Wed, Oct 18, 2017 - Page 12 News List

ECCT calls for increased government transparency

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) yesterday called on the government to enhance transparency and predictability in drafting business rules and guidelines to benefit all stakeholders and the economy as a whole.

The group made the plea after cohosting an annual forum on international government transparency and public participation with the National Development Council (NDC) and government agencies.

“Transparency and predictability in the regulatory system are essential to business, and citizens and foreign residents expect Taiwan to achieve the same level of public participation and transparency as other developed nations,” ECCT chairman Hakan Cervell said.

Taiwan has a well-established legal system and procedures for amending laws and regulations, including a 60-day notice and comment period for drafts of all regulations, the chamber said.

However, there remain instances of policy changes that are not properly communicated, it said.

With sufficient transparency and meaningful consultation with business, potential problems can be discovered early on, an approach that not only benefits business, but also helps authorities identify problematic areas and make improvements before regulations are finalized, it said.

While Taiwan has adopted international standards and practices, there have been some instances where decisions were reversed without due cause and other instances where the regulatory process has not been transparent, it said.

Failures to follow due process, especially those not based on scientific evidence, risk undermining trust in the government and Taiwan’s international image, Cervell said.

The chamber also raised concerns over the misuse of administrative means to avoid legally required procedures.

The government should publish explanatory documents and include the full scope of regulations in formal announcements when making policy changes, the group said.

“A transparent, consistent and predictable regulatory system is in the best interests of all stakeholders and benefits the economy and the people of Taiwan,” Cervell said.

Good regulation initiative should ensure that decision-making is open and transparent, citizens and stakeholders can contribute throughout the legislative process and regulatory burdens on businesses, citizens and public administrations should be kept to a minimum, the chamber said.

Policy interventions and enforcement should also meet the principles of proportionality, accountability, consistency, transparency and targeting to be called successful, it said.

Government agencies should conduct extensive planning and analyses before proposing new laws or taking action and later evaluate how well laws are performing, it added.

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