies may be named separately in regard to the special nature of their functions.
Supporting units shall be established in accordance with the size, nature and level of their respective agencies. Functions shall be handled by the same unit when necessary.
Upon approval by its first-level agency, a supporting unit shall not be subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraph if its functions are similar to its agency’s, or the nature of the unit is similar to an implementation unit.
First-level, second-level and third-level agencies may establish and manage investigative, deliberative, and appeal and petition units in accordance with laws.
Agencies may establish task forces in regard to their functions, with required staff members assigned or filled by personnel from relevant agencies.
Chapter VI Agency Size and Establishment Standards
The Executive Yuan shall define the functions of ministries in accordance with the provisions listed in the following subparagraphs:
1. In line with the core functions of central administrative agencies, each ministry shall perform policy integration and coordination functions.
2. Basic policies or similar functions shall be undertaken by the same ministry; conflicting or balancing functions shall be performed by different ministries.
3. A balance shall be maintained between the policy functions and authority of each ministry.
The number of ministries shall be limited to 14.
The size and establishment standards of each ministry shall be as follows:
1. Six to eight departments (Si) shall be established as implementation units.
2. Four to eight sections （Ke） shall be established under each department (Si).
The total number of departments (Si) mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall not exceed 112.
The Executive Yuan may establish commissions as affiliated agencies based on policy coordination needs.
The size and establishment standards of each commission shall be as follows:
1. Four to six departments (Chu) shall be established as implementation units.
2. Three to six sections (Ke) shall be established under each department (Chu).
The total number of commissions mentioned in Paragraph 1 shall not exceed nine.
The size and establishment standards of independent agencies equivalent to second-level agencies shall be as follows:
1. Four to six departments (Chu) shall be established as implementation units.
2. Three to six sections (Ke) shall be established under each department (Chu).
The total number of independent agencies mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall not exceed three.
Internal units of independent agencies not stipulated in Paragraph 1 shall be established in accordance with their respective functions.
Second-level agencies may establish administrations or bureaus to handle technical or specialized functions.
The size and establishment standards of administrations or bureaus shall be as follows:
1. Four to six divisions (Zu) shall be established as implementation units.
2. Three to six sections (Ke) shall be established for each division.
Independent agencies equivalent to second-level agencies may establish affiliated agencies to handle functions as stipulated in Paragraph 1. The provisions in the preceding paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis to the size and establishment standards of such affiliated agencies.
The total number of administrations and bureaus mentioned in Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 3, excluding regional branches, shall not exceed 70.
The total number of supporting units of the Executive Yuan and agencies of all levels shall not exceed six departments (Chu) or offices（Shi）, with three to six sections （Ke） under each department (Chu) or office（Shi）.
Chapter VII Supplementary Provisions
The Executive Yuan shall review, amend and submit the Organic Act of the Executive Yuan and Provisional Act on the Adjustment of Functions and Organizations of the Executive Yuan to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation within three months after the promulgation of this Code.
After the promulgation of this Code, organic acts of other agencies or other relevant laws found to be in contravention of this Code shall be sent to the Executive Yuan for amendment before the deadline stipulated by the Executive Yuan, and be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation within one year after the promulgation of the amendments to the Organic Act of the Executive Yuan.
In response to critical emergencies and urgent or extraordinary or emerging developments and situations, first-level agencies may establish temporary or transitional agencies, whose organizations shall be governed by provisional organic regulations that stipulate the existence period of the agency.
Second-level and third-level agencies may establish temporary or transitional agencies mentioned in the preceding paragraph after obtaining approval of their first-level agency.
In addition to national and regional autonomous organizations, administrative corporations may be vested with governmental authority to perform specific public functions. The establishment, organization, operation, functions, supervision, personnel employment and transfers, resettlement measures and personnel rights protection shall be as prescribed by the laws for these organizations.
This Code shall apply mutatis mutandis to central government agencies outside of the Executive Yuan.
This Code shall come into force on the day of its promulgation.
The effective date for articles of this Code amended on January 12, 2010 and December 28, 2021 shall be decided by the Executive Yuan.