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Premier demands report about household registration system
IISI denies subcontracting to China
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-11 03:09 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Premier Jiang Yi-huah on Tuesday ordered a complete report within a week about whether or not a troubled household registration system was outsourced to China.

The system attracted attention a month ago because of technical glitches which disrupted the registration of weddings and other information changes. The problems were even believed to have played a part in the sudden replacement of Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan.

After media reports alleged that the company behind the new system, International Integrated Systems, Inc. (IISI), had in fact relied on an Internet company in China as a subcontractor, Jiang ordered the investigation. Company officials denied the media allegations.

During questioning at the Legislative Yuan Tuesday, Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Cheng Li-chiun told Jiang that National Security Bureau chief Tsai Te-sheng had said the company did outsource the software project to China.

The premier replied that as soon as he had heard the accusations, he had asked then-Minister without Portfolio Chang San-cheng, who was responsible for information security, about the issue. Chang said no such information had come from the NSB, while the contract between the Ministry of Interior and IISI expressly forbade the use of subcontractors.

Cheng said that the household system was not the only government project IISI had been working on, since it was also dealing with 28 systems for the Taipei City Fire Department.

The opposition lawmaker pointed out that large parts of government contracts could not be turned over to subcontractors, while companies from China could not bid for Taiwan government contracts since Beijing was not a signatory to a World Trade Organization government procurement accord.

The alleged behavior by IISI not only posed a threat to national security, but also violent government procurement laws and regulations, Cheng said.

The company issued a statement Tuesday emphasizing that not a single engineer from China participated in Taiwan projects, and that the household registration program had not been subcontracted to any Chinese company or to any other foreign concern.

IISI also said it had no way of obtaining data from customers, who were in complete charge of their information. There was no national security or any other data security problem with the project, according to the company’s statement.

The disruptions with the system, which emerged on February 5, took several days to be repaired. In the wake of the troubles, the MOI formed a special taskforce to prevent future problems.

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