In a bid to stamp out corruption, the Public Construction Commission (PCC) will propose that any company involved in government procurement projects that is found guilty of bribery in a first trial would automatically have their financing and loans suspended.
The commission will hold a forum with banks and other government agencies on March 12 to discuss the proposal.
Public Construction Commission Minister Chen Chen-chuan (陳振川) said the government’s anti-corruption efforts had earned the country the highest-ever score in 17 years in last year’s corruption perception index released by Transparency International, as well as a rise in its rankings for three consecutive years.
Despite the continued improvements, Chen said plenty of work remained to be done to eliminate the perception of corruption in the public construction sector.
The commission is contemplating teaming up with bankers to eradicate corrupt practices, in accordance with the World Bank’s efforts to have about 340 companies blacklisted for corruption in institution-funded projects.
It has proposed that any company guilty of corruption would face a suspension of bank funding, a blacklisting of the company and its borrower(s), and prohibition of any involvement by the company and its associate businesses in bank-funded procurement projects.
Article 101 of the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) states that any company found guilty of corruption shall be barred from bidding for public construction projects for one to three years.
The commission is considering extending the length of that suspension from three to five years.
A move to suspend funding to construction companies found guilty of corruption would not require amending the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法), simply approval from the Bankers Association of the Republic of China.
Several agencies, including the Financial Supervisory Commission, the Agency Against Corruption, Transparency International Chinese Taipei and the Bankers Association of the Republic of China will send representatives to the March 12 forum.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, staff writer