Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taoyuan mayoral candidate Simon Chang (張善政) yesterday said he had legitimately referenced a research paper published by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) when writing research reports for the Council of Agriculture (COA).
Chang has been accused of plagiarizing the council’s own reports, as well as other sources, for a COA research project that ran from 2007 to 2009. He was working as vice president at Acer Inc at the time.
The Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) yesterday reported that much of the content in a 60-page sub-report on the research project was allegedly copied from a report published by ITRI in 2006, involving a study that the institute was tasked to conduct by the National Communications Commission (NCC).
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
“The purpose of the COA project was to study the trend of digitization in the agriculture industry at home and overseas. The NCC happened to publish a report relevant to the topic,” Chang told reporters after attending a radio program.
“We cited the ITRI report in accordance with articles 50 and 52 of the Copyright Act (著作權法). It was a legal use of the report, not plagiarism,” he added.
Chang said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should not use double standards to judge his work.
“I have nothing to hide. The Council of Agriculture should not have accepted our report if it was found to be problematic. Our report was accepted following an evaluation by experts recruited by the council when former legislative speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) was the COA minister,” he added.
Chang said he is consulting lawyers about suing DPP Taoyuan mayoral candidate Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬), Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) and the DPP itself for spreading false allegations about him.
Cheng Yun-peng said on the sidelines of a ceremony in Taoyuan’s Yungan Fishing Harbor that Chang should come clean about the report, instead of giving media interviews and consulting lawyers.
“Chang should explain to the public whether he copied information from the COA and ITRI, as well as sources from China, the US and Japan, for the report without citing them,” he said.
“Chang has been arrogant in the face of the allegations and does not seem to understand that Taoyuan residents have a right to know the truth. What residents have seen is Chang offering baseless criticisms of the city government and showing no remorse for a scandal in which he is involved.”
The government funding for the COA research project — NT$57.36 million (US$1.88 million at the current exchange rate) — might be a small amount for Chang, but it is taxpayers’ money, Cheng Yun-peng said.
COA spokesperson Chen Shu-rong (陳淑蓉) said that the report, which was published 2009, is no longer confidential and can be viewed by the public.
“We will gather any tip-offs and examine the report,” she said.
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