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MOI, service providers to blame for crash: Cabinet

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Executive Yuan's Board of Science and Technology (BOST) yesterday released an investigative report regarding the newly launched computerized housing registration system crash, saying that both the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) and service providers should hold themselves accountable for the incident.

On Feb. 5, the government launched the computerized registration system; however, the upgraded system has been plagued by glitches, crashing several times.

Deputy Minister of the Interior Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) yesterday held a press conference, saying that the MOI had studied the BOST's report and suggestions, noting that the MOI's Department of Civil Service Ethics also released a report about the bidding process for the system.

Hsiao said that according to reports, the MOI acted in accordance with the Government Procurement Act, noting that the incident was mainly due to management and policy execution issues rather than inadequate policy-making.

Service Provider Will Face Fines

Hsiao went on to say that the BOST's report suggests that the service providers —software providers and facility providers — lack the capabilities to fulfill the contract, and the software design is not competent to handle the complexity of the nationwide registration system.

The deputy minister said that in accordance with their contract, the system's software provider named International Integration System Inc. (IISI, 資拓宏宇國際股份有限公司) will face a fine of at least NT$1 million per day depending on the abnormality rate of the system each day.

Hsiao further explained that if the abnormality rate falls between 1 and 10 percent on a particular day, the firm will face a fine of NT$1 million, noting that if the abnormality rate for the next day falls between 10 and 20 percent, the fine for that day will be NT$2 million.

Hsiao noted that the MOI is currently gathering the total number of abnormal incidents caused by the system from all household registration offices across the country from Feb.5 to Feb. 25, and it will calculate a total fine for the firm as soon as possible.

As for the system's facility and software maintenance provider Huan An Ta Co. (環安達科技), Hsiao said that because the contract with the firm is still valid, the MOI does not rule out the possibility of terminating the contract over the incident.

Department of Household Registration Blamed

When asked by reporters if the MOI minister or deputy minister should hold themselves accountable for their failure to supervise the system, Hsiao said the BOST's report suggests that it was the MOI's Department of Household Registration (DHR) that made all the decisions and at the same time refused the MOI's technology division's help from the beginning. The DHR underestimated the complexity of the system, Hsiao added.

Hsiao further noted that unless new evidence comes up “the department that handled the matter should be the responsible one.”

After the incident, Hsieh Ai-ling (謝愛齡), previous head the DHR, was demoted from her post to serve as a counselor at the MOI on Feb. 13.

Minister without Portfolio Simon Chang (張善政), in charge of BOST, yesterday said the MOI failed to supervise the system properly and underestimated the complexity of the new computerized system.

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