Examination Yuan

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Examination Yuan
Kǎoshì Yuàn (Mandarin)
Khó-chhì Īⁿ (Taiwanese)
Kháu-sṳ Yen (Hakka)
ROC Examination Yuan Seal.svg
Agency overview
FormedJanuary 1930
JurisdictionRepublic of China (Taiwan)
HeadquartersWenshan, Taipei
Agency executives
Examination Yuan
Literal meaningCourt of Examinations

The Examination Yuan is the civil service commission branch, in charge of validating the qualification of civil servants, of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan). It has a president, a vice president, and seven to nine members, all of whom are nominated by the president of the republic and confirmed by the Legislative Yuan for four-year terms according to Republic of China laws.[2]

Organizational structure[edit]

Members composition[edit]

The Examination Yuan consists of a council with a president, a vice president, and seven to nine members. The leaders and members are nominated by the president of the republic and approved by Legislative Yuan for four-year terms. The incumbent 13th Examination Yuan was nominated by President Tsai Ing-wen on May 28, 2020,[3] and later confirmed by Legislative Yuan on July 10, 2020.[4] Members were inaugurated on September 1, 2020, and their terms expire on August 31, 2024.

President Vice President
Huang Jong-tsun Chou Hung-hsien
Nine members


The Examination Yuan has four main agencies:[5]

Offices and committees[edit]

The Examination Yuan also includes twelve offices and three committees:[5]

  • Counselors
  • Secretariat
  • First Division
  • Second Division
  • Third Division
  • Editing and Compilation Office
  • Information Management Office
  • Secretary Office
  • Personnel Office
  • Accounting Office
  • Statistics Office
  • Civil Service Ethics Office
  • Petition and Appeals Committee
  • Legal Affairs Committee
  • Research and Development Committee


Constitutional theory[edit]

The concept of Examination Yuan is a part of the Three Principles of the People formulated by Sun Yat-sen, which was enlightened by the old Imperial examination system used in Imperial China. It is one of the five government branches ("yuans") of the Government of the Republic of China. Practically, it operates like a ministry of the Executive Yuan,[8] though its members may not be removed by the president or premier.[citation needed]

Establishment and relocation to Taiwan[edit]

Examination Yuan building in Wenshan, Taipei.

After the end of Northern Expedition in 1928, the Nationalist Government set up the preparatory office of the Examination Yuan in October 1928 in which the organic law was promulgated. In May 1929, the headquarters of the Examination Yuan was inaugurated at Kuankung and Yueh Fei Temple in Nanking. In January 1930, the Examination Yuan and its subordinates Examination Committee and Ministry of Civil Service were formally established. In December 1937, the headquarters was temporarily relocated to Chungking during the Second Sino-Japanese War. After the end of World War II in 1945, the headquarters was moved back to Nanking.

In January 1950, the headquarters were relocated temporarily to Taipei Confucius Temple in Taiwan after the Chinese Civil War. In December 1951, the headquarters were moved to Muzha District, Taipei. In March 1990, the Yuheng Building of the Yuan was inaugurated.[9]


During the second revision of the Additional Articles of the Constitution in 1992, confirmation powers of its members were transferred from the Control Yuan to the Legislative Yuan, and articles related to its role as a governing body of mainland China were abolished. In 2019, the Examination Yuan was reduced from 19 members to between 7 and 9, and terms were reduced from 6 years to 4 to coincide with presidential and legislative elections.[10]

There have been calls to abolish the Examination Yuan (and the Control Yuan) by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) and New Power Party (NPP).[11][12][13] TPP caucus whip Lai Hsiang-ling stated that members of the Examination Yuan hold "fat-cat patronage appointments", whereby they earn outside income on top of their usual salary, including by teaching at universities in mainland China.[13] Additionally, the functions of the Examination Yuan are seen as overlapping with those of the Executive Yuan, and an online poll showed about half of respondents supported its abolishment.[12] President Tsai Ing-wen called for the two Yuans to be abolished at the DPP national congress in 2020;[11] the Kuomintang responded by saying that it was an effort to distract from the DPP's poor leadership, but did not provide their stance on the matter.[11] A constitutional amendment committee was formed in September of 2020 to draft proposals for the abolition of the Examination Yuan.[14]


Appointments of the leaders and members of the Examination Yuan were carried out with presidential nomination and parliamentary confirmation. The first through eighth Examination Yuans were all confirmed by the first Control Yuan, whose members first convened in 1948 and had their terms extended indefinitely. During the democratization of Taiwan in the 1990s, a series of constitutional amendments known as the Additional Articles of the Constitution were promulgated to reorganize the government. These amendments changed the Control Yuan from a parliament chamber to a commission-type agency. Confirmation of the Examination Yuan officials was then moved to other parliament chambers to maintain the separation of powers.

Term Length Actual length Appointment Seats
1st 6 years Sep 8, 1948—Aug 31, 1954 Presidential nomination with
Control Yuan confirmation
2nd Sep 1, 1954—Aug 31, 1960
3rd Sep 1, 1960—Aug 31, 1966
4th Sep 1, 1966—Aug 31, 1972
5th Sep 1, 1972—Aug 31, 1978
6th Sep 1, 1978—Aug 31, 1984
7th Sep 1, 1984—Aug 31, 1990
8th Sep 1, 1990—Aug 31, 1996
9th Sep 1, 1996—Aug 31, 2002 Presidential nomination with
National Assembly confirmation
10th Sep 1, 2002—Aug 31, 2008 Presidential nomination with
Legislative Yuan confirmation
11th Sep 1, 2008—Aug 31, 2014
12th Sep 1, 2014—Aug 31, 2020
13th 4 years Sep 1, 2020—Aug 31, 2024 9

Currently, according to the Additional Articles of the Constitution, the Examination Yuan is confirmed by the now-unicameral parliament — the Legislative Yuan.

Presidents and vice presidents of the Examination Yuan[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "考試院全球資訊網".
  2. ^ "Tsai submits 11 nominees for Examination Yuan". Taipei Times. May 30, 2020. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  3. ^ 考試院長、副院長、考試委員被提名人介紹記者會
  4. ^ 考試院人事案同意權投票 立法院通過
  5. ^ a b "Organization of the Examination Yuan". Examination Yuan. September 3, 2012. Archived from the original on September 2, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Lin Chia-cheng (林嘉誠) (April 19, 2019). "Exam Yuan should be folded into other branch". Taipei Times. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  7. ^ "Civil Service Protection and Training Commission" (PDF). Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  8. ^ Huang, Yu-zhe (December 28, 2019). "Control Yuan must respect judges". Taipei Times. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  9. ^ "考試院全球資訊網".
  10. ^ Wang, Yang-yu; Kao, Evelyn (December 10, 2019). "Legislature passes revised law to shrink Examination Yuan". Central News Agency. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c Yang, Chun-hui; Xie, Chun-hui (July 20, 2020). "Constitutional reform crucial: Tsai". Taipei Times. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Lin, Syrena (July 14, 2020). "Should Taiwan Abolish Its Control Yuan and Examination Yuan?". The News Lens International Edition. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Pan, Jason (July 9, 2020). "TPP and NPP lawmakers urge abolition of Control Yuan and Examination Yuan". Taipei Times. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  14. ^ "Taiwan explores options in case of Examination Yuan abolition". Taiwan News. Retrieved March 15, 2021.

External links[edit]