Outgoing Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) yesterday said in his farewell speech at a handover ceremony yesterday that the unreliable new household registration system resulted from the ministry’s negligence.
“There were many factors that contributed to the system’s flaws, including [the ministry’s] failures to properly oversee the planning and bidding process for the project, coordinate with the contractor and thoroughly test the system,” Lee said before handing over the ministry’s official seal to his successor, Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁).
“This is the truth and I, on behalf of the ministry, take full responsibility for the matter,” Lee said, with a bow.
The ministry drew up plans to build the new system in 2007, with public biddings for the project being held under then-minister of the interior Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) tenure.
Jiang left the post in February 2012 when he was promoted to replace then-vice premier Sean Chen (陳?).
The system experienced malfunctions almost immediately after it was put into operation on Feb. 5 this year, causing many to have to wait hours for simple tasks such as applying for new ID cards.
Department of Household Registration Director Hsieh Ai-ling (謝愛齡) later stepped down to take responsibility for the chaos caused by the new system, though many believe she was a scapegoat.
Chen Wei-jen said that while the new job had put a lot of pressure on him, he would take to heart the principle of sustainable development and re-evaluate the ministry’s major policies with a “customer-oriented” mindset.