Premier demands gov't punish NFB over FETC issue
By Lauly Li , The China Post
January 17, 2014, 12:09 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday demanded that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) levy administrative punishment on the National Freeway Bureau (NFB), saying that the NFB did not fulfill its responsibility to supervise the recent controversial eTag electronic toll collection system.
Jiang said the eTag falsely charges drivers, the Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection's (FETC) app crashed on Jan. 1, and the FETC's customer service was slow to react to these problems. Jiang said this series of incidents drew criticism from the public, and people started to blame the government for not supervising the system properly.
The premier went on to say that over the past two weeks, the NFB has not fulfilled its obligation to supervise the issue, therefore he requested that the MOTC punish the bureau and, at the same time, the NFB must thoroughly review the issue.
Even though the electronic toll collection system is under contract with the FETC, and the government is not the first-in-line service provider, since the toll charge issue involves public interests, the government should not recklessly underestimate people's expectation that the government will handle the problem, Jiang said.
During the Cabinet's weekly meeting, Jiang urged all ministers to take the eTag incident as a lesson and avoid similar incidents in the future. He said no matter the issue involved in a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project, or a contracted infrastructure project, the government should cautiously supervise the project.
Stressing that the MOTC should demand that the FETC hold itself accountable for the controversies it caused, Jiang said the FETC must improve its service attitude in order regain public trust.
As the Chinese New Year approaches, Jiang ordered the MOTC to assist and supervise the FETC until the eTag system is stable and people start to trust the system again.
FETC App Crash Incident
The premier said that as a matter of fact, after the last Cabinet meeting, Minister without Portfolio Simon Chang (張善政) came to him saying that the FETC's app problem probably was not a cyber attack.