Fri, Oct 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

DPP lawmaker urges ban on firms tied to bribery

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Businesses convicted of bribery should be excluded from government tender procedures for up to three years as part of the government’s efforts to amend the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法), Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) said yesterday.

The Cabinet on Monday announced a plan to amend the act, which would give the government more flexibility to choose the most advantageous tender, instead of the lowest tender.

Lin told a news conference that the amendment should include an exclusion clause to prevent bribery, because the adoption of the most advantageous tender could prompt corruption.

Farglory Group chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) was sentenced in 2015 to five years of probation for bribing former Taoyuan county deputy commissioner Yeh Shi-wen (葉世文) to secure a public housing project, but Farglory is still able to participate in the government tender process, Lin said.

Lin said she would propose an amendment to prohibit contractors from participating in government tenders for one year if they are charged with bribery, coercion or violence, and for three years if they are convicted of the crimes.

Over the past five years, a total of 528 firms have been identified as substandard contractors and suspended from executing public infrastructure projects, but none of the suspensions were due to bribery or corruption, although some cases involved corruption, she added.

The top 10 government agencies or state-run businesses that reported suspensions are Taiwan Power Co; the ministry of Transportation and Communications and the economic affairs; the Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taoyuan, and New Taipei City governments, the Council of Agriculture, the Changhua County Government and Taiwan Water Corp, accounting for 65.9 percent of total suspension cases.

“We can save as much as NT$24.2 billion [US$797.4 million] if those 10 agencies can properly manage their construction projects,” Lin said.

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