Taiwan prepares Open Government bid

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Oct 31, 2013 - Page 4

Taiwan is preparing to present an application to join the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a growing international network involving 60 countries, to bring national rules in line with global standards, Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) Minister Sung Yu-hsieh (宋餘俠) said yesterday.

Sung made the remarks in response to questions from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) at a meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.

The committee later adopted a resolution initiated by lawmakers across party lines in support of the nation’s pursuit of accession to the OGP.

Launched in September 2011 by eight funding governments — Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, the UK and the US — the OGP aims to provide an international platform with the objective of making governments more open, accountable and responsive to their citizens.

The OGP now has 60 participating countries.

Taiwan would first complete consultation with concerned countries before it formally presents the application, which could be expected in the near future, Song said.

The open data portal of Taiwan, data.gov.tw, made its debut in April.

Since the open data policy was carried out by the RDEC in February, several central and local government agencies have published their respective portals online, while each central government agency is required to open at least 50 datasets by the end of this year.

One notable dataset was the severe-weather alert service provided by the Water Resources Agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs since July in conjunction with Google Inc, making Taiwan the second country in Asia to cooperate with Google in establishing such an open data platform, after Japan in March of this year.

According to the OGP, to become a member of the organization, participating countries must endorse a high-level Open Government Declaration, deliver a national action plan developed with public consultation and commit to independent reporting on their progress.