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PCC Invited Foreign Government Institutes and Commerce Chambers in Taiwan for a New Year’s Meeting

On the first workday of 2013, Minister of Public Construction Commission (PCC), Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern, invited foreign government institutes and chambers of commerce in Taiwan for a meeting of mutual communication on matters of interest.
Minister Chen introduced to the participants what PCC has done in 2012 in terms of several improvement measures on construction industry environment and their outcome, as well as the enhancement measures on contract dispute resolution mechanism for private participation projects of which the responsible entity has recently been transferred from PCC to the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
Minister Chern pointed out that globalization, economic liberalization, expectations on civil servants to do more for serving the interests of the people, and deregulation were mentioned in President Ma’s New Year’s Day Address. PCC initiated the “Program for Better Public Works” in 2012, which aimed to inspire heads and civil servants of all government entities to be courageous enough to do their jobs, settle contract disputes by arbitration, review and revise unreasonable laws and regulations. This coincides with the President Ma’s New Year’s Day Address, and PCC will continue to do so in 2013. 
Minister Chern briefed the recent progress of the proposed draft amendment to the Government Procurement Act. In addition to the draft amendment of 7 articles pending the second reading by the Congress after approved by the Transportation Committee in November 2012, PCC is currently working on the draft amendment of the other 12 articles for the purpose of deregulation. Comments are welcome from all sectors, private and government-wide. 
Participants attended the meeting were from the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO), French Institute in Taipei, British Trade and Culture Office (BTCO), Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, and American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham). The AmCham recognized PCC’s efforts in co-organizing a series of promotion conferences with local governments to encourage procuring entities to make award by the most advantageous tender for information service procurement. The AmCham also hoped that government entities could relax the tender specifications of “information cloud”, as well as the capping of damages in order to facilitate foreign suppliers to participate in government procurement. The BTCO was glad to see what PCC has achieved in improveing the construction environment. In this regard, BTCO looked forward to seeing further increase in the ratio of government procurement awarded by the most advantage tender. BTCO also suggested that more information in the English version of summary tender notice will be helpful for foreign suppliers to understand the subject of tender. The EETO was concerned about where the office of PCC will be after the incoming reorganization.
Minister Chern responded that the suggestion on the information service procurement will be referred to Dr. San-Cheng Chang, minister without portfolio, for further coordination; and the suggestion on the inclusion of damages in the model contract for violation of Personal Information Protection Act will be considered. The responsibility of promotion of private participation in infrastructure projects has been transferred to the MoF from PCC as of January 1 2013. Other major responsibilities of PCC are expected to be transferred seamlessly to the Ministry of Transportation and Construction in this May or June. As for the contents of the English version of the summary tender notice, although they were in conformity with the requirement of the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, the feasibility of providing more information will be evaluated. The PCC will keep an open mind and welcome suggestions from foreign government institutes and chambers of commence in Taiwan.