Adopting Flexible Mechanism to Promote Public Procurement of Innovation—the Amendment of Article 27 of the Statute for Industrial Innovation

Adopting Flexible Mechanism to Promote Public Procurement of Innovation—the Amendment of Article 27 of the Statute for Industrial Innovation

I.Introduction

  To further industrial innovation, improve industrial environment, and enhance industrial competitiveness through a systematic long-term approach, the Statute for Industrial Innovation (hereinafter referred to as the Statute) has been formulated in Taiwan. The central government authority of this Statute is the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (henceforth referred to as the IDB) is the administrative body for the formulation of this Statute.  Since its formulation and promulgation in 2010, the Statute has undergone four amendments. The latest amendment, passed by the Legislative Yuan on November 3, 2017, on the third reading, is a precipitate of the international industrial development trends. The government is actively encouraging the investment in industrial innovation through a combination of capital, R&D, advanced technologies and human resources to help the promotion of industrial transformation, hence this large scale amendment is conducted. The amendment, promulgated and enacted on November 22, 2017, focuses on eight key points, which include: state-owned businesses partaking in R&D (Article 9-1 of the amended provisions of the Statute), the tax concessions of the limited partnership venture capital businesses (Article 2, Article 10, Article 12-1 and Article 23-1 of the amended provisions of the Statute), the tax concessions of Angel Investors (Article 23-2 of the amended provisions of the Statute), applicable tax deferral of employees' stock compensation (Article 19-1 of the amended provisions of the Statute), tax deferral benefit of stocks given to research institution creators (Article 12-2 of the amended provisions of the Statute), the promotion of flexible mechanism for innovation procurement (Article 27 of the amended provisions of the Statute), the establishment of evaluation mechanism for intangible assets (Article 13 of the amended provisions of the Statute), and forced sale auction of idled land for industrial use (Article 46-1 of the amended provisions of the Statute).  This paper focuses on the amendment of Article 27 of the Fourth Revision of the Statute, which is also one of the major focuses of this revision—promoting flexible mechanism for innovation procurement, using the mass-market purchasing power of the government as the energetic force for the development of industrial innovation. 

II.Explanation of the Amendment of Article 27 of the Statute

1.Purposes and Descriptions of the Amendment of Article 27 of the Statute

  The original intent of Article 27 (hereinafter referred to as the Article) of the Statute, prior to the latest amendment (content of the original provisions is shown in Table 1), was to encourage government agencies and enterprises to give a priority to using green products through the "priority procurement" provisions of Paragraph 2, which allow government agencies to award contracts to green product producers using special government procurement procedures, so as to increase the opportunities for government agencies to use green products, and thereby promote the sustainable development of the industry. In view of the inherent tasks of promoting the development of industrial innovation, and considering that, using the large-scale government procurement demand to guide industrial innovation activities, has become the policy instrument accepted by most advanced countries, the IDB expects that, with the latest amendment of Article 27, the procurement mechanism policy for software, innovative products and services, in addition to the original green products, may become influential, and that "innovative products and services" may be included in the scope of "Priority Procurement" of this Article namely, make “priority procurement of innovative products and services” as one of the flexible mechanisms for promoting innovation procurement.  A comparison of the amended provisions and the original provisions is shown in Table 1, and an explanation of the amendment is described as follows:[1]

Table 1 A Comparison of Article 27 Amendment of the Statute for Industrial Innovation

Amended Provisions

Original Provisions

Article 27

  (I) Each central government authority in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry shall encourage government organizations (agencies) and enterprises to procure software, innovative and green products or services.

  (II) To enhance the procurement efficiencies, as effected by supply and demand, the central government authority shall offer assistance and services to the organizations (agencies) that handle these procurements as described in the preceding paragraph; wherein, Inter-entity Supply Contracts that are required for the aforesaid procurements, the common requirements shall be decided, in accordance with policy requirements, upon consultation between the central government authority and each central government authority in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry.   

  (III) Where the software, innovative and green products or services, as described in Paragraph 1, must be tested, audited, accredited and certified, their associated fees and charges may be reduced, exempted, or suspended.

  (IV) Government organizations (agencies) may specify in the tender document the priority procurement of innovative and green products or services that have been identified to meet the requirements of paragraph 1. However, such a specification shall not violate treaties or agreements that have been ratified by the Republic of China.

  The measures concerning specifications, categories, and identification procedures of software, innovative and green products or services as prescribed in Paragraph 1; the testing, auditing criteria, accreditation and certification as prescribed in paragraph 3; and the Priority Procurement in paragraph 4 and other relevant items, shall be established by each central government authority in charge of end-enterprises of a specific industry. 

Article 27

  (I) Each central government authority in charge of end enterprises shall encourage government agencies and enterprises to give priority to green products that are energy/resources recyclable/renewable, energy and water saving, non-toxic, less-polluting, or able to reduce the burden on the environment.

  (II) Agencies may specify in the tender documents that priority is given to green products meeting the requirement set forth in the preceding Paragraph.

  (III) The regulations governing the specifications, categories, certification procedures, review standards, and other relevant matters relating to the green products as referred to in the preceding Paragraph shall be prescribed by the central government authorities in charge of end enterprises.

Source: The Ministry of Economic Affairs

(I).Paragraph 1

  In order to compel each central government authority in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry to motivate industrial innovation activities and sustainable development on the basis of requirements, and to support the development of the software industry in Taiwan, the provision, that such an authority should encourage government organizations (agencies) and enterprises to procure software and innovative products and services, is added in paragraph 1.

(II).Paragraph 2

  This procurement, as described in paragraph 1, is different from the property or services procurement of general affairs as handled by various organizations. To enhance procurement efficiencies, as effected by supply and demand, the central government authority, i.e., the Ministry of Economic Affairs, shall provide relevant assistance and services to organizations (agencies) handling these procurements, hence the added provisions in paragraph 2. For purchases using inter-entity supply contracts, which are bound by the requirements of this Article, due to their prospective nature, and that the common demand of each organization is difficult to make an accurate estimate by using a demand survey or other method, the Ministry of Economic Affairs shall discuss the issues with each central government authority in charge of end-enterprises of a specific industry, who consult or promote policies, and are in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry, and then make decisions in accordance with the policy promotion requirements. 

(III).Paragraph 3

  The fee schedule for testing, auditing, accrediting and certifying software, innovative and green products or services is covered by Article 7, Administrative Fees of the Charges And Fees Act. The authorities in charge should determine relevant fee standards.However, considering that the test, audit, accreditation and certification may be conducted during a trial or promotional period, or circumstances dictate that it is necessary to motivate tenderer participation, the fee may be reduced, waived or suspended; hence, paragraph 3 is added.

(IV).Paragraph 4

  Paragraph 2 of the original provision is moved to paragraph 4 with the revisions made to paragraph 1, accordingly, and the provision for using Priority Procurement to handle innovative products or services is added. However, for organizations covered by The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), due to Taiwan's accession to the WTO, ANZTEC, and ASTEP, their procurement of items covered in the aforesaid agreements with a value reaching the legislated threshold, shall be handled in accordance with the regulations stipulated in the aforesaid agreements; hence the stipulation in the proviso that the procurement must not violate the provisions of treaties or agreements ratified by the Taiwan government.

(V).Paragraph 5

  Paragraph 3 of the original Article is moved to paragraph 5 with the revisions made to paragraph 1, accordingly, and the provision, that authorizes each central government authority in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry to determine appropriate measures concerning the methods of defining software, innovative and green products and services, as well as matters relating to test, accreditation, certification and priority procurement, is added.

2.The Focus of the Amendment of Article 27 of the Statute—Promoting a Flexible Mechanism for Innovation Procurement

  As previously stated, the amendment of this Article aims to stimulate activities of industrial innovation by taking advantage of the huge demand from government agencies. With the government agencies being the users of the innovative products or services, government's procurement market potential is tapped to support the development of industrial innovation. The original intention of amendment is to incorporate the spirit of Public Procurement of Innovation[2] into this Article, and to try to introduce EU's innovation procurement mechanism[3] into our laws. So that, a procurement procedure, that is more flexible and not subject to the limitation of procurement procedures currently stipulated by the Government Procurement Act, may be adopted to facilitate government sector action in taking the lead on adopting innovative products or services that have just entered their commercial prototype stage, or utilizing the demand for innovation in the government sector to drive industry's innovative ideas or R&D (that can not be satisfied with the existing solutions in the marketplace).  However, while it is assessing the relevant laws and regulations of our government procurement system and the practice of implementation, the use of the current government procurement mechanism by organizations in the public sector to achieve the targets of innovation procurement is still in its infancy. It is difficult to achieve the goal, in a short time, of establishing a variety of Public Procurement of Innovation Solutions (PPI Solutions) as disclosed in the EU's Directive 2014/24 / EU, enacted by the EU in 2014, in ways that are not subject to current government procurement legislation.  Hence, the next best thing: Instead of setting up an innovative procurement mechanism in such a way that it is "not subject to the restrictions of the current government procurement law", we will focus on utilizing the flexible room available under the current system of government procurement laws and regulations, and promoting the "flexible mechanism for innovation procurement” paradigm. With the provisions now provided in Article 27 of the Statute for Industrial Innovation, the government sector is authorized to adopt the "Priority Procurement" method on innovative products and services, thus increasing the public sector's access to innovative products and services.

  With this amendment, in addition to the "green products" listed in the original provisions of paragraph 1 of the Statute, "software" and "innovative products or services"[4] are now incorporated into the target procurement scope and each central government authority in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry should now encourage government organizations and enterprises to implement; however, the provisions of this paragraph do not have the specific effect of law, they are declaratory provisions.  Two priorities are the1 primary focus of the provisions of paragraph 2 and paragraph 4 of this Article for promoting flexible mechanism for innovation procurement:

(I)The procurement of software, innovative and green products or services that uses Inter-entity Supply Contracts may rely on the "policy requirement" to establish the common demand.

  According to the first half of the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, being the central government authority of the Statute, may provide assistance and services to organizations dealing with the procurement of software, innovative and green products and services.This is because the procurement subjects, as pertaining to software, products or services that are innovative and green products (or services), usually have the particularities (especially in the software) of the information professions; different qualities (especially in innovative products or services), and are highly profession-specific. They are different from the general affairs goods and services procured by most government agencies. Hence, the Ministry of Economic Affairs may provide assistance and service to these procurement agencies, along with the coordination of relevant organizations, in matters relating to the aforesaid procurement process in order to improve procurement efficiency as relates to supply and demand.

  Pursuant to the second half of Paragraph 2 of this Article, if the inter-entity supply contract method is used to process the procurement of software, innovative products and services, green products (or services) and other related subjects, there could be "Commonly Required" by two or more organizations concerning the procurement subjects, so in accordance with the stipulations of Article 93 of the Government Procurement Act, and Article 2 of the Regulations for The Implementation of Inter-entity Supply Contracts[5], an investigation of common requirements should be conducted first. However, this type of subject is prospective and profession-specific (innovative products or services in particular), and government organizations are generally not sure whether they have demand or not, which makes it difficult to reliably estimate the demand via the traditional demand survey method[6], resulting in a major obstacle for the procurement process. Therefore, the provisions are now revised to allow the Ministry of Economic Affairs to discuss procurement with each central government authority in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry, who consult or promote policies (such as the National Development Council, or central government authority in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry relevant to the procurement subjects), and then make decisions based on the quantities of goods and services of common requirements in accordance with the demand for promoting the policy. The provisions explicitly stipulate such flexibility in adopting methods other than the "traditional demand survey" method, as is required by laws for the common demand of Inter-entity Supply Contracts. Thus, agencies currently handling procurement of prospective or innovative subjects using inter-entity supply contracts, may reduce the administrative burden typically associated with conducting their own procurement. In addition, with a larger purchase quantity demand, as generated from two or more organizations, the process can more effectively inject momentum into the industry, and achieve a win-win situation for both supply and demand.

(II)Government organizations may adopt "Priority Procurement" when handling procurement of innovative and green products or services.

  Prior to the amendment, the original provision of paragraph 2 of this Article stipulates that organizations may specify in the tender document Priority Procurement of certified green products; Additionally, a provision of paragraph 3 of the original Article stipulates that each central government authority in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry is authorized to establish the specifications, categories and other relevant matters of the green products[7] (according to the interpretation of the original text, it should include "Priority Procurement" in paragraph 3 of the Article).After the amendment of the Article, paragraph 2 of the original Article is moved to paragraph 4. In addition to the original green products, "innovative products or services" are included in the scope of "Priority Procurement" that organizations are permitted to adopt (but, the "software" in paragraph 1 was not included[8]). However, for organizations covered by The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), due to Taiwan's accession to the WTO, ANZTEC, and ASTEP, their procurement of items covered by the aforesaid agreements with a value reaching the stated threshold, shall be handled in accordance with the regulations stipulated in the aforesaid agreements; hence the stipulation in the proviso that the procurement must not violate the provisions in treaties or agreements ratified by the Taiwan government. Additionally, paragraph 3 of the original Article is moved to paragraph 5. Each central government authority in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry is authorized to use their own judgment on matters concerning the specifications, categories, certification processes of software, innovative and green products or services and the method for Priority Procurement of paragraph 4.

  In accordance with the authorization in paragraph 5 of the amended provision of this Article, each central government authority in charge of end enterprises of a specific industry may, depending on the specific policy requirement that promotes innovation development of its supervised industry, establish methods of identification and the processes of Priority Procurement for “Specific categories of innovative products or services", especially on products or services fitting the requirements of the method of using the demands of government organizations to stimulate industrial innovation. The established "Regolations for priority procurement of Specific categories of innovative products or services" is essentially a special regulation of the government procurement legislation, which belongs to the level of regulations, that is, it allows the organizations to apply measures other than the government procurement regulations and its related measures to the procurement process, and adopt "Preferential Contract Awarding" for qualified innovative products or services.  Any government agency that has the need to procure a particular category of innovative product or service may, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 4 of this Article, specify the use of Priority Procurement in the tender document, and administer the procurement, in accordance with the process of this particular category of innovative products, or priority procurement. The agency is now enabled to follow a more flexible procurement process than that of the government procurement regulations to more smoothly award contracts for qualified innovative products or services. 

  Citing two examples of this applied scenario: Example one, "innovative information services": The central government authority in charge of information services is IDB. Thus, IDB may, according to the authorization provided for in paragraph 5 of the Article, establish the identification methods for innovative information services (the purpose of which is to define the categories and specifications of innovative services covered in the scope of priority procurement) and priority procurement processes, pertaining to emerging information services that are more applicable to the requirements of government agencies, such as: cloud computing services, IoT services, and Big Data analysis services.Example two, "Innovative construction or engineering methods": The central government authority in charge of construction affairs is the Construction and Planning Agency of the Ministry of the Interior. Since the agency has already established the "Guidelines for Approval of Applications for New Construction Techniques, Methods, Equipment and Materials", the agency may establish a priority procurement process for new construction techniques, methods or equipment, in accordance with the stipulations in paragraph 5 of the Article. Government agencies may conduct procurement following any of these priority procurement practices, if there is a requirement for innovative information services, or new construction techniques, methods or equipment.

  In addition to the two aforementioned flexible mechanisms for innovation procurement, where government agencies are granted flexible procedures to handle the procurement of innovative products or services via the use of the flexible procurement mechanism, paragraph 3, concerning the incentive measures of concessionary deductions, is added to the Article to reduce the bidding costs for tenderers participating in the tender.  For the Procurement of software, innovative and green products or services encouraged by each central government authority in charge of end-enterprises of a specific industry (not limited to those handled by the authorities themselves, using inter-entity supply contracts or priority procurement methods), if the procurement subjects are still required to be tested, audited, accredited and certified by the government agencies, such a process falls under the scope of administrative fees collection, pursuant to paragraph 1 Article 7 of the Charges And Fees Act. However, considering that the item subject to test, audit, accreditation and certification may be in a trial or promotional period, or that it may be necessary to motivate tenderer participation, the provisions of paragraph 3 are thusly added to the Article to reduce, waive, or suspend the collection of aforementioned fees. Executive authorities in charge of collecting administrative fees shall proceed to reduce, waive, or suspend the collection pursuant to the stipulations of paragraph 3 of the Article and Article 12 subparagraph 7 of the Charges And Fees Act.[9]

III.The direction of devising supporting measures of flexible mechanism for innovation procurement

  The latest amendment of the Statute for Industrial Innovation was promulgated and enacted on November 22, 2017, it is imperative that supporting measures pertaining to Article 27 of the Statute be formulated. As previously stated, the flexible mechanism for innovation procurement, as promoted in this Article, is designed specifically for the products or services that are pertinent to the government procurement requirements and are capable of stimulating industrial innovation, and providing a more flexible government procurement procedure for central authorities in charge of a specific industry as a policy approach in supporting industry innovation. Thus, the premise of devising relevant supporting measures is dependent on whether the specific industry, as overseen by the particular central authority, has a policy in place for promoting the development of industrial innovation, and on whether it is suitable in promoting the flexible mechanism for innovation procurement as described in this Article.

  The purpose of this Article is to promote the flexible mechanism for innovation procurement. Supporting measures pertaining to this Article will focus on the promotion of devising an "Innovation Identification Method", and of the "Priority Procurement Process" of the innovative products or services of each industry that central government authorities oversee. The former will rely on each central government authority in charge of a specific industry to charter an industry-appropriate and profession-specific planning scheme; while, for the latter, the designing of a priority procurement process, in accordance with the nature of the various types of innovative products or services, does not have to be applicable to all.  However, regardless what type of innovative products or services the priority procurement process is designed for, the general direction of consideration should be given to - taking the different qualities of innovative products or services as the core consideration. Additionally, the attribute of the priority procurement procedures focusing specifically on the different qualities of the innovative subjects relates to the special regulation relevant to the government procurement regulations. Thus, the procurement procedures should follow the principle that if no applicable stipulation is found in the special regulation, the provisions of the principal regulation shall apply.

  The so-called "Priority Procurement" process refers to the "Preferential Contract Awarding" on tenders that meet certain criteria in a government procurement procedure.  The existing Government Procurement Act (GPA, for short) and its related laws that have specific stipulations on "Priority Procurement" can be found in the "Regulations for Priority Procurement of Eco-Products" (Regulations for Eco-Products Procurement, for short), and the "Regulations for Obliged Purchasing Units / Institutions to Purchase the Products and Services Provided by Disabled Welfare Institutions, Organizations or Sheltered Workshops" (Regulations for Priority Procurement of Products or Services for Disabled or Shelters, for short). After studying these two measures, the priority procurement procedures applicable to criteria-conformed subjects can be summarized into the following two types:

1.The first type: Giving preferential contract awarding to the tenderer who qualifies with "the lowest tender price”, as proposed in the tender document, and who meets a certain criteria (for example, tenderers of environmental products, disabled welfare institutions, or sheltered workshops).  There are two scenarios: When a general tenderer and the criteria-conformed tenderer both submit the lowest tender price, the criteria-conformed tenderer shall obtain the right to be the "preferential winning tender" without having to go through the Price Comparison and Reduction Procedures. Additionally, if the lowest tender price is submitted by a general tenderer, then the criteria-conformed tenderers have the right to a "preferential price reduction” option, that is, the criteria-conformed tenderers can be contacted, in ascending order of the tender submitted, with a one time option to reduce their bidding prices. The first tenderer who reduces their price to the lowest amount shall win the tender. Both the Regulations for Eco-Products Procurement[10] and Regulations for Priority Procurement of Products or Services for Disabilities or Shelters[11] have such relevant stipulations. 

2.The second type: It is permitted to give Preferential Contract Awarding to a criteria-conformed tenderer, when the submitted tender is within the rate of price preference.  When the lowest tenderer is a general tenderer, and the tender submitted by the criteria-conformed tenderer is higher than the lowest tender price, the law permits that if the tender submitted is "within the rate of price preference ", as set by the procuring entity, the procuring entity may award the contract preferentially to "the tender submitted by the criteria-conformed tenderer." The premise for allowing this method is that the tender submitted by the criteria-conformed tenderer must be within the preferential price ratio. If the submitted tender is higher than the preferential price ratio, then the criteria-conformed tenderer does not have the right to preferential contract awarding. The contract will be awarded to theother criteria-conformed tenderer, or to a general tenderer.  This method is covered in the provisions of the Regulations for Eco-Products Procurement[12].

  However, the important premise for the above two priority procurement methods is that the nature of the subject matter of the tender is suitable for adopting the awarding principle of the lowest tender (Article 52, Paragraph 1, Subparagraphs 1 and 2 of the Procurement Act), that is, it is difficult to apply these methods to the subjects if they are different qualities. Pursuant to the provisions of Article 66 of the Enforcement Rules of the Government Procurement Act, the so-called "different qualities" refers to the construction work, property or services provided by different suppliers that are different in technology, quality, function, performance, characteristics, commercial terms, etc. Subjects of different qualities are essentially difficult to compare when based on the same specifications. If just looking at pricing alone it is difficult to identify the advantages and disadvantages of the subjects, hence, the awarding principle of the lowest tender is not appropriate. The innovative subjects are essentially subjects of different qualities, and under the same consideration, they are not suitable for applying the awarding principle of the lowest tender. Therefore, it is difficult to adopt the lowest-tender-based priority procurement method for the procurement of innovative subjects.

  In the case of innovative subjects with different qualities, the principle of the most advantageous tender should be adopted (Article 52 Paragraph 1 Subparagraph 3 of the Procurement Act) to identify the most qualified vender of the subjects through open selection. Therefore, the procedure for the priority procurement of innovative subjects with different qualities should be based on the most advantageous tender principle with focus on the "innovativeness" of the subjects, and consideration on how to give priority to tenderers, who qualify with the criteria of innovation. Pursuant to the provisions of Article 56 Paragraph 4 of the Procurement Act, the Procurement and Public Construction Commission has established the "Regulations for Evaluation of the Most Advantageous Tender". The tendering authorities adopting the most advantageous tender principle should abide by the evaluation method and procedures delineated in the method, and conduct an open selection of a winning tender. According to the Regulations for Evaluation of the Most Advantageous Tender, in addition to pricing, the tenderers' technology, quality, function, management, commercial terms, past performance of contract fulfillment, financial planning, and other matters pertaining to procurement functions or effectiveness, maybe chosen as evaluation criteria and sub-criteria. According to the three evaluation methods delineated in the provisions of Article 11 of the Regulations for Evaluation of the Most Advantageous Tender (overall evaluation score method, price per score point method, and ranking method), pricing could not been included in the scoring. That is, "the prices of the subjects" is not the absolute criterion of evaluation of the most advantageous tender process.

  The priority procurement procedures designed specifically for innovative subjects with different qualities may adopt an evaluation method that excludes "pricing" as part of the scoring criterion so as to give innovative subject tenderers the opportunity to be more competitive in the bidding evaluation process, and due to the extent of their innovativeness, obtain the right to preferential tenders. If it must be included in the scoring, the percentage of the total score for pricing should be reduced from its usual ratio[13], while stipulating explicitly that "innovation" must be included as part of the evaluation criteria. In addition, its weight distribution should not be less than a ratio that highlights the importance of innovation in the evaluation criteria.  Furthermore, when determining how to give preference to tenderers who meet certain innovation criteria in the contract awarding procedures, care should be taken to stay on focus with the degree of innovation of the subject (the higher the degree of innovation, the higher the priority), rather than giving priority to arbitrary standards. In summary, with consideration of priority procurement procedures designed specifically for innovative subjects with different qualities, this paper proposes the following preliminary regulatory directions:

1.Adopt the awarding principle of the most advantageous tender.

2.Explicitly stipulate the inclusion of "innovation" in the evaluation criteria and sub-criteria, and its ratio, one that indicates its importance, should not be less than a certain percentage of the total score (for example 20%).

3.Reduce the distributed ratio of "price" in the scoring criteria in the open selection.

4.After the members of the evaluation committee have concluded the scoring, if more than two tenderers have attained the same highest overall evaluated score or lowest quotient of price divided by overall evaluated score, or more than two tenderers have attained the first ranking, the contract is awarded preferentially to the tenderer who scores the highest in the "innovation" criterion.

5.When multiple awards (according to Article 52 Paragraph 1 Subparagraph 4 of the Procurement Act) are adopted, that is, there is more than one final winning tender, the procuring entity may select the tenderers with higher innovation scores as the price negotiation targets for contract awarding, when there are more than two tenderers with the same ranking.

  Using the above method to highlight the value of innovative subjects will make these suppliers more competitive, because of their innovativeness ratings in the procurement procedures, and not confine them to the limitation of price-determination.  So that, subject suppliers with a high degree of innovation, may attain the right to the preferential contract awarding that they deserve due to their innovativeness, and the procuring entity can purchase suitable innovative products in a more efficient and easy process. It also lowers the threshold for tenderers with innovation energy to enter the government procurement market, thus achieving the goal of supporting industrial innovation and creating a win-win scenario for supply and demand.


[1] Cross-reference Table of Amended Provisions of the Statute for Industrial Innovation, The Ministry of Economic Affairs, https://www.moea.gov.tw/MNS/populace/news/wHandNews_File.ashx?file_id=59099 (Last viewed date: 12/08/2017).

[2] According to the Guidance for public authorities on Public Procurement of Innovation issued by the Procurement of Innovation Platform in 2015, the so-called innovation procurement in essence refers to that the public sector can obtain innovative products, services, or work  by using the government procurement processes, or that the public sector can administer government procurement with a new-and-better process. Either way, the implementation of innovation procurement philosophy is an important link between government procurement, R & D and innovation, which shortens the distance between the foresighted emerging technologies/processes and the public sector/users.

[3] The EU's innovative procurement mechanism comprises the "Public Procurement of Innovation Solutions" (PPI Solutions) and "Pre-Commercial Procurement" (PCP). The former is one of the government procurement procedures, explicitly regulated in the new EU Public Procurement Directive (Directive 2014/24 / EU), for procuring solutions that are innovative, near or in preliminary commercial prototype; The latter is a procurement process designed to assist the public sector in obtaining technological innovative solutions that are not yet in commercial prototype, must undergo research and development process, and are not within the scope of EU Public Procurement Directive.

[4] The "software, innovative and green products or services", as described in paragraph 1 of Article 27 of the amended Statute for Industrial Innovation, refers to, respectively, "software", "innovative products or services", and "green products or services" in general. There is no co-ordination or subordination relationship between the three; the same applies to "innovative and green products or services" in paragraph 4.

[5] Article 93 of the Government Procurement Act stipulates: "An entity may execute an inter-entity supply contract with a supplier for the supply of property or services that are commonly needed by entities." Additionally, Article 2 of the Regulations for The Implementation of Inter-entity Supply Contracts stipulates: "The term 'property or services that are commonly needed by entities' referred to in Article 93 of the Act means property or services which are commonly required by two or more entities. The term 'inter-entity supply contract (hereinafter referred to as the “Contract”)' referred to in Article 93 of the Act means that an entity, on behalf of two or more entities, signs a contract with a supplier for property or services that are commonly needed by entities, so that the entity and other entities to which the Contract applies can utilize the Contract to conduct procurements." Therefore, according to the interpretation made by the Public Construction Commission, the Executive Yuan (PCC, for short), organizations handling inter-entity supply contracts should first conduct a demand investigation.

[6] In general, organizations in charge of handling the inter-entity supply contracts will disseminate official documents to applicable organizations with an invitation to furnish information online about their interests and estimated requirement (for budget estimation) at government's e-procurement website. However, in the case of more prospective subjects (such as cloud services of the emerging industry), it may be difficult for an organization to accurately estimate the demand when filling out the survey, resulting in a mismatch of data between the demand survey and actual needs.

[7] In accordance with the authorization of paragraph 3 of the Article, the IDB has established "Regulations Governing Examination and Identification of Advanced Recycled Products by Ministry of Economic Affairs" (including an appendix: Identification Specification for Resource Regenerating Green Products), except that the priority procurement process was not stipulated, because the Resource Regenerating Green Products, that meet the requirements of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, are covered by the "Category III Products" in the provisions of Article 6 of the existing "Regulations for Priority Procurement of Eco-Products", set forth by the PPC and The Environmental Protection Administration of the Executive Yuan. Hence, organizations that have the requirement to procure green products, may proceed with priority procurement by following the regulations in the "Regulations for Priority Procurement of Eco-Products".     

[8] After the amendment of the Article, the "software" in the provisions of paragraph 1 was excluded in paragraph 4, because the objective of paragraph 4 is to promote industry innovation and sustainable development with the use of a more flexible government procurement procedure. Thus, the subjects of the priority procurement mechanism are focused on "innovative" and "green" products or services, which exclude popular "software" that has a common standard in the market. However, if it is an "innovative software", it may be included in the "innovative products or services" in the provisions of paragraph 4.

[9] According to the provisions of Article 12 of the Charges And Fees Act: "In any of the following cases, the executive authority in charge of the concerned matters may waive or reduce the amount of the charges and fees, or suspend the collection of the charges and fees: 7. Waiver, reduction, or suspension made under other applicable laws."

[10] Refer to Article 12, Paragraph 1, Subparagraphs 1 and Article 13, Paragraph 1 and 2 of Regulations for Priority Procurement of Eco-Products.

[11] Refer to Article 4 of Regulations for Obliged Purchasing Units / Institutions to Purchase the Products and Services Provided by Disabled Welfare Institutions, Organizations or Sheltered Workshops.

[12] Refer to Article 12, Paragraph 1, Subparagraphs 2 and Article 13, Paragraph 3 of Regulations for Priority Procurement of Eco-Products.

[13] The provisions of paragraph 3 Article 16 of the Regulations for Evaluation of the Most Advantageous Tender stipulates: Where price is included in scoring, its proportion of the overall score shall be not less than 20% and not more than 50%.

※Adopting Flexible Mechanism to Promote Public Procurement of Innovation—the Amendment of Article 27 of the Statute for Industrial Innovation,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=105&tp=2&i=168&d=7969 (Date:2020/10/25)
Quote this paper
You may be interested
Introducing and analyzing the Scope and Benefits of the Regulation「Statute for Upgrading Industries」in The Biotechnology Industry in Taiwan

The recent important regulation for supporting the biopharmaceutical industry in Taiwan has been the 「Statute for Upgrading Industries」 (hereinafter referred to as 「the Statute」).The main purpose of the Statue is for upgrading all industry for future economic development, so it applies to various industries, ranging from agriculture, industrial and service businesses. In other words, the Statute does not offer incentive measures to biopharmaceutical industry in particular, but focuses on promoting the industry development in general. Statute for Upgrading Industry and Related Regulations Generally speaking, the Statute has a widespread influence on industry development in Taiwan. The incentive measures provided in the Statute is complicated and covered other related regulations under its legal framework. Thus, the article will be taking a multi-facet perspective in discussing the how Statute relates to the biopharmaceutical industry. 1 、 Scope of Application According to Article 1 of the Statute, the term 「industries」 refers to agricultural, industrial and service businesses. Consequently, nearly all kinds of industries fall under this definition, and the Statute is applicable to all of them. Moreover, in order to promote the development and application of emerging technology as well as cultivating the recognized industry, the Statute provides much more favorable terms to these industries. These emerging and major strategic industries includes computer, communication and consumer electronics (3C), precise mechanics and automation, aerospace, biomedical and chemical production, green technology, material science, nanotechnology, security and other product or service recognized by the Executive Yuan. 2 、 Tax Benefits The Statute offers several types of tax benefits, so the industry could receive sufficient reward in every way it could, and promote a sound cycle in creating new values through these benefits. (1) Benefits for the purchase of automation equipment The said procured equipment and technology over NTD600, 000 may credit a certain percentage of the investment against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable for the then current year. For the purchase of production technology, 5% may be credited. For the purchase of equipment, 7% may be credited. And any investment plan that includes the purchasing of equipment for automation can qualify for a low-interest preferential loan. Besides, for science-based industrial company imported overseas equipment that is not manufacture by local manufactures, from January 1, 2002, the imported equipment shall be exempted from import and business tax. And if the company is a bonded factory, the raw materials to be imported from abroad by it shall also be exempt from import duties and business tax. (2) Benefits for R&D expenditure Expenditure concurred for developing new products, improving production technology, or improving label-providing technology may credit 30%of the investment against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable for the then current year. Research expenditures of the current year exceeding the average research expenditure for the past two years, the excess in research expenditure shall be 50% deductible. Instruments and equipments purchased by for exclusive R&D purpose, experimentation, or quality inspection may be accelerated to two years. At last, Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company engages in R&D activities, such as Contract research Organization (CRO), may credit 30% of the investment against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable. (3) Personnel Training When a company trained staff and registered for business-related course, may credit 30% of the training cost against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable for the then current year. Where training expenses for the current year exceeds the two-year average, 50% of the excess portion may be credited. (4) Benefit for Newly Emerging Strategic Industries Corporate shareholders invest in newly emerging strategic industries are entitled to select one of the following tax benefits: A profit seeking enterprise may credit up to 20% of the price paid for acquisition of such stock against the profit seeking enterprise income tax. An individual may credit up to 10%. As of January and once every year, there will be a 1% reduction of the price paid for acquisition of such stock against the consolidated income tax payable in the then current year. A company, within two years from the beginning date for payment of the stock price by its shareholders, selects, with the approval of its shareholder meeting, the application of an exemption from profit-seeking enterprise income tax and waives the shareholders investment credit against payable income tax as mentioned above. However, that once the selection is made, no changes shall be allowed. (5) Benefits for Investment in Equipment or Technology Used for Pollution Control To prevent our environment from further pollution, the Government offers tax benefits to reward companies in making improvements. Investment in equipment or technology used for pollution control may credit 7% of the equipment expenditure, and 5% of the expenditure on technology against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable for the then current year. For any equipment that has been verified in use and specialized in air pollution control, noise pollution control, vibration control, water pollution control, environmental surveillance and waste disposal, shall be exempt from import duties and business tax. And for investment plans that planned implementation of energy saving systems can apply for a low interest loan. (6) Incentive for Operation Headquarter To encourage companies to utilize worldwide resources and set up international operation network, if they established operation headquarters within the territory of the Republic of China reaching a specific size and bringing about significant economic benefit, their following incomes shall be exempted from profit-seeking enterprise income tax: The income derived from provision of management services or R&D services. The royalty payment received under its investments to its affiliates abroad. The investment return and asset disposal received under its investment to its affiliates abroad. (7) Exchange of Technology for Stock Option The emerging-industrycompany recognized by government, upon adoption of a resolution by a majority voting of the directors present at a meeting of its board of directors attended by two-thirds of the directors of the company, may issue stock options to corporation or individual in exchange for authorization or transfer of patent and technologies. (8) Deferral of Taxes on the Exchange of Technology for Shares Taxes on income earned by investors from the acquisition of shares in emerging-industry companies in exchange for technology will be deferred for five years, on condition that the shares exchanged for technology amount to more than 20% of the company's total stock equity and that the number of persons who obtain shares in exchange for technology does not exceed five. 3 、 Technical Assistance and Capital Investment The rapid industry development has been closely tied to the infusion of funds. In addition to tax benefits, the Statute incorporates regulations especially for technical assistance and capital investment as below: (1) In order to introduce or transfer advanced technologies, technical organization formed with the contribution of government shall provide appropriate technical assistance as required. (2) In order to advance technologies, enhance R&D activities and further upgrade industries, the relevant central government authorities in charge of end enterprises may promote the implementation of industrial and technological projects by providing subsidies to such R&D projects. (3) In order to assist the start-up of domestic small-medium technological enterprises and the overall upgrading of the entire industries, guidance and assistance shall be provided for the development of venture capital enterprises.

Experiences about opening data in private sector

Experiences about opening data in private sector Ⅰ. Introduction   Open data is the idea that data should be available freely for everyone to use and republish without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. The concept of open data is not new; but a formalized definition is relatively new, and The Open Definition gives full details on the requirements for open data and content as follows:   Availability and access: the data must be available as a whole with no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably by downloading over the internet. The data must also be available in a convenient and modifiable form.   Reuse and redistribution: the data must be provided under terms that permit reuse and redistribution including the intermixing with other datasets. The data shall be machine-readable.   Universal participation: everyone must be able to use, reuse and redistribute the data— which by means there should be no discrimination against fields of endeavor or against persons or groups. For example, “non-commercial” restrictions that would prevent “commercial” use, or restrictions of use for certain purposes are not allowed.   In order to be in tune with international developmental trends, Taiwan passed an executive resolution in favor of promoting Open Government Data in November 2012. Through the release of government data, open data has grown significantly in Taiwan and Taiwan has come out on top among 122 countries and areas in the 2015 and 2016 Global Open Data Index[1].   The result represented a major leap for Taiwan, however, progress is still to be made as most of the data are from the Government, and data from other territories, especially from private sector can rarely be seen. It is a pity that data from private sector has not being properly utilized and true value of such data still need to be revealed. The following research will place emphasis to enhance the value of private data and the strategies of boosting private sector to open their own data. Ⅱ. Why open private data   With the trend of Open Government Data recent years, countries are now starting to realize that Open Government Data is improving transparency, creating opportunities for social and commercial innovation, and opening the door to better engagement with citizens. But open data is not limited to Open Government Data. In fact, the private sector not only interacts with government data, but also produces a massive amount of data, much of which in need of utilized.   According to the G20 open data policy agenda made in 2014, the potential economic value of open data for Australia is up to AUD 64 billion per annum, and the potential value of open data from private sector is around AUD 34 billion per annum. Figure 1 Value of open data for Australia (AUD billion per annum) Source: McKinsey Global Institute   The purpose for opening data held by private entities and corporations is rooted in a broad recognition that private data has the potential to foster much public good. Openness of data for companies can translate into more efficient internal governance frameworks, enhanced feedback from workers and employees, improved traceability of supply chains, accountability to end consumers, and with better service and product delivery. Open Private Data is thus a true win-win for all with benefiting not only the governance but environmental and social gains.   At the same time, a variety of constraints, notably privacy and security, but also proprietary interests and data protectionism on the part of some companies—hold back this potential. Ⅲ. The cases of Open Private Data   Syngenta AG, a global Swiss agribusiness that produces agrochemicals and seeds, has established a solid foundation for reporting on progress that relies on independent data collection and validation, assurance by 3rd party assurance providers, and endorsement from its implementing partners. Through the website, Syngenta AG has shared their datasets for agricultural with efficiency indicators for 3600 farms for selected agro-ecological zones and market segments in 42 countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America, North America and Asia. Such datasets are precious but Syngenta AG share them for free only with a Non-Commercial license which means users may copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format freely but may not use the material for commercial purposes. Figure 2 Description and License for Open data of Syngenta AG Source: http://www.syngenta.com   Tokyo Metro is a rapid transit system in Tokyo, Japan has released information such as train location and delay times for all lines as open data. The company held an Open Data Utilization Competition from 12 September to 17 November, 2014 to promote development of an app using this data and continues to provide the data even after the competition ended. However, many restrictions such as non-commercial use, or app can only be used for Tokyo Metro lines has weakened the efficiency of open data, it is still valued as an initial step of open private data. Figure 3 DM of Tokyo Metro Open data Contest Source: https://developer.tokyometroapp.jp/ Ⅳ. How to enhance Open Private Data   Open Private Data is totally different from Open Government Data since “motivation” is vital for private institutions to release their own data. Unlike the government data can be disclosed and free to use via administrative order or legislation, all of the data controlled by private institutions can only be opened under their own will. The initiative for open data therefore shall focus on how to motivate private sectors releasing their own data-by ensuring profit and minimizing risks.   Originally, open data shall be available freely for everyone to use without any restrictions, and data owners may profit indirectly as users utilizing their data creating apps, etc. but not profit from open data itself. The income is unsteady and data owners therefore lose their interest to open data. As a countermeasure, it is suggested to make data chargeable though this may contradict to the definition of open data. When data owners can charge by usage or by time, the motivation of open data would arise when open data is directly profitable.   Data owners may also worry about many legal issues when releasing their own data. They may not care about whether profitable or not but afraid of being involved into litigation disputes such as intellectual property infringement, unfair competition, etc. It is very important for data owners to have a well protected authorization agreement when releasing data, but not all of them is able to afford the cost of making agreement for each data sharing. Therefore, a standard sample of contract that can be widely adopted plays a very important role for open private data.   A data sharing platform would be a solution to help data owners sharing their own data. It can not only provide a convenient way to collect profit from data sharing but help data owners avoiding legal risks with the platform’s standard agreement. All the data owners have to do is just to transfer their own data to the platform without concern since the platform would handle other affairs. Ⅴ. Conclusion   Actively engaging the private sector in the open data value-chain is considered an innovation imperative as it is highly related to the development of information economy. Although many works still need to be done such as identifying mechanisms for catalyzing private sector engagement, these works can be done by organizations such as the World Bank and the Centre for Open Data Enterprise. Private-public collaboration is also important when it comes to strengthening the global data infrastructure, and the benefits of open data are diverse and range from improved efficiency of public administrations to economic growth in the private sector. However, open private data is not the goal but merely a start for open data revolution. It is to add variation for other organizations and individuals to analyze to create innovations while individuals, private sectors, or government will benefit from that innovation and being encouraged to release much more data to strengthen this data circulation. [1] Global Open Data Index, https://index.okfn.org/place/(Last visited: May 15, 2017)

The use of automated facial recognition technology and supervision mechanism in UK

The use of automated facial recognition technology and supervision mechanism in UK I. Introduction   Automatic facial recognition (AFR) technology has developed rapidly in recent years, and it can identify target people in a short time. The UK Home Office announced the "Biometrics Strategy" on June 28, 2018, saying that AFR technology will be introduced in the law enforcement, and the Home Office will also actively cooperate with other agencies to establish a new oversight and advisory board in order to maintain public trust. AFR technology can improve law enforcement work, but its use will increase the risk of intruding into individual liberty and privacy.   This article focuses on the application of AFR technology proposed by the UK Home Office. The first part of this article describes the use of AFR technology by the police. The second part focuses on the supervision mechanism proposed by the Home Office in the Biometrics Strategy. However, because the use of AFR technology is still controversial, this article will sort out the key issues of follow-up development through the opinions of the public and private sectors. The overview of the discussion of AFR technology used by police agencies would be helpful for further policy formulation. II. Overview of the strategy of AFR technology used by the UK police   According to the Home Office’s Biometrics Strategy, the AFR technology will be used in law enforcement, passports and immigration and national security to protect the public and make these public services more efficient[1]. Since 2017 the UK police have worked with tech companies in testing the AFR technology, at public events like Notting Hill Carnival or big football matches[2].   In practice, AFR technology is deployed with mobile or fixed camera systems. When a face image is captured through the camera, it is passed to the recognition software for identification in real time. Then, the AFR system will process if there is a ‘match’ and the alarm would solicit an operator’s attention to verify the match and execute the appropriate action[3]. For example, South Wales Police have used AFR system to compare images of people in crowds attending events with pre-determined watch lists of suspected mobile phone thieves[4]. In the future, the police may also compare potential suspects against images from closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) or mobile phone footage for evidential and investigatory purposes[5].   The AFR system may use as tools of crime prevention, more than as a form of crime detection[6]. However, the uses of AFR technology are seen as dangerous and intrusive by the UK public[7]. For one thing, it could cause serious harm to democracy and human rights if the police agency misuses AFR technology. For another, it could have a chilling effect on civil society and people may keep self-censoring lawful behavior under constant surveillance[8]. III. The supervision mechanism of AFR technology   To maintaining public trust, there must be a supervision mechanism to oversight the use of AFR technology in law enforcement. The UK Home Office indicates that the use of AFR technology is governed by a number of codes of practice including Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)’s Code of Practice for surveillance cameras[9]. (I) Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984   The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 lays down police powers to obtain and use biometric data, such as collecting DNA and fingerprints from people arrested for a recordable offence. The PACE allows law enforcement agencies proceeding identification to find out people related to crime for criminal and national security purposes. Therefore, for the investigation, detection and prevention tasks related to crime and terrorist activities, the police can collect the facial image of the suspect, which can also be interpreted as the scope of authorization of the  PACE. (II) Surveillance Camera Code of Practice   The use of CCTV in public places has interfered with the rights of the people, so the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 requires the establishment of an independent Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) for supervision. The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice  proposed by the SCC sets out 12 principles for guiding the operation and use of surveillance camera systems. The 12 guiding principles are as follows[10]: A. Use of a surveillance camera system must always be for a specified purpose which is in pursuit of a legitimate aim and necessary to meet an identified pressing need. B. The use of a surveillance camera system must take into account its effect on individuals and their privacy, with regular reviews to ensure its use remains justified. C. There must be as much transparency in the use of a surveillance camera system as possible, including a published contact point for access to information and complaints. D. There must be clear responsibility and accountability for all surveillance camera system activities including images and information collected, held and used. E. Clear rules, policies and procedures must be in place before a surveillance camera system is used, and these must be communicated to all who need to comply with them. F. No more images and information should be stored than that which is strictly required for the stated purpose of a surveillance camera system, and such images and information should be deleted once their purposes have been discharged. G. Access to retained images and information should be restricted and there must be clearly defined rules on who can gain access and for what purpose such access is granted; the disclosure of images and information should only take place when it is necessary for such a purpose or for law enforcement purposes. H. Surveillance camera system operators should consider any approved operational, technical and competency standards relevant to a system and its purpose and work to meet and maintain those standards. I. Surveillance camera system images and information should be subject to appropriate security measures to safeguard against unauthorised access and use. J. There should be effective review and audit mechanisms to ensure legal requirements, policies and standards are complied with in practice, and regular reports should be published. K. When the use of a surveillance camera system is in pursuit of a legitimate aim, and there is a pressing need for its use, it should then be used in the most effective way to support public safety and law enforcement with the aim of processing images and information of evidential value. L. Any information used to support a surveillance camera system which compares against a reference database for matching purposes should be accurate and kept up to date. (III) ICO’s Code of Practice for surveillance cameras   It must need to pay attention to the personal data and privacy protection during the use of surveillance camera systems and AFR technology. The ICO issued its Code of Practice for surveillance cameras under the Data Protection Act 1998 to explain the legal requirements operators of surveillance cameras. The key points of ICO’s Code of Practice for surveillance cameras are summarized as follows[11]: A. The use time of the surveillance camera systems should be carefully evaluated and adjusted. It is recommended to regularly evaluate whether it is necessary and proportionate to continue using it. B. A police force should ensure an effective administration of surveillance camera systems deciding who has responsibility for the control of personal information, what is to be recorded, how the information should be used and to whom it may be disclosed. C. Recorded material should be stored in a safe way to ensure that personal information can be used effectively for its intended purpose. In addition, the information may be considered to be encrypted if necessary. D. Disclosure of information from surveillance systems must be controlled and consistent with the purposes for which the system was established. E. Individuals whose information is recoded have a right to be provided with that information or view that information. The ICO recommends that information must be provided promptly and within no longer than 40 calendar days of receiving a request. F. The minimum and maximum retention periods of recoded material is not prescribed in the Data Protection Act 1998, but it should not be kept for longer than is necessary and should be the shortest period necessary to serve the purposes for which the system was established. (IV) A new oversight and advisory board   In addition to the aforementioned regulations and guidance, the UK Home Office mentioned that it will work closely with related authorities, including ICO, SCC, Biometrics Commissioner (BC), and Forensic Science Regulator (FSR) to establish a new oversight and advisory board to coordinate consideration of law enforcement’s use of facial images and facial recognition systems[12].   To sum up, it is estimated that the use of AFR technology by law enforcement has been abided by existing regulations and guidance. Firstly, surveillance camera systems must be used on the purposes for which the system was established. Secondly, clear responsibility and accountability mechanisms should be ensured. Thirdly, individuals whose information is recoded have the right to request access to relevant information. In the future, the new oversight and advisory board will be asked to consider issues relating to law enforcement’s use of AFR technology with greater transparency. IV. Follow-up key issues for the use of AFR technology   Regarding to the UK Home Office’s Biometrics Strategy, members of independent agencies such as ICO, BC, SCC, as well as civil society, believe that there are still many deficiencies, the relevant discussions are summarized as follows: (I) The necessity of using AFR technology   Elizabeth Denham, ICO Commissioner, called for looking at the use of AFR technology carefully, because AFR is an intrusive technology and can increase the risk of intruding into our privacy. Therefore, for the use of AFR technology to be legal, the UK police must have clear evidence to demonstrate that the use of AFR technology in public space is effective in resolving the problem that it aims to address[13].   The Home Office has pledged to undertake Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) before introducing AFR technology, including the purpose and legal basis, the framework applies to the organization using the biometrics, the necessity and proportionality and so on. (II)The limitations of using facial image data   The UK police can collect, process and use personal data based on the need for crime prevention, investigation and prosecution. In order to secure the use of biometric information, the BC was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The mission of the BC is to regulate the use of biometric information, provide protection from disproportionate enforcement action, and limit the application of surveillance and counter-terrorism powers.   However, the BC’s powers do not presently extend to other forms of biometric information other than DNA or fingerprints[14]. The BC has expressed concern that while the use of biometric data may well be in the public interest for law enforcement purposes and to support other government functions, the public benefit must be balanced against loss of privacy. Hence, legislation should be carried to decide that crucial question, instead of depending on the BC’s case feedback[15].   Because biometric data is especially sensitive and most intrusive of individual privacy, it seems that a governance framework should be required and will make decisions of the use of facial images by the police. (III) Database management and transparency   For the application of AFR technology, the scope of biometric database is a dispute issue in the UK. It is worth mentioning that the British people feel distrust of the criminal database held by the police. When someone is arrested and detained by the police, the police will take photos of the suspect’s face. However, unlike fingerprints and DNA, even if the person is not sued, their facial images are not automatically deleted from the police biometric database[16].   South Wales Police have used AFR technology to compare facial images of people in crowds attending major public events with pre-determined watch lists of suspected mobile phone thieves in the AFR field test. Although the watch lists are created for time-limited and specific purposes, the inclusion of suspects who could possibly be innocent people still causes public panic.   Elizabeth Denham warned that there should be a transparency system about retaining facial images of those arrested but not charged for certain offences[17]. Therefore, in the future the UK Home Office may need to establish a transparent system of AFR biometric database and related supervision mechanism. (IV) Accuracy and identification errors   In addition to worrying about infringing personal privacy, the low accuracy of AFR technology is another reason many people oppose the use of AFR technology by police agencies. Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, said the police must immediately stop using the AFR technology and avoid mistaking thousands of innocent citizens as criminals; Paul Wiles, Biometrics Commissioner, also called for legislation to manage AFR technology because of its accuracy is too low and the use of AFR technology should be tested and passed external peer review[18].   In the Home Office’s Biometric Strategy, the scientific quality standards for AFR technology will be established jointly with the FSR, an independent agency under the Home Office. In other words, the Home Office plans to extend the existing forensics science regime to regulate AFR technology.   Therefore, the FSR has worked with the SCC to develop standards relevant to digital forensics. The UK government has not yet seen specific standards for regulating the accuracy of AFR technology at the present stage. V. Conclusion   From the discussion of the public and private sectors in the UK, we can summarize some rules for the use of AFR technology. Firstly, before the application of AFR technology, it is necessary to complete the pre-assessment to ensure the benefits to the whole society. Secondly, there is the possibility of identifying errors in AFR technology. Therefore, in order to maintain the confidence and trust of the people, the relevant scientific standards should be set up first to test the system accuracy. Thirdly, the AFR system should be regarded as an assisting tool for police enforcement in the initial stage. In other words, the information analyzed by the AFR system should still be judged by law enforcement officials, and the police officers should take the responsibilities.   In order to balance the protection of public interest and basic human rights, the use of biometric data in the AFR technology should be regulated by a special law other than the regulations of surveillance camera and data protection. The scope of the identification database is also a key point, and it may need legislators’ approval to collect and store the facial image data of innocent people. Last but not least, the use of the AFR system should be transparent and the victims of human rights violations can seek appeal. [1] UK Home Office, Biometrics Strategy, Jun. 28, 2018, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/home-office-biometrics-strategy (last visited Aug. 09, 2018), at 7. [2] Big Brother Watch, FACE OFF CAMPAIGN: STOP THE MET POLICE USING AUTHORITARIAN FACIAL RECOGNITION CAMERAS, https://bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/all-campaigns/face-off-campaign/ (last visited Aug. 16, 2018). [3] Lucas Introna & David Wood, Picturing algorithmic surveillance: the politics of facial recognition systems, Surveillance & Society, 2(2/3), 177-198 (2004). [4] Supra note 1, at 12. [5] Id, at 25. [6] Michael Bromby, Computerised Facial Recognition Systems: The Surrounding Legal Problems (Sep. 2006)(LL.M Dissertation Faculty of Law University of Edinburgh), http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.197.7339&rep=rep1&type=pdf , at 3. [7] Owen Bowcott, Police face legal action over use of facial recognition cameras, The Guardian, Jun. 14, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/14/police-face-legal-action-over-use-of-facial-recognition-cameras (last visited Aug. 09, 2018). [8] Martha Spurrier, Facial recognition is not just useless. In police hands, it is dangerous, The Guardian, May 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/16/facial-recognition-useless-police-dangerous-met-inaccurate (last visited Aug. 17, 2018). [9] Supra note 1, at 12. [10] Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Surveillance camera code of practice, Oct. 28, 2014, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/surveillance-camera-code-of-practice (last visited Aug. 17, 2018). [11] UK Information Commissioner’s Office, In the picture: A data protection code of practice for surveillance cameras and personal information, Jun. 09, 2017, https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/encryption/scenarios/cctv/ (last visited Aug. 10, 2018). [12] Supra note 1, at 13. [13] Elizabeth Denham, Blog: facial recognition technology and law enforcement, Information Commissioner's Office, May 14, 2018, https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/blog-facial-recognition-technology-and-law-enforcement/ (last visited Aug. 14, 2018). [14] Monique Mann & Marcus Smith, Automated Facial Recognition Technology: Recent Developments and Approaches to Oversight, Automated Facial Recognition Technology, 10(1), 140 (2017). [15] Biometrics Commissioner, Biometrics Commissioner’s response to the Home Office Biometrics Strategy, Jun. 28, 2018, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/biometrics-commissioners-response-to-the-home-office-biometrics-strategy (last visited Aug. 15, 2018). [16] Supra note 2. [17] Supra note 13. [18] Jon Sharman, Metropolitan Police's facial recognition technology 98% inaccurate, figures show, INDEPENDENT, May 13, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/met-police-facial-recognition-success-south-wales-trial-home-office-false-positive-a8345036.html (last visited Aug. 09, 2018).

An Analysis of the Recusal Mechanism in the Latest Revision of the Government Procurement Act and Regulations Governing Procurements for Scientific and Technological Research and Development

An Analysis of the Recusal Mechanism in the Latest Revision of the Government Procurement Act and Regulations Governing Procurements for Scientific and Technological Research and Development 1. Introduction   Article 1 of the Government Procurement Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) reveals that “This Act is enacted to establish a government procurement system that has fair and open procurement procedures, promotes the efficiency and effectiveness of government procurement operation, and ensures the quality of procurement.” Therefore, a recusal mechanism for reviewing qualification/disqualification of tenders and bidders is highly essential, for example, the head of the agency or its related persons should disclose the conflict of interests. After amended and promulgated on May 22, 2019 (Presidential Decree Hua-tzung-1 Yi No. 10800049691), the Act was revised with the identical legislative principle of the Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest. In other words, a more flexible and transparent mechanism has been adopted, which is more advanced and ideal for both procurement authority and external supervisors. 2. The New Recusal Mechanism of the Act Enhances the Flexibility and Transparency   The revision struck out the Paragraph 4, Article 15 of the Act, and the regulation related to the recusal mechanism shall be comply with the Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest, especially the qualification/disqualification provision of the “related persons.” The new government procurement procedure adopted a more flexible and transparent practice, “disclosure in advance and publication afterwards.” The detailed analysis is as follows. (1) Before the Act amended, the personnel of a procuring entity and its related persons shall withdraw themselves from the procurement.   Before the Act amended, the personnel of a procuring entity and its related persons shall withdraw themselves from the procurement. According to the previous Paragraph 4 of Article 15 (4), “Suppliers or persons in charge shall not participate in the procurement if they have connections with the agency’s head described in Paragraph 2. However, if the implementation of this paragraph is against fair competition or public interest, the exclusion can be exempted with the authority’s approval.” The Paragraph 2 mentioned specified, “The personnel of a procuring entity shall withdraw themselves from procurement and all related matters thereof if they or their spouses, relatives by blood or by marriage within three degrees, or family members living together with them have interests involved therein.” Simply put, legislators considered that suppliers or persons in charge shall not participate in an agency's procurement if they have conflict of interests with its head. For instance, the spouses, all the relatives within the third degree by consanguinity (blood) or by affinity (marriage), or family members living together with the head of the agency, cannot involve in the procurement of the agency. Furthermore, if a legal entity or an organization is directed by the relatives of the head of a government agency mentioned, it is disqualified from the procurement. (2) After the Act amended, the recusal of related persons substituted by self-disclosure and information publication norms   According to the Amendment, the Act was amended because the content of the article is existed in Article 9 of Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest; thus, Article 15 of the Act is hereby deleted. Recalling Article 9 of the previous Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest, “A public servant and his related persons shall not conduct transactions such as subsidizing, sales, lease, contracting, or other transactions conducted with consideration with the organ with which the public servant serves or the organs under his supervision.” For this reason, the amendment to Article 15 of Government Procurement Act is to regulate the mechanism of withdrawal of relevant parties by Article 14 of the existing Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest. However, the amendment of this article is greatly affected by the interpretation of judicial court no. 716, so it is necessary to briefly describe its key points as follows.   On the basis of the Judicial Yuan Justice Interpretation No. 716 [Transactions between public officials and their associates and service agencies shall be prohibited), adopting a constitutional interpretation of Article 9 of Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest, grand justice agreed this article does not contradict the proportion principle of article 23 of Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and it does not violate Article 15 “The right of existence, the right of work, and the right of property shall be guaranteed to the people” and Article 22 “All other freedoms and rights of the people that are not detrimental to social order or public welfare shall be guaranteed under the Constitution”, either. However, for public officials, if they are not allowed to participate in trading competition, it will result in the monopoly of other minority traders, which is not conducive to the public interest. Therefore, this interpretation holds that if the agency has conducted open and fair procedures in the transaction process, and there is sufficient anti-fraud regulation, whether there is still a risk of improper benefit transmission or conflict of interest, and it is necessary to prohibit the transaction of public officials' associates, the relevant authorities should make comprehensive review and improvement as soon as possible.   Accordingly, following interpretation no. 716, Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest was amended and published with 23 articles on 13 June, 2018. The withdrawal of interested parties is provided for in Article 14 and an additional six exceptions are provided, including: (1) The procurement carried out by public notice under the Government Procurement Act or pursuant to Article 105 of the same Act. (2) The property right in interest created for the procurement, sale by tender, lease by tender or tender solicitation carried out by public notice in a fair competitive manner pursuant to laws. (3) Subsidy requested in the legal capacity under laws; the subsidy to the public servant’s related person in an open and fair manner pursuant to laws, or the subsidy which might be against the public interest if it is prohibited and is granted subject to the competent authority’s approval. (4) The subject matter of the transaction is provided by the organ with which the public servant serves or the organs under his supervision, and traded at the official price. (5) The lease, acquisition, discretionary management, improvement and utilization of national non-public real estate requested by the state-owned enterprise in order to execute the national construction projects or public policies, or for the purpose of public welfare. (6) The subsidy and transaction under the specific amount.   The above amendments make the transactions between public officials and related parties that should be avoided in the past partially flexible now. In accordance with Paragraph 2 of the same article, in the case of the first three paragraphs of the proviso of Paragraph 1, the applicant or bidder shall voluntarily state his/her identity in the application or tender documents. After the subsidy or transaction is established, the agency shall disclose it together with its identity. That is to say, the self-disclosure is required beforehand and the information will go public afterwards to meet public expectations of transparency. This is also conducive to the supervision of all sectors, and conforms to the intention of the grand justice’s interpretation.   The reason why there is no need for government procurement to withdrawal is that the announcement process of the procurement is made in accordance with Government Procurement Act (including open tendering, selective tendering and restricted tendering through the announcement). There are strict procedures to follow and there is no conflict between the conflict of interest of public officials and the spirit of legislation. As to Paragraph 2 of other legal orders, the property right in interest created for the procurement, sale by tender, lease by tender or tender solicitation carried out by public notice in a fair competitive manner pursuant to laws. The legislative explanations are exemplified by the procurement (e.g. procurements for scientific and technological research and development) handled by the announcement in accordance with Fundamental Science and Technology Act. 3. Conclusion: It is suggested that relevant withdrawal regulations should be amended as soon as possible in procurements for scientific and technological research and development   The strike-out of the recusal provision of the Act does not mean that government procurement stoke out the recusal mechanism. The recusal mechanism is still stated in Article 14 of Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest. In addition to the advantages of the same regulations on the prohibition of transactions between related parties, it also enables the regulators with open and fair procedures and sufficient prevention of fraud, such as government procurement, to avoid evading so as not to harm the public interest. At the same time, supplemented by open and transparent disclosure, the amendment is a positive change of legislation.   Meanwhile, this paper believes that Government Procurement Act has adopted the mechanism of flexibility and transparency requirements for the procurement object avoidance regulations, and procurements for scientific and technological research and development should revise relevant withdrawal regulations as soon as possible. In accordance with Paragraph 4 of Article 6 of Fundamental Science and Technology Act and the authorization, Regulations Governing Procurements for Scientific and Technological Research and Development (hereinafter referred to as the regulatory regulations) is established. According to Article 8 (2) and (3) of the regulation, a responsible person, partner, or representative of the public school, public research institute (organization), or juristic person or entity performing the scientific research procurement may not serve as a responsible person, partner, or representative of the supplier. The supplier and the juristic person or entity performing the scientific research procurement may not at the same time be affiliated with each other, or affiliated to the same other enterprise. From the perspective of the article structure, the withdrawal regulation for scientific research procurement is within the norm of Article 15 of Government Procurement Act before the amendment, but it includes regulations for affiliated enterprises, which is not included in Article 15. The amendment to Article 14 of Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest also states that the proviso of Paragraph 1 of scientific research procurement “other procurements that are regulated by fair competition and by means of an announcement procedure” can also prove that the mechanism for scientific research procurement should adopt this provision. Therefore, it is recommended that the original procurements for scientific and technological research that is independent from Government Procurement Act should be amended by the competent authority as soon as possible in order to comply with the relevant provisions of Article 8 of Regulations Governing Procurements for Scientific and Technological Research and Development and to comply with the original intention of the Regulations Governing Procurements for Scientific and Technological Research and Development, and to avoid stricter regulations on scientific procurement than government procurement. Meanwhile, it is in accordance with the spirit of the grand justice’s interpretation No. 716.

TOP