Wed, Nov 19, 2003 - Page 4 News List

MOI urges use of IC-card

BY CODY YIU  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) yesterday promoted the digitalization of governmental administrations and urged the public to apply for integrated-circuit (IC) cards before the end of the year during an "online identification" (自然人憑證) launch ceremony.

"By having this IC card, which is equivalent to an individual's online identification, the card owner is able to perform many types of online transactions with various government entities," Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲) said.

"Individuals who apply for the card before the end of the year will not be required to pay an application fee," he said.

According to information released by the MOI, individuals can apply for the card through their local household registration offices.

"To date, 212 household registration offices nationwide provide IC-card registration services," Yu said.

"By next June, we hope to have 375 offices providing this service," he added.

Card users can pay income taxes, renew driver's licenses, pay phone bills and locate updates on labor insurance, Yu said.

"Government agencies such as the MOI, the Bureau of Labor Insurance, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Finance are IC-card program participants," Yu said. These agencies will offer over 100 online services.

To heighten online security, the MOI has devised a "digital signature" recognition formula, which is stored in the IC card of each individual.

"The system should prevent the identification of IC-card owners from being accessed and misused," said Minister without Portfolio Tsai Ching-yen (蔡清彥).

Tsai is also co-convener of the Executive Yuan's Science and Technology Advisory Group.

Tsai also announced the arrival of a "digital era" in Taiwan.

"Since early last year, the Executive Yuan began formulating a series of plans to turn Taiwan into a digitalized nation," Tsai said.

"As participation increases ... we hope to develop a more competitive economic and technological edge in the international community," he said.

An IC-card reader is required to use these new online services and and the reader can be purchased for NT$400 at selected electronic stores and all Chunghwa Telecom offices.

"The required computer program as well as other related information, can be found and downloaded online at http://moica.gov.tw," said MOI official Hsu Wen-yung (許文勇).

"Since online services are available around the clock, people should learn to utilize the services to save time and energy," Yu said.

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