Sat, Apr 14, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan Lottery president quits as complaints rise

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Lottery Co (台灣彩券公司) president Chang Ruu-tian (張汝恬) has resigned amid complaints that repeated computer system failures and mismanagement have resulted in a sharp drop in lottery sales, the company announced yesterday.

Chang was appointed president in January when Taiwan Lottery, a subsidiary of Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), took over the business of issuing lottery tickets from Taipei Fubon Bank (台北富邦銀行).

"[Taiwan Lottery's] board approved Chang's resignation at its meeting on Thursday. The vacancy will be filled within the next three months," the company said in a statement issued yesterday.

Taiwan Lottery chairman Oliver Shang (尚瑞強) will double as president until "an ideal candidate" is picked, the statement said.

Aside from Chang's resignation, the company's information technology division chief, Patty Wu (吳敏姿), was also given a major demerit for poor administrative responsibility, Taiwan Lottery said.

The Ministry of Finance, which manages the nation's lottery business, said Taiwan Lottery's disciplinary measures were acceptable, as the company needed to overhaul its management to improve the system.

The ministry will meet with representatives of the nation's more than 4,000 lotto vendors next week to listen to their views and suggestions on how Taiwan Lottery could improve the system, said Tsai Ching-nian (蔡慶年), director-general of the ministry's National Treasury Agency.

Under tremendous pressure from the government and the public, Taiwan Lottery invited top executives from its Greek partner, Intralot SA -- the world's second-biggest technology and services company -- to Taiwan last week for trouble shooting.

Since it started offering the exclusive Public Welfare Lottery services on Jan. 1, Taiwan Lottery has had at least a dozen system failures, including large-scale computer crashes and erroneous reporting of lottery prizes.

These recurring problems have triggered complaints, weakened public confidence and led to slow lotto ticket sales.

The ministry has said it would consider revoking Taiwan Lottery's issuing right if it failed to make improvements. But this measure could bring in more problems, affecting the livelihoods of the vendors -- ?many of whom are disabled.

Taiwan Lottery is entrusted by Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀) to sell lottery tickets. Chinatrust Commercial outbid three rivals in a public tender in 2005 to become the nation's sole lottery operator until 2013 by offering to pay the finance ministry NT$2.09 billion (US$63 million) per year, 10 times the floor price.

This story has been viewed 4599 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top