The National Security Bureau is allocating nearly NT$100 million (US$33 million) to beef up its security equipment for the 2016 presidential election, according to its budget plan recently submitted to the Legislative Yuan.
While the presidential election date has not been decided and the candidates will not be decided upon for months yet, the bureau said its special service center, according to related regulations, would have to assign a security maintenance task force to each presidential and vice-presidential candidate pair. Three task forces would be formed and trained, each consisting of 45 people, it said.
The official said that based on the principles of fairness and equity, each pair of candidates would have new vehicles and escort vehicles of equal specification, otherwise criticisms calling it an unfair election would ensue.
The bureau’s 2015 budget plan says that the vehicles and the task forces are for enhanced security during the presidential election.
According to the budget plan, NT$60.61 million is to be allotted for purchasing the vehicles, of which NT$47.32 million would be invested in 12 seven-seater prowl cars and 18 five-seater prowl cars — for the candidates and their entourage — and four police motorcycles.
For renewing older special service police vehicles, NT$13.29 million would be allocated for buying two equipped pickup trucks, two 21-seater police cars and two 3.5-tonne police vans.
The special service center would also receive NT$15.91 million for procuring different kinds of equipment, including tailor-made bulletproof vests for the candidates and their spouses, and bulletproof briefcases and vests for the special service security staff.
Also on the shopping list are explosion-proof carpets used when the candidates are out on the street, bulletproof glass for their vehicles and automated external defibrillators.
Telecommunications equipment is estimated to cost NT$16.784 million, for vehicular wireless communication, mobile and stationary stations, fax machines and cellphones.