Reviews on Taiwan Constitutional Court's Judgment no. 13 of 2022

Reviews on Taiwan Constitutional Court's Judgment no. 13 of 2022

2022/11/24

I.Introduction

  In 2012, the Taiwan Human Rights Promotion Association and other civil groups believe that the National Health Insurance Administration released the national health insurance database and other health insurance data for scholars to do research without consent, which may be unconstitutional and petitioned for constitutional interpretation.

  Taiwan Human Rights Promotion Association believes that the state collects, processes, and utilizes personal data on a large scale with the "Personal Data Protection Law", but does not set up another law of conduct to control the exercise of state power, which has violated the principle of legal retention; the data is provided to third-party academic research for use, and the parties involved later Excessive restrictions on the right to withdraw go against the principle of proportionality.

  The claimant criticized that depriving citizens of their prior consent and post-control rights to medical data is like forcing all citizens to unconditionally contribute data for use outside the purpose before they can use health insurance. The personal data law was originally established to "avoid the infringement of personality rights and promote the rational use of data", but in the insufficient and outdated design of the regulations, it cannot protect the privacy of citizens' information from infringement, and it is easy to open the door to the use of data for other purposes.

  In addition, even if the health insurance data is de-identified, it is still "individual data" that can distinguish individuals, not "overall data." Health insurance data can be connected with other data of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, such as: physical and mental disability files, sexual assault notification files, etc., and you can also apply for bringing in external data or connecting with other agency data. Although Taiwan prohibits the export of original data, the risk of re-identification may also increase as the number of sources and types of data concatenated increases, as well as unspecified research purposes.

  The constitutional court of Taiwan has made its judgment on the constitutionality of the personal data usage of National Health Insurance research database. The judgment, released on August 12, 2022, states that Article 6 of Personal Data Protection Act(PDPA), which asks “data pertaining to a natural person's medical records, healthcare, genetics, sex life, physical examination and criminal records shall not be collected, processed or used unless where it is necessary for statistics gathering or academic research by a government agency or an academic institution for the purpose of healthcare, public health, or crime prevention, provided that such data, as processed by the data provider or as disclosed by the data collector, may not lead to the identification of a specific data subject” does not violate Intelligible principle and Principle of proportionality. Therefore, PDPA does not invade people’s right to privacy and remains constitutional.

  However, the judgment finds the absence of independent supervisory authority responsible for ensuring Taiwan institutions and bodies comply with data protection law, can be unconstitutional, putting personal data protection system on the borderline to failure. Accordingly, laws and regulations must be amended to protect people’s information privacy guaranteed by Article 22 of Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

  In addition, the judgment also states it is unconstitutional that Articles 79 and 80 of National Health Insurance Law and other relevant laws lack clear provisions in terms of store, process, external transmission of Personal health insurance data held by Central Health Insurance Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

  Finally, the Central Health Insurance Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare provides public agencies or academic research institutions with personal health insurance data for use outside the original purpose of collection. According to the overall observation of the relevant regulations, there is no relevant provision that the parties can request to “opt-out”; within this scope, it violates the intention of Article 22 of the Constitution to protect people's right to information privacy.

II.Independent supervisory authority

  According to Article 3 of Central Regulations and Standards Act, government agencies can be divided into independent agencies that can independently exercise their powers and operate autonomously, and non- independent agencies that must obey orders from their superiors. In Taiwan, the so-called "dedicated agency"(專責機關) does not fall into any type of agency defined by the Central Regulations and Standards Act. Dedicated agency should be interpreted as an agency that is responsible for a specific business and here is no other agency to share the business.

  The European Union requires member states to set up independent regulatory agencies (refer to Articles 51 and 52 of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)). In General Data Protection Regulation and the adequacy reference guidelines, the specific requirements for personal data supervisory agencies are as follows: the country concerned should have one or more independent supervisory agencies; they should perform their duties completely independently and cannot seek or accept instructions; the supervisory agencies should have necessary and practicable powers, including the power of investigation; it should be considered whether its staff and budget can effectively assist its implementation. Therefore, in order to pass the EU's adequacy certification and implement the protection of people's privacy and information autonomy, major countries have set up independent supervisory agencies for personal data protection based on the GDPR standards.

  According to this research, most countries have 5 to 10 commissioners that independently exercise their powers to supervise data exchange and personal data protection. In order to implement the powers and avoid unnecessary conflicts of interests among personnel, most of the commissioners are full-time professionals. Article 3 of Basic Code Governing Central Administrative Agencies Organizations defines independent agency as "A commission-type collegial organization that exercises its powers and functions independently without the supervision of other agencies, and operates autonomously unless otherwise stipulated." It is similar to Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

III.Right to Opt-out

  The judgment pointed out that the parties still have the right to control afterwards the personal information that is allowed to be collected, processed and used without the consent of the parties or that meets certain requirements. Although Article 11 of PDPA provides for certain parties to exercise the right to control afterwards, it does not cover all situations in which personal data is used, such as: legally collecting, processing or using correct personal data, and its specific purpose has not disappeared, In the event that the time limit has not yet expired, so the information autonomy of the party cannot be fully protected, the subject, cause, procedure, effect, etc. of the request for suspension of use should be clearly stipulated in the revised law, and exceptions are not allowed.

  The United Kingdom is of great reference. In 2017, after the British Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) determined that the data sharing agreement between Google's artificial intelligence DeepMind and the British National Health Service (NHS) violated the British data protection law, the British Department of Health and Social Care proposed National data opt-out Directive in May, 2018. British health and social care-related institutions may refer to the National Data Opt-out Operational Policy Guidance Document published by the National Health Service in October to plan the mechanism for exercising patient's opt-out right. The guidance document mainly explains the overall policy on the exercise of the right to opt-out, as well as the specific implementation of suggested practices, such as opt-out response measures, methods of exercising the opt-out right, etc.

  National Data Opt-out Operational Policy Guidance Document also includes exceptions and restrictions on the right to opt-out. The Document stipulates that exceptions may limit the right to Opt-out, including: the sharing of patient data, if it is based on the consent of the parties (consent), the prevention and control of infectious diseases (communicable disease and risks to public health), major public interests (overriding) Public interest), statutory obligations, or cooperation with judicial investigations (information required by law or court order), health and social care-related institutions may exceptionally restrict the exercise of the patient's right to withdraw.

  What needs to be distinguished from the situation in Taiwan is that when the UK first collected public information and entered it into the NHS database, there was already a law authorizing the NHS to search and use personal information of the public. The right to choose to enter or not for the first time; and after their personal data has entered the NHS database, the law gives the public the right to opt-out. Therefore, the UK has given the public two opportunities to choose through the enactment of special laws to protect public's right to information autonomy.

  At present, the secondary use of data in the health insurance database does not have a complete legal basis in Taiwan. At the beginning, the data was automatically sent in without asking for everyone’s consent, and there was no way to withdraw when it was used for other purposes, therefore it was s unconstitutional. Hence, in addition to thinking about what kind of provisions to add to the PDPA as a condition for "exception and non-request for cessation of use", whether to formulate a special law on secondary use is also worthy of consideration by the Taiwan government.

IV.De-identification

  According to the relevant regulations of PDPA, there is no definition of "de-identification", resulting in a conceptual gap in the connotation. In other words, what angle or standard should be used to judge that the processed data has reached the point where it is impossible to identify a specific person. In judicial practice, it has been pointed out that for "data recipients", if the data has been de-identified, the data will no longer be regulated by PDPA due to the loss of personal attributes, and it is even further believed that de-identification is not necessary.

  However, the Judgment No. 13 of Constitutional Court, pointed out that through de-identification measures, ordinary people cannot identify a specific party without using additional information, which can be regarded as personal data of de-identification data. Therefore, the judge did not give an objective standard for de-identification, but believed that the purpose of data utilization and the risk of re-identification should be measured on a case-by-case basis, and a strict review of the constitutional principle of proportionality should be carried out. So far, it should be considered that the interpretation of the de-identification standard has been roughly finalized.

V.Conclusions

  The judge first explained that if personal information is processed, the type and nature of the data can still be objectively restored to indirectly identify the parties, no matter how simple or difficult the restoration process is, if the data is restored in a specific way, the parties can still be identified. personal information. Therefore, the independent control rights of the parties to such data are still protected by Article 22 of the Constitution.

  Conversely, when the processed data objectively has no possibility to restore the identification of individuals, it loses the essence of personal data, and the parties concerned are no longer protected by Article 22 of the Constitution.

  Based on this, the judge declared that according to Article 6, Item 1, Proviso, Clause 4 of the PDPA, the health insurance database has been processed so that the specific party cannot be identified, and it is used by public agencies or academic research institutions for medical and health purposes. Doing necessary statistical or academic research complies with the principles of legal clarity and proportionality, and does not violate the Constitution.

  However, the judge believes that the current personal data law or other relevant regulations still lack an independent supervision mechanism for personal data protection, and the protection of personal information privacy is insufficient. In addition, important matters such as personal health insurance data can be stored, processed, and transmitted externally by the National Health Insurance Administration in a database; the subject, purpose, requirements, scope, and method of providing external use; and organizational and procedural supervision and protection mechanisms, etc. Articles 79 and 80 of the Health Insurance Law and other relevant laws lack clear provisions, so they are determined to be unconstitutional.

  In the end, the judge found that the relevant laws and regulations lacked the provisions that the parties can request to stop using the data, whether it is the right of the parties to request to stop, or the procedures to be followed to stop the use, there is no relevant clear text, obviously the protection of information privacy is insufficient. Therefore, regarding unconstitutional issues, the Constitutional Court ordered the relevant agencies to amend the Health Insurance Law and related laws within 3 years, or formulate specific laws.

※Reviews on Taiwan Constitutional Court's Judgment no. 13 of 2022,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=55&tp=2&i=168&d=8950 (Date:2024/07/22)
Quote this paper
You may be interested
Executive Yuan roll-out The Policy of “The Free Economic Pilot Zones”

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.

Introduction to the “Public Procurement for Startups” mechanism

Introduction to the “Public Procurement for Startups” mechanism I.Backgrounds   According to the EU’s statistics, government procurement budget accounted for over 14% of GDP. And, according to the media report, the total amount of government procurement in Taiwan in 2017 accounted for nearly 8%. Therefore, the government’s procurement power has gradually become a policy tool for the government to promote the development of innovative products and services.   In 2017, the Executive Yuan of the R.O.C.(Taiwan)announced a government procurement policy named “Government as Good Partners with Startups (政府成為新創好夥伴)”[1] to encourage government agencies and State-owned Enterprises to procure and adopt innovative goods or services provided by startups. This policy was subsequently implemented through an action plan named “Public Procurement for Startups”(新創採購)[2] by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration(SMEA).The action plan mainly includes two important parts:One created the procurement process for startups to enter the government contracts market through inter-entities contracts. The other accelerated the collaboration of the government agencies and startups through empirical demonstration. II.Facilitating the procurement process for startups to enter the government market   In order to help startups enter the government contracts market in a more efficient way, the SMEA conducts the procurement of inter-entity supply contracts with suppliers, especially startups, for the supply of innovative goods or services. An inter-entity supply contract[3] is a special contractual framework, under which the contracting entity on behalf of two or more other contracting parties signs a contract with suppliers and formulates the specifics and price of products or services provided through the public procurement process. Through the process of calling for tenders, price competition and so on, winning tenderers will be selected and listed on the Government E-Procurement System. This framework allows those contracting entities obtain orders and acquire products or services which they need in a more efficient way so it increases government agencies’ willingness to procure and use innovative products and services.   From 2018, the SMEA started to undertake the survey of innovative products and services that government agencies usually needed and conducted the procurement of inter-entity supply contracts for two rounds every year. As a result, the SMEA plays an important role to bridge the demand and supply sides for innovative products or services by means of implementing the forth-mentioned survey and procurement process. Moreover, in order to explore more innovative products and services with high quality and suitable for government agencies and public institutions, the SMEA actively networked with various stakeholders, including incubators, accelerators, startups mentoring programs sponsored by private and public sectors and so on.   Initially the items to be procured were categorized into four themes which were named the Smart Innovations, the Smart Eco, the Smart Healthcare, and the Smart Security. Later, in order to show the diversity of the innovation of startups which response well to various social issues, from 2019, the SMEA introduced two new theme solicitations titled the Smart Education and the Smart Agriculture to the inter-entities contracts.   Those items included the power management systems, the AI automated recognition and image warning system, the chatbot for public service, unmanned flying vehicles, aerial photography services and so on. Take the popular AI image warning system as an example, the system is used by police officers to make instant evidence searching and image recording. Other government agencies apply the innovative system to the investigation of illegal logging and school safety surveillance.   Moreover, the SMEA has also offered subsidy for local governments tobuy those items provided by startups. That is the coordinated supporting measure which allows startups the equal playing field to compete with large companies. The Subsidy scheme is based on the Guideline for Subsidies on Procurement of Innovative Products and Services[3] (approved by the Executive Yuan on March 29, 2018 and revised on Feb. 20, 2021). In the Guideline, “innovative products and services” refer to the products, technologies, labor, service flows or items and services rendered with creative activities through deploying scientific or technical means and a certain degree of innovations by startups with less than five years in operation. Such innovative products and services are displayed for the inter-entity supply contractual framework administered by the SMEA for government procurement. III.Accelerating the collaboration of the government agencies and startups through empirical demonstration   To assist startups to prove their concepts or services, and become more familiar with the governemnrt’s needs, the SMEA also created a mechanism called the “Solving Governmental Problems by Star-up Innovation”(政府出題˙新創解題). It plans to collect government agencies’ needs, and then solicit innovative proposals from startups. After their proposals are accepted, startups will be given a grant up to one million NT dollars to conduct empirical studies on solution with government agencies for about half a year.   Take the cooperation between the “Taoyuan Long Term Care Institute for Older People and the Biotech Startup” for example, a care system with sanitary aids was introduced to provide automatic detection, cleanup and dry services for the patients’discharges, thus saving 95% of cleaning time for caregivers. In the past, caregivers usually spent 4 hours on the average in inspecting old patients, cleaning and replacing their bedsheets as their busy daily routines. Inadequate caregivers makes it difficult to maintain the care quality. If the problem was not addressed immediately, it would make the life of old patients more difficult. IV.Achievements to date   Since the promotion of the products and services of the startups and the launch of the “Public Procurement for Startups” program in 2018, 68 startups, with the SMEA’s assistance, have entered the government procurement contracts market, and more than 100 government agencies have adopted the innovative resolutions. With the encouragement for them in adopting and utilizing the fruits of the startups, it has generated more than NT$150 million in cooperative business opportunities. V.Conclusions   While more and more startups are obtaining business opportunities from the favorable procurement process, constant innovation remains the key to success. As such, the SMEA has regularly visited the government agencies-buyers to obtain feedbacks from startups so as to adjust and optimize the innovative products or services. The SMEA has also regularly renewed the specifics and items of the procurement list every year to keep introducing and supplying high-quality products or services to the government agencies. [1] Policy for investment environment optimization for Startups(2017),available athttps://www.ndc.gov.tw/nc_27_28382.(last visited on July 30, 2021 ) [2] https://www.spp.org.tw/spp/(last visited on July 30, 2021 ) [3] Article 93 of Government Procurement Act:I An entity may execute an inter-entity supply contract with a supplier for the supply of property or services that are commonly needed by entities. II The regulations for a procurement of an inter-entity supply contract, the matters specified in the tender documentation and contract, applicable entities, and the related matters shall be prescribed by the responsible entity. [4] https://law.moea.gov.tw/LawContent.aspx?id=GL000555(last visited on July 30, 2021)

Innovative Practice of Israel's Government Procurement

Innovative Practice of Israel's Government Procurement   Government procurement is an important pillar of government services. Because of the huge number of government purchases, government procurement management play an important role in promoting public sector efficiency and building citizenship. Well-designed government procurement systems also help to achieve policy such as environmental protection, innovation, start-ups and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.   Nowadays, countries in the world, especially OECD countries, have been widely practiced with innovative procurement to stimulate innovation and start-ups, and call Innovation procurement can deliver solutions to challenges of public interest and ICTs can play a major role in this. However, in the OECD countries, in addition to the advanced countries that have been developed, many developing countries have also used government procurement to stimulate national R & D and innovation with remarkable results. Israel is one of the world's leading technology innovation centers, one of the most innovative economies in the world, continues to leverage its own strengths, support of technology entrepreneurship and unique environment, an international reputation in the high-tech industry, the spirit of technological innovation and novelty.   Government procurement is a core element of the activities of Israeli government, agreement with suppliers and compliance with the Mandatory Tenders Law. The main challenge is how to ensure efficiency and maintain government performance while ensuring an equitable and transparent procurement process. Israel’s Mandatory Tenders Law has shown the central role played by the Israeli Supreme Court in creating and developing this law, even in the absence of any procurement legislation, based instead on general principles of administrative law. Once the project of creating a detailed body of public tendering law had been completed, and the legislator was about to step in, the Supreme Court was prepared to step out and transferring the jurisdiction to lower courts. The Knesset passed the Mandatory Tenders Law, and based on it the Government issued the various tendering regulations. Besides, Israel's various international agreements on government procurement, mainly GPA and other bilateral international agreements such as free trade agreements with Mexico and Colombia and free trade agreements and memoranda of understanding with the United States. The practical significance of these commitments can only be understood on the backdrop of Israel’s domestic preference and offset policies. These policies were therefore discussed and analyzed as they apply when none of the international agreements applies.   The Challenge Tenders "How to solve the problem of overcrowding in the emergency department and the internal medicine department?" is the first of a series of "problem solicitations" released by the Israeli Ministry of Health which seeks to find a digital solution to the public health system problem, questions from the government while avoiding preconceived prejudices affect the nature of the solution, allowing multiple innovative ideas from different fields to enter the health system, make fair and transparent judgments about the ideal solution to the problem. In order to ensure transparency and integrity, equality, efficiency and competition in the decision-making process, the tender proposed by the Israeli Ministry of Health defines a two-stage tender process. The Ministry of Health of Israel, in order to improve the quality of medical care, shorten the waiting time for hospitalized patients, protect the dignity of patients and their families with patients as its center, and ensure their rights, while alleviating the burden of hospital staff, so as to pass the targeted treatment areas reduce the gap between various residential areas. The Israeli government deals with these issues through challenging tenders and offers a digital solution combined with innovative ideas. The initiative proposed through the development of public service projects can raise the level of public services in the country and help the government to reduce costs and achieve the purpose of promoting innovation with limited conceptual, technical and financial capabilities. In addition, due to the online operation of the challenging tender process throughout the entire process, fair and transparent procedures can be ensured, while public-private partnerships are encouraged to facilitate the implementation of the implementation plan.

Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Scientific Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – For Example, The Finnish Innovation Fund (“SITRA”)

Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Scientific Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – For Example, The Finnish Innovation Fund (“SITRA”) III. Comparison of Strength and Weakness of Sitra Projects 1. Sitra Venture Capital Investment Model   In order to comprehend how to boost innovation business development to upgrade innovation ability, we analyze and compare the innovation systems applied in Sweden, France and Finland[1] . We analyze and compare the characteristics, strength and weakness of innovation promotion models in terms of funding, networking and professional guidance. Generally, the first difficulty which a start-up needs to deal with when it is founded initially is the funding. Particularly, a technology company usually requires tremendous funding when it is founded initially. Some potentially adequate investors, e.g., venture capitals, seldom invest in small-sized start-up (because such overhead as supervision and management fees will account for a high percentage of the investment due to the small total investment amount). Networking means how a start-up integrates such human resources as the management, investors, technical advisors and IP professionals when it is founded initially. Control over such human resources is critical to a new company’s survival and growth. Professional guidance means how professional knowledge and human resource support the start-up’s operation. In order to make its product required by the market, an enterprise usually needs to integrate special professional knowledge. Notwithstanding, the professional knowledge and talents which are available from an open market theoretically often cannot be accessed, due to market failure[2].   Assuming that Sitra’s funding is prioritized as Pre-seed-Initiation stage, Seed-Development stage and Follow-up – Growth stage, under Finland model, at the Pre-seed-Initiation stage, Sitra will provide the fund amounting to EUR20,000 when Tekes will also provide the equivalent fund, provided that the latter purely provides subsidy, while the fund provided by Sitra means a loan to be repaid (without interest) after some time (usually after commercialization), or a loan convertible to shares. Then, the loan would be replaced by soft or convertible (to shares) investment and the source of funding would turn to be angel investors or local seed capital at the Seed-Development stage. At this stage, the angel investors, local seed capital and Sitra will act as the source of funding jointly in Finland, while Tekes will not be involved at this stage. At the Follow-up-Growth stage, like the Sweden model, Sitra will utilize its own investment fund to help mitigate the gap between local small-sized funding and large-sized international venture capital[3].   How to recruit professional human resources is critical to a start-up’s success. Many enterprises usually lack sufficient professional human resources or some expertise. DIILI service network set up by Sitra is able to provide the relevant solutions. DILLI is a network formed by product managers. Its members actively participate in starts-up and seek innovation. They also participate in investment of starts-up independently sometimes. Therefore, they are different from angel investors, because they devote themselves to the starts-up on a full-time basis[4]. In other words, they manage the starts-up as if the starts-up were their own business. 2. Key to Public Sector’s Success in Boosting Development of Innovation Activity Business   In terms of professional guidance, voluntary guidance means the direct supply of such professional resources as financing, human resource and technology to starts-up, while involuntary guidance means the supply of strategic planning in lieu of direct assistance to help the enterprises make routine decisions[5]. The fractured and incomplete professional service attendant market generates low marginal effect. Therefore, it is impossible for the traditional consultation service to mitigate such gap and the investment at the pre-seed initiation stage will be excessive because of the acquisition of the professional services. Meanwhile, professional advisors seldom are involved in consultation services at the pre-seed initiation stage of a start-up because of the low potential added value. Therefore, at such stage, only involuntary professional guidance will be available usually. Under Sitra model, such role is played by an angel investor.   Upon analysis and comparison, we propose six suggested policies to boost innovation activities successfully as the reference when observing Sitra operation. First of all, compared with the French model, Finland Sitra and Sweden model set more specific objectives to meet a start-up’s needs (but there is some defect, e.g., Sitra model lacks voluntary professional guidance). Second, structural budget is a key to the successful model. Sitra will receive the funds in the amount of EUR235,000,000 from the Finnish Government, but its operating expenditure is covered by its own operating revenue in whole. Third, it is necessary to provide working fund in installments and provide fund at the pre-seed-initiation stage. Under both of Finland model and Sweden model, funds will be provided at the pre-seed-initiation stage (Tekes is responsible for providing the fund in Finland). Fourth, the difficulty in networking must be solved. In Sitra, the large-sized talent network set up by it will be dedicated to recruiting human resources. Fifth, the voluntary professional guidance is indispensable at the pre-seed-initiation stage, while the same is unavailable at such stage under Sitra model. Instead, the Sweden model is held as the optimal one, as it has a dedicated unit responsible for solving the difficulty to seek profit. Sixth, soft loan[6] will be successfully only when the loan cannot be convertible to shares. At the pre-seed initiation stage or seed-development stage, a start-up is usually funded by traditional loan. Assuming that the start-up is not expected to gain profit, whether the loan may be convertible to shares will also be taken into consideration when the granting of loan is considered (therefore, the fund provider will not be changed to the “capital” provider). Besides, the government authorities mostly lack the relevant experience or knowledge, or are in no position to negotiate with international large-sized venture capital companies. For example, under the French model, the government takes advantage of its power to restrict the venture capital investment and thereby renders adverse impact to starts-up which seek venture capital. Finally, the supply of own fund to meet the enterprises’ needs at seed-development stage and follow-up-growth stage to mitigate the gap with large-sized venture capital[7] is also required by a successful funding model. IV. Conclusion-Deliberation of Finnish Sitra Experience   As the leading national industrial innovation ability promoter in Finland, Sitra appears to be very characteristic in its organizational framework or operating mechanism. We hereby conclude six major characteristics of Sitra and propose the potential orientation toward deliberation of Taiwan’s industrial innovation policies and instruments. 1. Particularity of Organizational Standing   In consideration of the particularity of Sitra organizational standing, it has two characteristics observable. First, Sitra is under supervision of the Finnish Parliament directly, not subordinated to the administrative organizational system and, therefore, it possesses such strength as flexibility and compliance with the Parliament’s requirements. Such organization design which acts independently of the administrative system but still aims to implement policies has been derived in various forms in the world, e.g., the agency model[8] in the United Kingdom, or the independent apparatus in the U.S.A. Nevertheless, to act independently of the administrative system, it has to deal with the deliberation of responsible political principles at first, which arouses the difficulty in taking care of flexibility at the same time. In Taiwan, the intermediary organizations include independent agencies and administrative corporations, etc., while the former still involves the participation of the supreme administrative head in the right of personnel administration and is subordinated to the ministries/departments of the Executive Yuan and the latter aims to enforce the public missions in the capacity of “public welfare” organization. Though such design as reporting to the Parliament directly is not against the responsible political principles, how the Parliament owns the authority to supervise is the point (otherwise, theoretically, the administrative authorities are all empowered by the parliament in the country which applies the cabinet system). Additionally, why some special authorities are chosen to report to the parliament directly while other policy subjects are not is also disputable. The existence of Sitra also refers to a circumstantial evidence substantiating that Finland includes the innovation policy as one of the important government policies, and also the objective fact that Finland’s innovation ability heads the first in the world.   Second, Sitra is a self-sufficient independent fund, which aims to promote technical R&D and also seeks profit for itself, irrelevant with selection of adequate investment subjects or areas. Instead, for this purpose, the various decisions made by it will deal with the utility and mitigate the gap between R&D and market. Such entity is responsible for public welfare or policy projects and also oriented toward gain from investment to feed the same back to the individuals in the organization. In the administrative system, Sitra is not directed by the administrative system but reports to the Parliament directly. Sitra aims to upgrade the national R&D innovation ability as its long-term goal mission and utilizes the promotion of innovation business and development of venture capital market. The mission makes the profit-orientation compatible with the selection of investment subjects, as an enterprise unlikely to gain profit in the future usually is excluded from the national development view. For example, such industries as green energy, which is not likely to gain profit in a short term, is still worth investing as long as it meets the national development trend and also feasible (in other words, selection of marketable green technology R&D, instead of comparison of the strength and weakness in investment value of green energy and other high-polluted energy). 2. Expressly Distinguished From Missions of Other Ministries/Departments   For the time being, Sitra primarily invests in starts-up, including indirect investment and direct investment, because it relies on successful new technology R&D which may contribute to production and marketability. Starts-up have always been one of the best options, as large-sized enterprises are able to do R&D on their own without the outsourcing needs. Further, from the point of view of an inventor, if the new technology is marketable, it will be more favorable to him if he chooses to start business on his own or make investment in the form of partnership, instead of transfer or license of the ownership to large-sized enterprises (as large-sized enterprises are more capable of negotiation). However, note that Sitra aims to boost innovation activities and only targets at start-up business development, instead of boosting and promoting the start-up per se. Under the requirement that Sitra needs to seek profit for itself, only the business with positive development view will be targeted by Sitra. Further, Sitra will not fund any business other than innovation R&D or some specific industries. Apparently, Sitra only focuses on the connection between innovation activities and start-up, but does not act as the competent authority in charge of small-sized and medium-sized enterprises.   Meanwhile, Sitra highlights that it will not fund academic research activities and, therefore, appears to be distinguished from the competent authority in charge of national scientific research. Though scientific research and technology innovation business, to some extent, are distinguished from each other in quantity instead of quality, abstract and meaningless research is existent but only far away from the commercialization market. Notwithstanding, a lot of countries tend to distinguish basic scientific research from industrial technology R&D in the administration organization's mission, or it has to be. In term of the way in which Sitra carries out its mission, such distinguishing ability is proven directly. 3. Well-Founded Technology Foresight-Based Investment Business   The corporate investments, fund investments and project funding launched by Sitra are all available to the pre-designated subjects only, e.g. ecological sustainable development, energy utilization efficiency, and social structural changes, etc. Such way to promote policies as defining development area as the first priority and then promoting the investment innovation might have some strength and weakness at the same time. First of all, the selection of development areas might meet the higher level national development orientation more therefor, free from objective environmental restrictions, e.g. technical level, leading national technology industries and properties of natural resources. Notwithstanding, an enterprise’s orientation toward innovation R&D might miss the opportunity for other development because of the pre-defined framework. Therefore, such way to promote policies as defining development areas or subjects as the first priority will be inevitably based on well-founded technology foresight-based projects[9], in order to take various subjective and objective conditions into consideration and to forecast the technology development orientation and impact to be faced by the home country’s national and social economies. That is, said strength and weakness will be taken into consideration beforehand for foresight, while following R&D funding will be launched into the technology areas pre-designated after thorough analysis. 4. Self-Interested Investment with the Same High Efficiency as General Enterprises   Sitra aims to gain profit generally, and its individual investment model, e.g., DIILI, also permits marketing managers to involve business operation. The profit-sharing model enables Sitra to seek the same high efficiency as the general enterprises when purusing its innovation activity development. The investment launched by Sitra highlights that it is not “funding” (which Tekes is responsible for in Finland) or the investment not requiring return. Therefore, it has the system design to acquire corporate shares. Sitra participates in a start-up by offering its advanced technology, just like a general market investor who will choose the potential investment subject that might benefit him most upon his personal professional evaluation. After all, the ultimate profit will be retained by Sitra (or said DIILI manger, subject to the investment model). Certainly, whether the industry which requires permanent support may benefit under such model still remains questionable. However, except otherwise provided in laws expressly, said special organization standing might be a factor critical to Sitra profit-seeking model. That is, Sitra is not subordinated to the administrative system but is under supervision of the parliament independently, and how its staff deal with the conflict of interest issues in the capacity other than the public sector’s/private sector’s staff is also one of the key factors to success of the system. 5. Investment Model to Deal With Policy Instruments of Other Authorities/Agencies   Sitra decides to fund a start-up depending on whether it may gain profit as one of its priorities. As aforesaid, we may preliminarily recognize that the same should be consistent with funding to starts-up logically and no “government failure” issue is involved. For example, the funding at the pre-seed-initiation stage needs to tie in with Tekes’ R&D “funding” (and LIKSA service stated herein) and, therefore, may adjust the profit-seeking orientation, thereby causing deviation in promotion of policies. The dispute over fairness of repeated subsidy/funding and rationality of resource allocation under the circumstance must be controlled by a separate evaluation management mechanism inevitably. 6. Affiliation with Enhancement of Regional Innovation Activities   Regional policies cannot be separable from innovation policies, especially in a country where human resources and natural resources are not plentiful or even. Therefore, balancing regional development policies and also integrating uneven resource distribution at the same time is indispensable to upgrading of the entire national social economic benefits. The Finnish experience indicated that innovation activities ought to play an important role in the regional development, and in order to integrate enterprises, the parties primarily engaged in innovation activities, with the R&D ability of regional academic research institutions to upgrade the R&D ability effectively, the relevant national policies must be defined for adequately arranging and launching necessary resources. Sitra's approaches to invest in starts-up, release shares after specific period, integrate the regional resources, upgrade the national innovation ability and boost the regional development might serve to be the reference for universities’ centers of innovative incubator or Taiwan’s local academic and scientific sectors[10] to improve their approaches.   For the time being, the organization engaged in venture capital investment in the form of fund in Taiwan like Sitra of Finland is National Development Fund, Executive Yuan. However, in terms of organizational framework, Sitra is under supervision of the Parliament directly, while National Development Fund is subordinated to the administrative system of Taiwan. Though Sitra and National Development Fund are both engaged in venture capital investments primarily, Sitra carries out its missions for the purpose of “promoting innovative activities”, while the National Development Fund is committed to achieve such diversified goals as “promoting economic changes and national development[11]” and is required to be adapted to various ministries’/departments’ policies. Despite the difference in the administrative systems of Taiwan and Finland, Sitra system is not necessarily applicable to Taiwan. Notwithstanding, Sitra’s experience in promotion and thought about the system might provide a different direction for Taiwan to think when it is conceiving the means and instruments for industrial innovation promotion policies in the future. [1] Bart Clarysse & Johan Bruneel, Nurturing and Growing Innovation Start-Ups: The Role of Policy As Integrator, R&D MANAGEMENT, 37(2), 139, 144-146 (2007). Clarysse & Bruneel analysis and comparison refers to Sweden Chalmers Innovation model, French Anvar/Banque de Developpement des PMEs model and Finland Sitra PreSeed Service model. [2] id. at 141-143. [3] id. at 141. [4] id. at 145-146. [5] id. at 143. [6] The loan to be repaid is not a concern. For example, the competent authority in Sweden only expects to recover one-fourths of the loan. [7] Clarysse & Bruneel, super note 26, at 147-148. [8] 彭錦鵬,〈英國政署之組織設計與運作成效〉,《歐美研究》,第30卷第3期,頁89-141。 [9] Technology foresight must work with the innovation policy road mapping (IPRM) interactively, and consolidate the forecast and evaluation of technology policy development routes. One study case about IPRM of the environmental sustainable development in the telecommunication industry in Finland, the IPRM may enhance the foresighted system and indicates the potential factors resulting in systematic failure. Please see Toni Ahlqvist, Ville Valovirta & Torsti Loikkanen, Innovation policy road mapping as a systemic instrument for forward-looking policy design, Science and Public Policy 39, 178-190 (2012). [10] 參見李昂杰,〈規範新訊:學界科專辦法及其法制配套之解析〉,《科技法律透析》,第23卷第8期,頁33(2011)。 [11] National Development Fund, Executive Yuan website, http://www.df.gov.tw/(tftgkz45150vye554wi44ret)/page-aa.aspx?Group_ID=1&Item_Title=%E8%A8%AD%E7%AB%8B%E5%AE%97%E6%97%A8#(Last visit on 2013/03/28)

TOP