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.
Executive Yuan roll-out The Policy of “The Free Economic Pilot Zones”1.Executive Yuan approved a Bill titled “The Free Economic Pilot Zones Special Act”The “Free Economic Demonstration Zones” (hereinafter as FEDZs) is a critical part to improve the liberalization and internationalization of the economy of Republic of China (R.O.C). By deregulation, FEDZs was conceived as trial zones. Once the results of the program were promising, it would be expanded to the entire country. In order to engage in the regional economic and trade integration, the Executive Yuan approved a Bill titled “The Free Economic Pilot Zones Special Act” (hereinafter as Bill) on April 26th, 2013.On Mar 6th, 2014, the Joint Economic, Internal Administration , and Finance Committee of the Legislation Yuan (the Congress) discussed the Bill for reports and questions. By the end of the March, 2014, the Congress will hold five public hearings. Not until the discussion of the Bill item by item and the passage in the Congress, the second stage of the FEDZ program would not be initiated. There are five main points, including the treatments on foreigners and people from mainland China, tax incentives for Taiwanese businessman, foreign professionals and foreign companies, regulations on untaxed goods and labor, regulations on industrial development, such as the agriculture and the medical, and certain new items on education and professional services.For the reason that the government considered the need of human resources to sustain the operation of the industries, the Executive Yuan is trying to promote innovative education in FEPZs. Since the education requirements for both of public and private universities are unified in local, colleges and universities were restrained and missed some great opportunities to discover their own niches in education. Hence, innovative education in FEPZs is trying to help higher education system to introduce foreign education resources and foresight concepts, and to attract more international students. The innovative educational projects within FEPZs will also facilitate the cooperations among domestic and foreign universities, and set up experimental branch campuses, colleges, degree programs or professional courses. Besides, the financial service sector is also included. Since FEDZs is an important pusher for R.O.C to move forward in regional economic integration, accordingly, the most significant liberate item for the financial industry in the FEPZs is to allow offshore banking units and offshore security units to provide financial products and service (e.g. OSU and OBU). Meanwhile, the financial industry is predicted to receive an NTD$140 billion or more in revenues over the next five year.In summary, FEPZs is regarded as a engine propelling liberalization and internationalization. To gain the international competitiveness, the government will continue to promote policies and measures. By establishing the free economic demonstration zone, it is expected to create innovative effects into the education system and to create more job opportunities.2.Legislation Yuan has reviewd “The Free Ecomonic Pilot Zones Special Act”The Republic of China (R.O.C) have been carried out “free economic” recent years, by promoting “Free Economic Pilot Zone” (hereinafter as FEPZs) to encourage every industrial and foreign investment. Besides, FEPZs will not only keep talents and technologies in R.O.C but also liberalize and internationalize our economic.The Executive Yuan had approved a Bill titled “The Free Economic Pilot Zones Special Act” (hereinafter as the Bill) on Dec. 26th, 2013. At the end of May, the Joint Economic, Internal Administration, and Finance Committee of the Legislation Yuan (the Congress) have taken five public hearings for the Bill, and amended the Bill according to the advices proposed by specialists. Not until the deliberation of the Bill item by item and its passage in the Congress, the second stage of the FEDZ program would not be initiated. There are five main points, including the treatments on foreigners, tax incentives for R.O.C businessman, foreign professionals and foreign companies, regulations on untaxed goods and labor, regulations on industrial development, such as the agriculture and the medical service, and certain new items on education and professional services.The government considers that there have to be enough human resource to sustain the opened industries, so Executive Yuan is trying to promote innovative education in FEPZs. The core concept of FEPZs is foresight, liberalization and internationalization, the premier said, and the higher education systems belong to high-end service and have much more marketability and variability compared to other education systems. Through innovative and efficient way to manage the school could let University being much more liberalized. Furthermore, the higher education systems in R.O.C. have to connect with international education to avoid being marginalized. Our first stage of education innovation will promote to set up “degree programs” and “professional courses”. The first phase for the Ministry of Education is going to found “degree programs” or “professional courses” through collaboration way. The Ministry of Education will also draw up related regulations or guidance on standards for school cooperation, co-regulation, setup conditions, supervision, enrolling new student, and recruiting staff.? Once the Bills pass, The Ministry of Education plans to establish “branch school” and “independence campus” helping R.O.C. higher education goes internationalized.On the other hand, Our medical service also has strong international competitiveness. R.O.C is engage in developing international medical and health industry. The premier said, the Ministry of Health and Welfare have proposed some measures, such as limitation to the number of medical centre, medical personnel working hours, and NHI is not allow to use in the zones.The premier added, on the extemporaneous sittings, “The Free Economic Pilot Zones Special Act” will be the priority bills and be deliberated in the end of June By establishing the free economic demonstration zone, it is expected to propel R.O.C take part in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).3.Executive Yuan’s rapid roll-out of “The Free Economic Pilot Zones”, and has published a report concerning the legal and economic implications of its the BillThe “Free Economic Pilot Zones” (hereinafter as FEPZs) plays a pivotal role in promoting market liberalization, especially at an international level. Premier of the Executive Yuan, Mr. Jiang Yi-Hua has stated that the “market economy” and “innovation economy” allows for tremendous economic prosperity to be embraced by the Republic of China (hereinafter as R.O.C). The seizing of such opportunity has been the goal of government efforts, which can be attested by the recent proposal of the “The Free Economic Pilot Zones Special Act” (hereinafter as the Bill), currently undergoing review and consultation proceedings. The Premier further stressed that the national economy should not be left excluded from international commerce, on the other hand, it is imperative that closer economic bonds with other nations are forged, therefore allowing itself open up to wider scope of opportunities for growth. The key in rendering this possible is through the enactment of laws. At a time, when Trans-Pacific nations, including the United States of America, Japan and countries from Southeast Asia, are working towards regional economic cooperation, if R.O.C. is to be left out, it is feared that its position in the global market would further be marginalized.The core innovative strengths of the FEPZs include “Smart Logistics”, “International healthcare services”, “Value added agriculture”, “Financial Services”, “Education Innovation”, all of which are implemented by employing R.O.C.’s finest workforce, knowledge, information and communications technology (ICT), geographical position and cross-strait relationship advantages, leading way for an advantageous basis for pioneering economic development. The first stage of development will be based on 6 locations proximal to the sea (including Keelung Port, Taipei Port, Kaohsiung Port, Suao Harbor, Anping Port, Taichung Port) and Taoyuan Aerotropolis and Pingtung Agricultural Biotech Park. The second stage of development would only commence after the Bill have been approved by the legislative Yuan, which would attract much capital investment, hence boosting high employment rates. Presently, besides the aforementioned regions opened up for the FEPZs, other cities and industrial sites (including those from offshore islands), are striving to gain membership of the FEPZs, or applying for empirical research of the FEPZs.The Executive Yuan has published a report concerning the legal and economic implications of its the Bill on May 2014. The report largely consists of assessments made by varying governing bodies, such as Ministry of Home Affairs, Financial Supervisory Commission etc., on the implications of the draft concerning real estate, employment, fiscal income, logistics, conditions for medical care, agriculture, higher education, social environment and social wealth redistribution etc.Furthermore, international attention has been closely centered on the progress of FEPZs. During the “The third review of the trade policies and practices of Chinese Taipei” after R.O.C accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) held on the 17th of September 2014 in Geneva, each member state has demonstrated expectations arising out of the direction and planning undertaken for the FEPZs. National economic and international commercial reforms are under way and have seen much progress in further promoting the overall strength of the economic system, in an effort to respond to the rapid global political and economic developments, for example, through the signing of Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), and the implementation of FEPZs policies. In the future, it will be expected that R.O.C. will strive for a more integral international commercial system, allowing much capital investment inflows as well as the cultivating of high-caliber human resources.To promote more liberal and internationalized development of Taiwan economy, government of Republic of China (R.O.C) approved the “Free Economic Pilot Zone (FEPZ) Plan,” which the Bill is currently censored in Legislation Yuan and the measures would be implemented in two phases. The first phase of FEPZs would be initiated within six free trade ports, Taoyuan airport free trade zone, and Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park; other industries that match up with the idea of liberalization, internationalization and foresight can all be incorporated into FEPZ through continuing examination under Execution Yuan. After this special legislation is passed, the set-ups of demonstration zones can be applied by authorities either of central or of local government and the related promotion works of the second phase will be unfolded immediately.Heading to the target of becoming Kin-Xiao (Kinmen and Xiaomen) Free Trade Zone, Kinmen government planned to apply to be one of the FEPZs and thus cooperated with Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) on December 11, for a commissioned research (which was later released on the conference of accelerating Kin-Xia FTZ on December 19) on evaluating if Kinmen is qualified for an application of FEPZs. Kinmen’s critical location and the featured industries have composed a perfect environment complying with the ideas such as value-added agriculture, international healthcare and innovative education for FEPZ. For instance, the white liquor industry in Kinmen represents the international management and promotion of agricultural products, and is the best example for value-added agriculture. “Long-term Healthcare Village in Kinmen,” which is currently developing in Kinmen, would also be a drive for international healthcare industry. Based on the Taiwan-featured culture, “International Education City” could be developed with a liberal and innovative atmosphere, which would attract famous schools in world to set up their branch school in Kinmen. Above all, Kinmen County vice Mayor, Wu Yo-Chin, indicated that Kinmen would be the first choice for FEPZ and would hold the key to open a new gate for the Cross-Strait. The vice Mayor emphasized that Kinmen government has well budgeting and financial management, which needn’t the extra aids from central government, yet Kinmen was excluded in the first phase of FEPZs. Although Kinmen would apply to be a FEPZ in the second phase after the special legislation passed, Kinmen still strived for taking part in the first phase of FEPZs due to the uncertain schedule for implementation of regulations on FEPZs.National Development Council (NDC), however, gave an opinion on issue of Kinmen applying to be in the first phase of FEPZs, which declared again the original plan for the first phase only included six free trade ports, Taoyuan airport free trade zone, and Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park. NDC also suggested Kinmen could still follow after the first phase and apply to be a FEPZ in the second phase.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. 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.  Global Open Data Index, https://index.okfn.org/place/（Last visited: May 15, 2017）Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – Observation of the Swiss Research Innovation System
Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – Observation of the Swiss Research Innovation System I. Foreword Switzerland is a landlocked country situated in Central Europe, spanning an area of 41,000 km2, where the Alps occupy 60% of the territory, while it owns little cultivated land and poor natural resources. In 2011, its population was about 7,950,000 persons. Since the Swiss Federal was founded, it has been adhering to a diplomatic policy claiming neutrality and peace, and therefore, it is one of the safest and most stable countries in the world. Switzerland is famous for its high-quality education and high-level technological development and is very competitive in biomedicine, chemical engineering, electronics and metal industries in the international market. As a small country with poor resources, the Swiss have learnt to drive their economic and social development through education, R&D and innovation a very long time ago. Some renowned enterprises, including Nestle, Novartis and Roche, are all based in Switzerland. Meanwhile, a lot of creative small-sized and medium-sized enterprises based in Switzerland are dedicated to supporting the export-orientation economy in Switzerland. Switzerland has the strongest economic strength and plentiful innovation energy. Its patent applications, publication of essay, frequencies of quotation and private enterprises’ innovation performance are remarkable all over the world. According to the Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Switzerland has ranked first among the most competitive countries in the world for four years consecutively since 2009. Meanwhile, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) released by INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) jointly, Switzerland has also ranked first in 2011 and 2012 consecutively. Obviously, Switzerland has led the other countries in the world in innovation development and economic strength. Therefore, when studying the R&D incentives and boosting the industrial innovation, we might benefit from the experience of Switzerland to help boost the relevant mechanism in Taiwan. Taiwan’s government organization reform has been launched officially and boosted step by step since 2012. In the future, the National Science Council will be reformed into the “Ministry of Science and Technology”, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs into the “Ministry of Economy and Energy”, and the Department of Industrial Development into the “Department of Industry and Technology”. Therefore, Taiwan’s technology administrative system will be changed materially. Under the new government organizational framework, how Taiwan’s technology R&D and industrial innovation system divide work and coordinate operations to boost the continuous economic growth in Taiwan will be the first priority without doubt. Support of innovation policies is critical to promotion of continuous economic growth. The Swiss Government supports technological research and innovation via various organizations and institutions effectively. In recent years, it has achieved outstanding performance in economy, education and innovation. Therefore, we herein study the functions and orientation of the competent authorities dedicated to boosting research and innovation in Switzerland, and observe its policies and legal system applied to boost the national R&D in order to provide the reference for the functions and orientation of the competent authorities dedicated to boosting R&D and industrial innovation in Taiwan. II. Overview of Swiss Federal Technology Laws and Technology Administrative System Swiss national administrative organization is subject to the council system. The Swiss Federal Council is the national supreme administrative authority, consisting of 7 members elected from the Federal Assembly and dedicated to governing a Federal Government department respectively. Switzerland is a federal country consisting of various cantons that have their own constitutions, councils and governments, respectively, entitled to a high degree of independence. Article 64 of the Swiss Federal Constitution requires that the federal government support research and innovation. The “Research and Innovation Promotion Act” (RIPA) is dedicated to fulfilling the requirements provided in Article 64 of the Constitution. Article 1 of the RIPA expressly states that the Act is enacted for the following three purposes: 1. Promoting the scientific research and science-based innovation and supporting evaluation, promotion and utilization of research results; 2. Overseeing the cooperation between research institutions, and intervening when necessary; 3. Ensuring that the government funding in research and innovation is utilized effectively. Article 4 of the RIPA provides that the Act shall apply to the research institutions dedicated to innovation R&D and higher education institutions which accept the government funding, and may serve to be the merit for establishment of various institutions dedicated to boosting scientific research, e.g., the National Science Foundation and Commission of Technology & Innovation (CTI). Meanwhile, the Act also provides detailed requirements about the method, mode and restriction of the government funding. According to the RIPA amended in 2011, the Swiss Federal Government’s responsibility for promoting innovation policies has been extended from “promotion of technology R&D” to “unification of education, research and innovation management”, making the Swiss national industrial innovation framework more well-founded and consistent . Therefore, upon the government organization reform of Switzerland in 2013, most of the competent authorities dedicated to technology in Swiss have been consolidated into the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. Under the framework, the Swiss Federal Government assigned higher education, job training, basic scientific research and innovation to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), while the Commission of Technology & Innovation (CTI) was responsible for boosting the R&D of application scientific technology and industrial technology and cooperation between the industries and academy. The two authorities are directly subordinate to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER). The Swiss Science and Technology Council (SSTC), subordinate to the SERI is an advisory entity dedicated to Swiss technology policies and responsible for providing the Swiss Federal Government and canton governments with the advice and suggestion on scientific, education and technology innovation policies. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is an entity dedicated to boosting the basic scientific R&D, known as the two major funding entities together with CTI for Swiss technology R&D. The organizations, duties, functions and operations of certain important entities in the Swiss innovation system are introduced as following. Date source: Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research official website Fig. 1 Swiss Innovation Framework Dedicated to Boosting Industries－Swiss Federal Economic, Education and Research Organizational Chart 1. State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) SERI is subordinate to the Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, and is a department of the Swiss Federal Government dedicated to managing research and innovation. Upon enforcement of the new governmental organization act as of January 1, 2013, SERI was established after the merger of the State Secretariat for Education and Research, initially subordinate to Ministry of Interior, and the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OEPT), initially subordinated to Ministry of Economic Affairs. For the time being, it governs the education, research and innovation (ERI). The transformation not only integrated the management of Swiss innovation system but also unified the orientations toward which the research and innovation policy should be boosted. SERI’s core missions include “enactment of national technology policies”, “coordination of research activities conducted by higher education institutions, ETH, and other entities of the Federal Government in charge of various areas as energy, environment, traffic and health, and integration of research activities conducted by various government entities and allocation of education, research and innovation resources. Its functions also extend to funding the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to enable SNSF to subsidize the basic scientific research. Meanwhile, the international cooperation projects for promotion of or participation in research & innovation activities are also handled by SERI to ensure that Switzerland maintains its innovation strength in Europe and the world. The Swiss Science and Technology Council (SSTC) is subordinate to SERI, and also the advisory unit dedicated to Swiss technology policies, according to Article 5a of RIPA. The SSTC is responsible for providing the Swiss Federal Government and canton governments with advice and suggestion about science, education and innovation policies. It consists of the members elected from the Swiss Federal Council, and a chairman is elected among the members. 2. Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is one of the most important institutions dedicated to funding research, responsible for promoting the academic research related to basic science. It supports about 8,500 scientists each year. Its core missions cover funding as incentives for basic scientific research. It grants more than CHF70 million each year. Nevertheless, the application science R&D, in principle, does not fall in the scope of funding by the SNSF. The Foundation allocates the public research fund under the competitive funding system and thereby maintains its irreplaceable identity, contributing to continuous output of high quality in Switzerland. With the support from the Swiss Federal Government, the SNSF was established in 1952. In order to ensure independence of research, it was planned as a private institution when it was established. Though the funding is provided by SERI, the SNSF still has a high degree of independence when performing its functions. The R&D funding granted by the SNSF may be categorized into the funding to free basic research, specific theme-oriented research, and international cooperative technology R&D, and the free basic research is granted the largest funding. The SNSF consists of Foundation Council, National Research Council and Research Commission. Data source: prepared by the Study Fig. 2 Swiss National Science Foundation Organizational Chart (1) Foundation Council The Foundation Council is the supreme body of the SNSF, which is primarily responsible for making important decisions, deciding the role to be played by the SNSF in the Swiss research system, and ensuring SNSF’s compliance with the purpose for which it was founded. The Foundation Council consists of the members elected from the representatives from important research institutions, universities and industries in Swiss, as well as the government representatives nominated by the Swiss Federal Council. According to the articles of association of the SNSF, each member’s term of office should be 4 years, and the members shall be no more than 50 persons. The Foundation Council also governs the Executive Committee of the Foundation Council consisting of 15 Foundation members. The Committee carries out the mission including selection of National Research Council members and review of the Foundation budget. (2) National Research Council The National Research Council is responsible for reviewing the applications for funding and deciding whether the funding should be granted. It consists of no more than 100 members, mostly researchers in universities and categorized, in four groups by major, namely, 1. Humanities and Social Sciences; 2. Math, Natural Science and Engineering; 3. Biology and Medical Science; and 4. National Research Programs (NRPs）and National Centers of Competence in Research (NCCRs). The NRPs and NCCRs are both limited to specific theme-oriented research plans. The funding will continue for 4~5years, amounting to CHF5 million~CHF20 million. The specific theme-oriented research is applicable to non-academic entities, aiming at knowledge and technology transfer, and promotion and application of research results. The four groups evaluate and review the applications and authorize the funding amount. Meanwhile, the representative members from each group form the Presiding Board dedicated to supervising and coordinating the operations of the National Research Council, and advising the Foundation Council about scientific policies, reviewing defined funding policies, funding model and funding plan, and allocating funding by major. (3) Research Commissions Research Commissions are established in various higher education research institutions. They serve as the contact bridge between higher education academic institutions and the SNSF. The research commission of a university is responsible for evaluating the application submitted by any researcher in the university in terms of the school conditions, e.g., the school’s basic research facilities and human resource policies, and providing advice in the process of application. Meanwhile, in order to encourage young scholars to attend research activities, the research committee may grant scholarships to PhD students and post-doctor research. ~to be continued~  SWISS FEDERAL STATISTICS OFFICE, Switzerland's population 2011 (2012), http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/en/index/news/publikationen.Document.163772.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013).  WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM [WEF], The Global Competiveness Report 2012-2013 (2012), http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2012-13.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); WEF, The Global Competiveness Report 2011-2012 (2011), http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GCR_Report_2011-12.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); WEF, The Global Competiveness Report 2010-2011 (2010), http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2010-11.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); WEF, The Global Competiveness Report 2009-2010 (2009),. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2009-10.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013).  INSEAD, The Global Innovation Index 2012 Report (2012), http://www.globalinnovationindex.org/gii/GII%202012%20Report.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); INSEAD, The Global Innovation Index 2011 Report (2011), http://www.wipo.int/freepublications/en/economics/gii/gii_2011.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013).  SR 101 Art. 64: “Der Bund fördert die wissenschaftliche Forschung und die Innovation.”  Forschungs- und Innovationsförderungsgesetz, vom 7. Oktober 1983 (Stand am 1. Januar 2013). For the full text, please see www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/4/420.1.de.pdf (last visited Jun. 3, 2013).  Id.  Id.  CTI, CTI Multi-year Program 2013-2016 7(2012), available at http://www.kti.admin.ch/?lang=en&download=NHzLpZeg7t,lnp6I0NTU042l2Z6ln1ad1IZn4Z2qZpnO2Yuq2Z6gpJCDeYR,hGym162epYbg2c_JjKbNoKSn6A-- (last visited Jun. 3, 2013).  Supra note 5.  Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/Pages/default.aspx (last visited Jun. 3, 2013).  Id.  Foundation Council, Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/Pages/foundationcouncil.aspx (last visited Jun. 3, 2013).  See Statutes of Swiss National Science Foundation Art.8 & Art. 9, available at http://www.snf.ch/SiteCollectionDocuments/statuten_08_e.pdf (last visited Jun. 3, 2013).  National Research Council, Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/researchcouncil/Pages/default.aspx (last visted Jun.3, 2013).  Theres Paulsen, VISION RD4SD Country Case Study Switzerland (2011), http://www.visionrd4sd.eu/documents/doc_download/109-case-study-switzerland (last visited Jun.6, 2013).  Research Commissions, Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/Pages/researchcommissions.aspx (last visted Jun. 6, 2013).Suggestions for MOEA Trial Program of Voluntary Base Green Electricity Framework
On March 6, 2014, The Energy Bureau of Ministry of Economic Affairs has published a pre-announcement on a Trial Program of Voluntary Base Green Electricity Framework （hereafter the Trial Program） and consulted on public opinion. In light of the content of the Trial Program, STLI provide the following suggestions for future planning of related policy structure. The institution of green electricity as established by the Trial Program is one of the policies for promoting renewable energy. Despite its nature of a trial, it is suggested that a policy design with a more options will be beneficial to the promotion of renewable energy, in light of various measures that have been undertaken by different countries. According to the Trial Program, the planned price rate of the green electricity is set on the basis of the total sum that the electricity subsidy to be paid by the Renewable Energy Development Fund divided by the total sum of electricity generated reported by Tai Power Company. The Ministry of Economic Affairs will adjust the price rate of the green electricity on the base of both how many users subscribe to the green electricity and the price rate of international green electricity market rate and, then announce the price rate in October of each year if not otherwise designated. In addition, according to the planned Trial Program, the unit for the subscription of green electricity is 100 kW·h. It is further reported that the current planned price rate for green electricity is 1.06 NTD/ kW·h. And it shall be 3.95 NTD/ kW·h if adding up with the original price rate, with an 37% increase in price per kW·h. In terms of the existing content of the Trial Program, only single price rate will be offered during the trial period. In this regard, we take the view that it would be beneficial to take into account similar approaches that have been taken by other countries. In Germany, for instance, the furtherance of renewable energy is achieved by the obligatory charge（EEG Umlage）together with the voluntary green electricity program provided by the private electricity retail sectors. According to German Ministry of Economics and Energy （BMWi）, the electricity price that the German public pays includes three parts: （1）the cost of the purchase and distribution of the electricity, including the margin of the electricity provider（2）regulated network fees, including those for the operation as well as for the measurement works of the meters（3）charges imposed by the government, including tax and the abovementioned obligatory charge for renewable energy（EEG Umlage）, as prescribed by the Act on Renewable Energy （Gesetz für den Vorrang Erneuerbarer Energien, also known as Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz - EEG）. In terms of how it is implemented on the ground, an example of the green electricity price menu program from the German electricity retail company, Vattenfall, is given in the following. In all price menu programs provided by Vattenfall in Berlin, for instance, 29.4% of the electricity comes from renewable energy as a result of the implementation of the Act on Renewable Energy. Asides from the abovementioned percentage as facilitated by the existing obligatory measures, the electricity retail companies in Germany further provide the price menus that are “greener”. For example, among the options provided by Vattenfall（Chart I）, in terms of the 12-month program, one can choose the menu which consist of 39.4% of renewable energy, with the price of 0.2642 Euro/ kW·h（about 10.96 NTD/ kW·h）. One can also opt for a menu of which the energy supply comes from 100% of renewable energy, with the price of 0.281 Euro/ kW·h（about 11.66 NTD/ kW·h） Chart I : Green Electricity Price Menus provided by Vattenfall in Berlin, Germany Percentage of Renewable Energy Supply Percentage of Renewable Energy Supply Electricity Price 12-month program 39.4% 0.2642 Euro/ kW·h（about 10.96 NTD/ kW·h） All renewable energy program 100% 0.281 Euro/ kW·h（about 11.66 NTD/ kW·h） Source：Vattenfall website, translated and reorganized by STLI, April 214. In addition, Australia also has similar programs on green electricity that is voluntary-base and with the goal of promoting renewable energy, reducing carbon emission, and transforming energy economy. Since 1997, the GreenPower in Australia is in charge of audition and certification of the retail companies and power plants on green electricity. The Australian model uses the certification mechanism conducted by independent third party, to ensure the green electricity purchased by end users in compliance with specific standards. As for the options for the price menu, take the programs of green electricity offered by the Australian retail company Origin Energy for example, user can choose 6 kinds of different programs, which are composed by renewable energy supply of respectively 10%, 20%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%, at various price rates （shown in Chart II）. Chart II Australian Green Electricity Programs provided by Origin Energy Percentage of renewable Energy Electricity Price per kW·h 0 0.268 AUD（About 7.52 NTD） 10% 0.274868 AUD（About 7.69 NTD） 20% 0.28006 AUD（About 7.84 NTD） 25% 0.28292 AUD（About 7.92 NTD） 50% 0.2838 AUD（About 7.95 NTD） 100% 0.2992 AUD（About 8.37 NTD） Source：Origin Energy website, translated and reorganized by STLI, April 214. Given the information above, it can thus be inferred that the international mechanism for the promotion of green electricity often include a variety of price menus, providing the user more options. Such as two difference programs offered by Vattenfall in Germany and six various rates for green electricity offered by Origin Energy in Australia. It is the suggestion of present brief that the Trial Program can reference these international examples and try to offer the users a greater flexibility in choosing the most suitable programs for themselves.