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
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.
The opening and sharing of scientific data- The Data Policy of the U.S. National Institutes of Health Li-Ting Tsai Scientific research improves the well-being of all mankind, the data sharing on medical and health promote the overall amount of energy in research field. For promoting the access of scientific data and research findings which was supported by the government, the U.S. government affirmed in principle that the development of science was related to the retention and accesses of data. The disclosure of information should comply with legal restrictions, and the limitation by time as well. For government-sponsored research, the data produced was based on the principle of free access, and government policies should also consider the actual situation of international cooperationFurthermore, the access of scientific research data would help to promote scientific development, therefore while formulating a sharing policy, the government should also consider the situation of international cooperation, and discuss the strategy of data disclosure based on the principle of free access. In order to increase the effectiveness of scientific data, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) set up the Office of Science Policy (OSP) to formulate a policy which included a wide range of issues, such as biosafety (biosecurity), genetic testing, genomic data sharing, human subjects protections, the organization and management of the NIH, and the outputs and value of NIH-funded research. Through extensive analysis and reports, proposed emerging policy recommendations. At the level of scientific data sharing, NIH focused on "genes and health" and "scientific data management". The progress of biomedical research depended on the access of scientific data; sharing scientific data was helpful to verify research results. Researchers integrated data to strengthen analysis, promoted the reuse of difficult-generated data, and accelerated research progress. NIH promoted the use of scientific data through data management to verify and share research results. For assisting data sharing, NIH had issued a data management and sharing policy (DMS Policy), which aimed to promote the sharing of scientific data funded or conducted by NIH. DMS Policy defines “scientific data.” as “The recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as of sufficient quality to validate and replicate research findings, regardless of whether the data are used to support scholarly publications. Scientific data do not include laboratory notebooks, preliminary analyses, completed case report forms, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, communications with colleagues, or physical objects, such as laboratory specimens.” In other words, for determining scientific data, it is not only based on whether the data can support academic publications, but also based on whether the scientific data is a record of facts and whether the research results can be repeatedly verified. In addition, NIH, NIH research institutes, centers, and offices have had expected sharing of data, such as: scientific data sharing, related standards, database selection, time limitation, applicable and presented in the plan; if not applicable, the researcher should propose the data sharing and management methods in the plan. NIH also recommended that the management and sharing of data should implement the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) principles. The types of data to be shared should first in general descriptions and estimates, the second was to list meta-data and other documents that would help to explain scientific data. NIH encouraged the sharing of scientific data as soon as possible, no later than the publication or implementation period. It was said that even each research project was not suitable for the existing sharing strategy, when planning a proposal, the research team should still develop a suitable method for sharing and management, and follow the FAIR principles. The scientific research data which was provided by the research team would be stored in a database which was designated by the policy or funder. NIH proposed a list of recommended databases lists, and described the characteristics of ideal storage databases as “have unique and persistent identifiers, a long-term and sustainable data management plan, set up metadata, organizing data and quality assurance, free and easy access, broad and measured reuse, clear use guidance, security and integrity, confidentiality, common format, provenance and data retention policy”. That is to say, the design of the database should be easy to search scientific data, and should maintain the security, integrity and confidentiality and so on of the data while accessing them. In the practical application of NIH shared data, in order to share genetic research data, NIH proposed a Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy in 2014, including NIH funding guidelines and contracts; NIH’s GDS policy applied to all NIHs Funded research, the generated large-scale human or non-human genetic data would be used in subsequent research.  This can effectively promote genetic research forward. The GDS policy obliged researchers to provide genomic data; researchers who access genomic data should also abide by the terms that they used the Controlled-Access Data for research. After NIH approved, researchers could use the NIH Controlled-Access Data for secondary research. Reviewed by NIH Data Access Committee, while researchers accessed data must follow the terms which was using Controlled-Access Data for research reason. The Genomic Summary Results (GSR) was belong to NIH policy, and according to the purpose of GDS policy, GSR was defined as summary statistics which was provided by researchers, and non-sensitive data was included to the database that was designated by NIH. Namely. NIH used the application and approval of control access data to strike a balance between the data of limitation access and scientific development. For responding the COVID-19 and accelerating the development of treatments and vaccines, NIH's data sharing and management policy alleviated the global scientific community’s need for opening and sharing scientific data. This policy established data sharing as a basic component in the research process. In conclusion, internalizing data sharing in the research process will help to update the research process globally and face the scientific challenges of all mankind together. NATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL, COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, SUBCOMMITEE ON INTERNATIONAL ISSUES, INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP ON OPEN DATA SHARING POLICY, Principles For Promoting Access To Federal Government-Supported Scientific Data And Research Findings Through International Scientific Cooperation (2016), 1, organized from Principles, at 5-8, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/NSTC/iwgodsp_principles_0.pdf (last visited December 14, 2020). About Us, Welcome to NIH Office of Science Policy, NIH National Institutes of Health Office of Science Policy, https://osp.od.nih.gov/about-us/ (last visited December 7, 2020). NIH Data Management and Sharing Activities Related to Public Access and Open Science, NIH National Institutes of Health Office of Science Policy, https://osp.od.nih.gov/scientific-sharing/nih-data-management-and-sharing-activities-related-to-public-access-and-open-science/ (last visited December 10, 2020). Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, NIH National Institutes of Health Office of Extramural Research, Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD), https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-21-013.html (last visited December 11, 2020). Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, NIH National Institutes of Health Office of Extramural Research, Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD), https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-21-013.html (last visited December 12, 2020). Supplemental Information to the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing: Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan, Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD), https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-21-014.html (last visited December 13, 2020). The list of databases in details please see：Open Domain-Specific Data Sharing Repositories, NIH National Library of Medicine, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/NIHbmic/domain_specific_repositories.html (last visited December 24, 2020). Supplemental Information to the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing: Selecting a Repository for Data Resulting from NIH-Supported Research, Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD), https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-21-016.html (last visited December 13, 2020). NIH Genomic Data Sharing, National Institutes of Health Office of Science Policy, https://osp.od.nih.gov/scientific-sharing/genomic-data-sharing/ (last visited December 15, 2020). NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy, National Institutes of Health (NIH), https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-14-124.html (last visited December 17, 2020). NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy, National Institutes of Health (NIH), https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-14-124.html (last visited December 17, 2020). id. NIH National Institutes of Health Turning Discovery into Health, Responsible Use of Human Genomic Data An Informational Resource, 1, at 6, https://osp.od.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/Responsible_Use_of_Human_Genomic_Data_Informational_Resource.pdf (last visited December 17, 2020). Update to NIH Management of Genomic Summary Results Access, National Institutes of Health (NIH), https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-19-023.html (last visited December 17, 2020). Francis S. Collins, Statement on Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, National Institutes of Health Turning Discovery Into Health, https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/statements/statement-final-nih-policy-data-management-sharing (last visited December 14, 2020).Recommendation of the Regulations on the Legal and Effective Access to Taiwan’s Biological Resources
Preface Considering that, many countries and regional international organizations already set up ABS system, such as Andean Community, African Union, Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), Australia, South Africa, and India, all are enthusiastic with the establishment of the regulations regarding the access management of biological resources and genetic resources. On the other hand, there are still many countries only use traditional and existing conservation-related regulations to manage the access of biological resources. Can Taiwan's regulations comply with the purposes and objects of CBD? Is there a need for Taiwan to set up specific regulations for the management of these access activities? This article plans to present Taiwan's regulations and review the effectiveness of the existing regulations from the aspect of enabling the legal and effective access to biological resources. A recommendation will be made on whether Taiwan should reinforce the management of the bio-resources access activities. Review and Recommendation of the Regulations on the Legal and Effective Access to Taiwan's Biological Rersearch Resources （1）Evaluate the Needs and Benefits before Establishing the Regulation of Access Rights When taking a look at the current development of the regulations on the access of biological resources internationally, we discover that some countries aggressively develop designated law for access, while some countries still adopt existing regulations to explain the access rights. Whether to choose a designated law or to adopt the existing law should depend on the needs of establishing access and benefit sharing system. Can the access and benefit sharing system benefit the functioning of bio-technological research and development activities that link closely to the biological resources? Can the system protect the interests of Taiwan's bio-research results? In Taiwan, in the bio-technology industry, Agri-biotech, Medical, or Chinese Herb Research & Development are the key fields of development. However, the biological resources they use for the researches are mainly supplied from abroad. Hence, the likelihood of violating international bio-piracy is higher. On the contrary, the incidence of international research houses searching for the biological resources from Taiwan is comparatively lower, so the possibility for them to violate Taiwan's bio-piracy is very low. To look at this issue from a different angle, if Taiwan establishes a separate management system for the access of biological resources, it is likely to add more restrictions to Taiwan's bio-tech R&D activities and impact the development of bio-industry. Also, under the new management system, international R&D teams will also be confined, if they wish to explore the biological resources, or conduct R&D and seek for co-operation activities in Taiwan. Not to mention that it is not a usual practice for international R&D teams to look for Taiwan's biological resources. A new management system will further reduce their level of interest in doing so. In the end, the international teams will then shift their focus of obtaining resources from other countries where the regulation on access is relatively less strict. Before Taiwan establishes the regulations on the legal and effective access to bio-research resources, the government should consider not only the practical elements of the principal on the fair and impartial sharing of the derived interests from bio-research resources, but also take account of its positive and negative impacts on the development of related bio-technological industries. Even if a country's regulation on the access and benefit sharing is thorough and comprehensive enough to protect the interests of bio-resource provider, it will, on the contrary, reduce the industry's interest in accessing the bio-resources. As a result, the development of bio-tech industry will be impacted and the resource provider will then be unable to receive any benefits. By then, the goal of establishing the regulation to benefit both the industry and resource provider will not be realized. To sum up, it is suggested to evaluate the suitability of establishing the management system for the access to biological resources through the cost-effect analysis first. And, further consider the necessity of setting up regulations by the access the economic benefits derived from the regulation for both resource provider and bio-tech industry. （2）The Feasibility of Managing the access to Bio-research Resources from existing Regulations As analysed in the previous paragraphs, the original intention of setting up the Wildlife Conservation Act, National Park Law, Forestry Act, Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, and Aboriginal Basic Act is to protect the environment and to conserve the ecology. However, if we utilize these traditional regulations properly, it can also partially help to manage the access to biological resources. When Taiwan's citizens wish to enter specific area, or to collect the biological resources within the area, they need to receive the permit from management authority, according to current regulations. Since these national parks, protection areas, preserved areas, or other controlled areas usually have the most comprehensive collections of valuable biological resources in a wide range of varieties, it is suggested to include the agreements of access and benefit sharing as the mandatory conditions when applying for the entrance permit. Therefore, the principal of benefit sharing from the access to biological resources can be assured. Furthermore, the current regulations already favour activities of accessing biological resources for academic research purpose. This practice also ties in with the international trend of separating the access application into two categories - academic and business. Australia's practice of access management can be a very good example of utilizing the existing regulations to control the access of resources. The management authority defines the guidelines of managing the entrance of control areas, research of resources, and the collection and access of resources. The authority also adds related agreements, such as PIC (Prior Informed Consent), MTA (Material Transfer Agreement), and benefit sharing into the existing guidelines of research permission. In terms of scope of management, the existing regulation does not cover all of Taiwan's bio-research resources. Luckily, the current environmental protection law regulates areas with the most resourceful resources or with the most distinctive and rare species. These are often the areas where the access management system is required. Therefore, to add new regulation for access management on top of the existing regulation is efficient method that utilizes the least administrative resources. This could be a feasible way for Taiwan to manage the access to biological resources. （3）Establish Specific Regulations to Cover the Details of the Scope of Derived Interests and the Items and Percentage of Funding Allocation In addition to the utilization of current regulations to control the access to biological resources, many countries establish specific regulations to manage the biological resources. If, after the robust economic analysis had been done, the country has come to an conclusion that it is only by establishing new regulations of access management the resources and derived interests of biological resources can be impartially shared, the CBD (Convention of Bio Diversity), the Bonn Guidelines, or the real implementation experiences of many countries can be an important guidance when establishing regulations. Taiwan has come up with the preliminary draft of Genetic Resources Act that covers the important aspects of international access guidelines. The draft indicates the definition and the scope of access activities, the process of access applications (for both business and academic purpose), the establishment of standardized or model MTA, the obligation of disclosing the sources of property rights (patents), and the establishment of bio-diversity fund. However, if we observe the regulation or drafts to the access management of the international agreements or each specific country, we can find that the degree of strictness varies and depends on the needs and situations. Generally speaking, these regulations usually do not cover some detailed but important aspects such as the scope of derived interests from biological resources, or the items and percentage of the allocation of bio-diversity fund. Under the regulation to the access to biological resources, in addition to the access fee charge, the impartial sharing of the derived interests is also an important issue. Therefore, to define the scope of interests is extremely important. Any interest that is out of the defined scope cannot be shared. The interest stated in the existing regulation generally refers to the biological resources or the derived business interests from genetic resources. Apart from describing the forms of interest such as money, non-money, or intellectual property rights, the description of actual contents or scope of the interests is minimal in the regulations. However, after realizing the importance of bio-diversity and the huge business potential, many countries have started to investigate the national and international bio-resources and develop a database system to systematically collect related bio-research information. The database comprised of bio-resources is extremely useful to the activities related to bio-tech developments. If the international bio-tech companies can access Taiwan's bio-resource database, it will save their travelling time to Taiwan. Also, the database might as well become a product that generates revenues. The only issue that needs further clarification is whether the revenue generated from the access of database should be classified as business interests, as defined in the regulations. As far as the bio-diversity fund is concerned, many countries only describe the need of setting up bio-diversity funds in a general manner in the regulations. But the definition of which kind of interests should be put into funds, the percentage of the funds, and the related details are not described. As a result, the applicants to the access of bio-resources or the owner of bio-resources cannot predict the amount of interests to be put into bio-diversity fund before they actually use the resources. This issue will definitely affect the development of access activities. To sum up, if Taiwan's government wishes to develop the specific regulations for the access of biological resources, it is advised to take the above mentioned issues into considerations for a more thoroughly described, and more effective regulations and related framework. Conclusion In recent years, it has been a global trend to establish the regulations of the access to and benefit sharing of bio-resources. The concept of benefit sharing is especially treated as a useful weapon for the developing countries to protect the interests of their abundant bio-research resources. However, as we are in the transition period of changing from free access to biological resources to controlled access, we are facing different regulations within one country as well as internationally. It will be a little bit disappointing for the academic research institution and the industry who relies on the biological resources to conduct bio-tech development if they do not see a clear principal direction to follow. The worse case is the violation of the regulation of the country who owns the bio-resources when the research institutions try to access, exchange, or prospect the biological resources without thorough understanding of related regulations. For some of Taiwan's leading fields in the bio-tech industry, such as Chinese and herbal medicine related products, agricultural products, horticultural products, and bio-tech products, since many resources are obtained from abroad, the incidence of violation of international regulation will increase, and the costs from complying the regulations will also increase. Therefore, not only the researcher but also the government have the responsibility to understand and educate the related people in Taiwan's bio-tech fields the status of international access management regulations and the methods of legally access the international bio-research resources. Currently in Taiwan, we did not establish specific law to manage the access to and benefit sharing of bio-resources. Comparing with the international standard, there is still room of improvement for Taiwan's regulatory protection to the provider of biological resources. However, we have to consider the necessity of doing so, and how to do the improvement. And Taiwan's government should resolve this issue. When we consider whether we should follow international trend to establish a specific law for access management, we should always go back to check the potential state interests we will receive and take this point into consideration. To define the interests, we should always cover the protection of biological resources, the development of bio-tech industry, and the administrative costs of government. Also the conservation of biological resources and the encouragement of bio-tech development should be also taken into consideration when the government is making decisions. In terms of establishing regulations for the access to biological resources and the benefit sharing, there are two possible solutions. The first solution is to utilize the existing regulations and add the key elements of access management into the scope of administrative management. The work is planned through the revision of related current procedures such as entrance control of controlled areas and the access of specific resources. The second solution is to establish new regulations for the access to biological resources. The first solution is relatively easier and quicker; while the second solution is considered to have a more comprehensive control of the issue. The government has the final judgement on which solution to take to generate a more effective management of Taiwan's biological resources.The Study of Estonian Human Genes Database
I. Introduction The human genes database or human genome project, the product under the policy of biotechnology no matter in a developed or developing country, has been paid more attention by a government and an ordinary people gradually. The construction of human genes database or human genome project, which is not only related to a country’s innovation on biotechnology, but also concerns the promotion of a country’s medical quality, the construction of medical care system, and the advantages brought by the usage of bio-information stored in human genes database or from human genome project. However, even though every country has a high interest in setting up human genes database or performing human genome project, the issues concerning the purposes of related biotechnology policies, the distribution of advantages and risks and the management of bio-information, since each country has different recognition upon human genes database or human genome project and has varied standards of protecting human basic rights, there would be a totally difference upon planning biotechnology policies or forming the related systems. Right now, the countries that vigorously discuss human genes database or practice human genome project include England, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Latvia and Estonia. Estonia, which is the country around the Baltic Sea, has planned to set up its own human genes database in order to draw attention from other advanced countries, to attract intelligent international researchers or research groups, and to be in the lead in the area of biotechnology. To sum up, the purpose of constructing Estonian human genes database was to collect the genes and health information of nearly 70% Estonia’s population and to encourage bio-research and promote medical quality. II. The Origin of Estonian Human Genes Database The construction of Estonian human genes database started from Estonian Genome Project (EGP). This project was advocated by the professor of biotechnology Andres Metspalu at Tartu University in Estonia, and he proposed the idea of setting up Estonian human genes database in 1999. The purposes of EGP not only tried to make the economy of Estonia shift from low-cost manufacturing and heavy industry to an advanced technological economy, but also attempted to draw other countries’ attention and to increase the opportunity of making international bio-researches, and then promoted the development of biotechnology and assisted in building the system of medical care in Estonia. EGP started from the agreement made between Estonian government and Eesti Geenikeskus (Estonian Genome Foundation) in March, 1999. Estonian Genome Foundation was a non-profit organization formed by Estonian scientists, doctors and politicians, and its original purposes were to support genes researches, assist in proceeding any project of biotechnology and to set up EGP. The original goals of constructing EGP were “(a) reaching a new level in health care, reduction of costs, and more effective health care, (b) improving knowledge of individuals, genotype-based risk assessment and preventive medicine, and helping the next generation, (c) increasing competitiveness of Estonia – developing infrastructure, investments into high-technology, well-paid jobs, and science intensive products and services, (d) [constructing] better management of health databases (phenotype/genotype database), (e) … [supporting]… economic development through improving gene technology that opens cooperation possibilities and creates synergy between different fields (e.g., gene technology, IT, agriculture, health care)”1. III. The Way of Constructing Estonian Human Genes Database In order to ensure that Estonian human genes database could be operated properly and reasonably in the perspectives of law, ethics and society in Estonia, the Estonian parliament followed the step of Iceland to enact “Human Genes Research Act” (HGRA) via a special legislative process to regulate its human genes database in 2000. HGRA not only authorizes the chief processor to manage Estonian human genes database, but also regulates the issues with regard to the procedure of donation, the maintenance and building of human genes database, the organization of making researches, the confidential identity of donator or patient, the discrimination of genes, and so on. Since the construction of Estonian human genes database might bring the conflicts of different points of view upon the database in Estonia, in order to “avoid fragmentation of societal solidarity and ensure public acceptability and respectability”2 , HGRA adopted international standards regulating a genes research to be a norm of maintaining and building the database. Those standards include UNESCO Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (1997) and the Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (1997). The purpose of enacting HGRA is mainly to encourage and promote genes researches in Estonia via building Estonian human genes database. By means of utilizing the bio-information stored in the database, it can generate “more exact and efficient drug development, new diagnostic tests, improved individualized treatment and determination of risks of the development of a disease in the future”3 . In order to achieve the above objectives, HGRA primarily puts emphasis on several aspects. Those aspects include providing stronger protection on confidential identity of donators or patients, caring for their privacy, ensuring their autonomy to make donations, and avoiding any possibility that discrimination may happen because of the disclosure of donators’ or patients’ genes information. 1.HERBERT GOTTWEIS & ALAN PETERSEN, BIOBANKS – GOVERNANCE IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE 59 (2008). 2.Andres Rannamae, Populations and Genetics – Legal and Socio-Ethical Perspectives, in Estonian Genome Porject – Large Scale Health Status Description and DNA Collection 18, 21 (Bartha Maria Knoppers et al. eds., 2003. 3.REMIGIUS N. NWABUEZE, BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE CHALLENGE OF PROPERTY – PROPERTY RIGHTS IN DEAD BODIES, BODY PARTS, AND GENETIC INFORMATION, 163 (2007).Israel’s Technological Innovation System
I.Introduction Recently, many countries have attracted by Israel’s technology innovation, and wonder how Israel, resource-deficiency and enemies-around, has the capacity to enrich the environment for innovative startups, innovative R&D and other innovative activities. At the same time, several cross-border enterprises hungers to establish research centers in Israel, and positively recruits Israel high-tech engineers to make more innovative products or researches. However, there is no doubt that Israel is under the spotlight in the era of innovation because of its well-shaped national technology system framework, innovative policies of development and a high level of R&D expenditure, and there must be something to learn from. Also, Taiwanese government has already commenced re-organization lately, how to tightly connect related public technology sectors, and make the cooperation more closely and smoothly, is a critical issue for Taiwanese government to focus on. Consequently, by the observation of Israel’s national technology system framework and technology regulations, Israel’s experience shall be a valuable reference for Taiwanese government to build a better model for public technology sectors for future cooperation. Following harsh international competition, each country around the world is trying to find out the way to improve its ability to upgrade international competitiveness and to put in more power to promote technology innovation skills. Though, while governments are wondering how to strengthen their countries’ superiority, because of the differences on culture and economy, those will influence governments’ points of view to form an appropriate national innovative system, and will come with a different outcome. Israel, as a result of the fact that its short natural resources, recently, its stunning performance on technology innovation system makes others think about whether Israel has any characteristics or advantages to learn from. According to Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, Israel’s national expenditures on civilian R&D in 2013 amounted to NIS 44.2 billion, and shared 4.2% of the GDP. Compared to 2012 and 2011, the national expenditure on civilian R&D in 2013, at Israel’s constant price, increased by 1.3%, following an increase of 4.5% in 2012 and of 4.1% in 2011. Owing to a high level of national expenditure poured in, those, directly and indirectly, makes the outputs of Israel’s intellectual property and technology transfer have an eye-catching development and performance. Based on Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, in 2012-2013, approximately 1,438 IP invention disclosure reports were submitted by the researchers of various universities and R&D institutions for examination by the commercialization companies. About 1,019 of the reports were by companies at the universities, an increase of 2.2% compared to 2010-2011, and a 1% increase in 2010-2011 compared to 2008-2009. The dominant fields of the original patent applicants were medicines (24%), bio-technology (17%), and medical equipment (13%). The revenues from sales of intellectual property and gross royalties amounted to NIS 1,881 million in 2012, compared to NIS 1,680 million in 2011, and increase of 11.9%. The dominant field of the received revenues was medicines (94%). The revenues from sales of intellectual property and gross royalties in university in 2012 amounted to NIS 1,853 million in 2012, compared to NIS 1,658 million in 2011, an increase of 11.8%. Therefore, by the observation of these records, even though Israel only has 7 million population, compared to other large economies in the world, it is still hard to ignore Israel’s high quality of population and the energy of technical innovation within enterprises. II.The Recent Situation of Israel’s Technology Innovation System A.The Determination of Israel’s Technology Policy The direction and the decision of national technology policy get involved in a country’s economy growth and future technology development. As for a government sector deciding technology policy, it would be different because of each country’s government and administrative system. Compared to other democratic countries, Israel is a cabinet government; the president is the head of the country, but he/she does not have real political power, and is elected by the parliament members in every five years. At the same time, the parliament is re-elected in every four years, and the Israeli prime minister, taking charge of national policies, is elected from the parliament members by the citizens. The decision of Israel’s technology policy is primarily made by the Israeli Ministers Committee for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology. The chairman of the Israeli Ministry Committee for Science and Technology is the Minister of Science and Technology, and takes charge of making the guideline of Israel’s national technology development policy and is responsible for coordinating R&D activities in Ministries. The primary function of the Ministry of Science and Technology is to make Israel’s national technology policies and to plan the guideline of national technology development; the scope includes academic research and applied scientific research. In addition, since Israel’s technology R&D was quite dispersed, it means that the Ministries only took responsibilities for their R&D, this phenomenon caused the waste of resources and inefficiency; therefore, Israel government gave a new role and responsibility for the Chief Scientists Forum under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2000, and wished it can take the responsibility for coordinating R&D between the government’s sectors and non-government enterprises. The determination of technology policy, however, tends to rely on counseling units to provide helpful suggestions to make technology policies more intact. In the system of Israel government, the units playing a role for counseling include National Council for Research and Development (NCRD), the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure, the National Council for Civil Research and Development (MOLMOP), and the Chief Scientists Forums in Ministries. Among the aforementioned units, NCRD and the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure not only provide policy counseling, but also play a role in coordinating R&D among Ministries. NCRD is composed by the Chief Scientists Forums in Ministries, the chairman of Planning and Budgeting Committee, the financial officers, entrepreneurs, senior scientists and the Dean of Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. NCRD’s duties include providing suggestions regarding the setup of R&D organizations and related legal system, and advices concerning how to distribute budgets more effectively; making yearly and long-term guidelines for Israel’s R&D activities; suggesting the priority area of R&D; suggesting the formation of necessary basic infrastructures and executing the priority R&D plans; recommending the candidates of the Offices of Chief Scientists in Ministries and government research institutes. As for the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure, the role it plays includes providing advices concerning budgets and the development framework of technology basic infrastructures; providing counsel for Ministries; setting up the priority scientific plans and items, and coordinating activities of R&D between academic institutes and national research committee. At last, as for MOLMOP, it was founded by the Israeli parliament in 2002, and its primary role is be a counseling unit regarding technology R&D issues for Israel government and related technology Ministries. As for MOLMOP’s responsibilities, which include providing advices regarding the government’s yearly and long-term national technology R&D policies, providing the priority development suggestion, and providing the suggestions for the execution of R&D basic infrastructure and research plans. B.The Management and Subsidy of Israel’s Technology plans Regarding the institute for the management and the subsidy of Israel’s technology plans, it will be different because of grantee. Israel Science Foundation (ISF) takes responsibility for the subsidy and the management of fundamental research plans in colleges, and its grantees are mainly focused on Israel’s colleges, high education institutes, medical centers and research institutes or researchers whose areas are in science and technical, life science and medicine, and humanity and social science. As for the budget of ISF, it mainly comes from the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) in Israel Council for Higher Education. In addition, the units, taking charge of the management and the subsidy of technology plans in the government, are the Offices of the Chief Scientist in Ministries. Israel individually forms the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy. The function of the Office of the Chief Scientist not only promotes and inspires R&D innovation in high technology industries that the Office the Chief Scientist takes charge, but also executes Israel’s national plans and takes a responsibility for industrial R&D. Also, the Office of the Chief Scientist has to provide aid supports for those industries or researches, which can assist Israel’s R&D to upgrade; besides, the Office of the Chief Scientists has to provide the guide and training for enterprises to assist them in developing new technology applications or broadening an aspect of innovation for industries. Further, the Office of the Chief Scientists takes charge of cross-country R&D collaboration, and wishes to upgrade Israel’s technical ability and potential in the area of technology R&D and industry innovation by knowledge-sharing and collaboration. III.The Recent Situation of the Management and the Distribution of Israel’s Technology Budget A.The Distribution of Israel’s Technology R&D Budgets By observing Israel’s national expenditures on civilian R&D occupied high share of GDP, Israel’s government wants to promote the ability of innovation in enterprises, research institutes or universities by providing national resources and supports, and directly or indirectly helps the growth of industry development and enhances international competitiveness. However, how to distribute budgets appropriately to different Ministries, and make budgets can match national policies, it is a key point for Israel government to think about. Following the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, Israel’s technology R&D budgets are mainly distributed to some Ministries, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Israel Council for Higher Education and other Ministries. As for the share of R&D budgets, the Ministry of Science and Technology occupies the share of 1.7%, the Ministry of Economy is 35%, the Israel Council for Higher Education is 45.5%, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is 8.15%, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources is 1.1%, and other Ministries are 7.8% From observing that Israel R&D budgets mainly distributed to several specific Ministries, Israel government not only pours in lot of budgets to encourage civilian technology R&D, to attract more foreign capitals to invest Israel’s industries, and to promote the cooperation between international and domestic technology R&D, but also plans to provide higher education institutes with more R&D budgets to promote their abilities of creativity and innovation in different industries. In addition, by putting R&D budgets into higher education institutes, it also can indirectly inspire students’ potential innovation thinking in technology, develop their abilities to observe the trend of international technology R&D and the need of Israel’s domestic industries, and further appropriately enhance students in higher education institutes to transfer their knowledge into the society. B.The Management of Israel’s Technology R&D Budgets Since Israel is a cabinet government, the cabinet takes responsibility for making all national technology R&D policies. The Ministers Committee for Science and Technology not only has a duty to coordinate Ministries’ technology policies, but also has a responsibility for making a guideline of Israel’s national technology development. The determination of Israel’s national technology development guideline is made by the cabinet conference lead by the Prime Minister, other Ministries does not have any authority to make national technology development guideline. Aforementioned, Israel’s national technology R&D budgets are mainly distributed to several specific Ministries, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Israel Council for Higher Education, and etc. As for the plan management units and plan execution units in Ministries, the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Regional Research and Development Centers is the plan execution unit; the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Economy, and its plan execution unit is different industries; the ISF is the plan management units in the Israel Council for Higher Education; also, the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Agriculture, and its plan execution units include the Institute of Field and Garden Corps, the Institute of Horticulture, the Institute of Animal, the Institute of Plan Protection, the Institute of Soil, Water & Environmental Sciences, the Institute for Technology and Storage of Agriculture Products, the Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Research Center; the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, and its plan execution units are the Geological Survey of Israel, Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research and the Institute of Earth and Physical. As for other Ministries, the Offices of the Chief Scientist are the plan management units for Ministries, and the plan execution unit can take Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research or medical centers for example.