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TAISE forum gives suggestions for Build-Operate-Transfer improvement

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE) recently held a forum focusing on the current problems of the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) model of subcontracted public construction projects and ways to improve the system.

The Taiwan Forum for Economy, Energy and Environment hosted by the TAISE focused on the topic “Challenges of BOT Fiscal Management — Taking ETC as an Example.”

With the increase in demand for infrastructure facilities in traffic, energy and environmental protection, the BOT method emerged as a result. But there are also many controversies surrounding the system. Recently freeway electronic toll collection (ETC) faced examination from the public in terms of fiscal employment and use of personal information.

The forum invited Chairman Mark Chang of the Consumers' Foundation, Dean Dun-Ji Chen of the College of Management at National Taiwan Normal University, Vice President Shelly Chou of Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co. (FETC), attorney at law David Chuang of LCS & Partners and Legislator Tain-Tsair Hsu of the Legislative Yuan to conduct discussions, with Chairman Eugene Chien of TAISE serving as the host and Professor Huan Lin of Department of Law at Soochow University as the moderator. The suggestions made in the meeting were collected to be used as references for BOT rules by law and improvement for large-scale public construction investment projects by various fields.

Moderator Professor Huan Lin of Soochow University mentioned that the greatest turmoil at present with the BOT ETC case is that at the beginning of the tender it was stated that no part of the contract could be revised. The original intent was to avoid constant changes that might lead people to suspect that there was underhand dealing involved so that vendors could gain undeserved benefits. However laws and regulations need to have the flexibility to change according to locations to meet timeliness and to be practical. Chairman Mark Chang of the Consumers' Foundation pointed out regarding the aspect of law that when the BOT contract was enacted, no adequate restraining clauses were specified. Therefore when the time is critical, there is no way to ask the vendor to make decisions reasonable to the public.

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