Independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) yesterday in Taipei launched the Open Parliament Partnership Action Plan in a bid to promote transparency in the Legislative Yuan, increase exchanges with Open Government Partnership (OGP) member states and raise the nation’s international profile.
Citing as examples a “mask map” jointly designed by Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and members of the public, and Citizen’s Congress Watch’s routine perusal of recordings of legislative question-and-answer sessions on Parliamentary TV to rate lawmakers’ performance, Lim told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan that the public sector could team up with the private sector to use similar technologies to conduct topic-based analyses using data made available by the legislature, which he said would help usher in a new era of democracy.
This would bring the legislature in line with the targets set by the OGP — whose annual meetings are attended by himself and Tang — boosting the nation’s chances of securing OGP membership, he said.
China, with its opaque government, is not very influential in the partnership and cannot ostracize the nation forever, Lim added.
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said that he supports the plan.
The Open Parliament e-Network is a spinoff of the OGP and aims to promote openness in parliaments, allow easy access to parliamentary data and digitize parliaments, and the nation should work toward these goals, he said.
The goals conform to his own ideals for the Legislative Yuan: to improve its operations and functions, consolidate democratic values and engage with parliaments of other nations, You said.
An open Legislative Yuan would further boost the nation’s international visibility and status, which would contribute to the goal of making Taiwan a “normalized” nation, he said.
Members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the New Power Party and the Taiwan People’s Party also attended the launch ceremony.
The government should be transparent regarding its decisionmaking process, from cross-caucus talks to appointments and nominations of officials, KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said, adding that the only information that the government should not disclose are state secrets.
The more open and transparent information is, the more developed a democratic nation’s society is, he said.
Although Taiwan is not a member of the OGP, Tang last year at the group’s summit said that the government would draw up an open government action plan on its own initiative, National Development Council Deputy Minister Kao Shien-quei (高仙桂) said.
The plan seeks to release more government data, boost civic participation in policymaking, introduce a mechanism for dialogue between ethnic groups, crack down on money laundering and promote a clean government, she said, adding that practicing these principles would boost the nation’s international space.
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
The US 7th Fleet yesterday confirmed that a US Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday. “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey [DDG 105] conducted a Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy [RCN] Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, October 14-15, 2021,” the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” it added. The transit marked the
‘COUNTERPRODUCTIVE’: The German, French and Singaporean missions said that Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions are hindering local projects and business operations Several foreign missions in Taiwan have urged the government to ease its strict COVID-19 border controls, which they say are hurting in-person exchanges and business operations. The missions made the appeal in response to media inquiries on how the border controls have affected their respective countries’ exchanges with Taiwan, amid growing concerns voiced privately by Taiwan-based foreign offices and businesses regarding the restrictions. Taiwan has maintained strict entry requirements since March last year, generally prohibiting most arrivals except for citizens and foreign residents, while it has required those who enter the country to undergo a stringent 14-day quarantine. Although the rules have been
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,