How many undisclosed zone of Government Information? Take a Look at How Citizens Fight Back!

Article by CHANG, SHU-CHEN | Edit by Open Culture Foundation (OCF)

Taiwan was ranked as the high quality Open Data government in 2015 and 2016 by “Global Open Data Index". However, since than, there is no further development and many open data sets are still lack of function. This October, Taiwan National Development Council suddenly announced the draft of “Open Data Act" is under discussion. Before we finally step into next stage, let us review what is really going on when citizen request the data from government.

In a day with nice weather, the Nanfang’ ao Bridge crumbles without warning. In fact, people do not know if the bridges they walk on daily are safe or not, since the maintenance records has not ever been revealed before. (Source of the photo: Military News Agency, Ministry of National Defense)

The public only realized that there was only one maintenance record of the Nanfang’ ao Bridge after the bridge crumbled on October 1, 2019. Moreover, the maintenance record was only partial, the maintenance work was incomplete, and the information was incorrect, either.

Why did the relevant information remain unobserved for so long? The Ministry of Transportation and Communications established the “Taiwan Bridge Management System (TBMS)” right after Gaoping Bridge crumbled as a result of illegal gravel mining and typhoon slamming in 2001. Although the related agencies are required to upload the maintenance records of all bridges in accordance to the system, the information has not been opened to the public, which makes it unable to be supervised by the public. People also have no idea about the safety of the bridges they are walking on daily.

Taiwan is always considered by its people as an open and democratic society. After the “Freedom of Government Information Law” has been executed for fourteen years, and Taiwan has retained top spot in “Global Open Data Index” two times in a row in 2015 and 2016, which all have become one of the prides of Taiwan. However, , the sensitive zone of significant government information that should be opened to the public remains in the dark side of this pride.

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Next Milestone of Open Data in Taiwan

Taiwan is on the way to push “Open Data Act" this year (2020). Before moving forward to next stage, it is important to clarify the existing problem and identify obstacles.

How does government open their data and how is the data used in Taiwan? It is the main issue discussed within these series of research articles. Open Culture Foundation (OCF) worked with the experts from civil society, government, and data scientists to conduct the research, interview and writing. In the end, 4 articles are released in Traditional Chinese and 3 of them are transplanted into English.

We hope, by conducting this project, we are able to find the right direction for coming “Open Data Act". Also, by saving Taiwan’s experiences through English articles, we can share and connect with more international partners who are also developing the Open Data Policy.

Series of Research Articles


[Culture]

Slowness of Opening Data and Rush of Identification Process Kills Historic Buildings in Taiwan.

[Environment]

Activate the Live of Opening Data in Environmental Impact process


[ Request Process]

How many undisclosed zone of Government Information? Take a Look at How Citizens Fight Back!


INFO

Activate the Live of Opening Data in Environmental Impact process

By Kuo Hung-yi | Edit by Open Culture Foundation

Taiwan was ranked as the high quality Open Data government in 2015 and 2016 by “Global Open Data Index". However, since than, there is no further development and many open data sets are still lack of function. This October, Taiwan National Development Council suddenly announced the draft of “Open Data Act" is under discussion. Before we finally step into next stage, let us review what is really going on about Open Data in Taiwan in historical case and environmental case.

What problems can we solve by “obtaining information”? Or what role does it play in human life? In addition to simply meeting the human need to gain knowledge, access to information is helpful for our judgment in decision-making, good for understanding specific things, and conducive to reduce human fear in the face of the unknown. 

Intelligent humans can keep away from disasters by learning astronomy, meteorology, and geographical environment, and improve hunting techniques, food collection and even medical behavior by comprehending animal and plant ecology. Intelligent humans develop various communication methods to disseminate information or knowledge, learn abstract thinking, and establish complex systems of knowledge and culture, which has created the world of mankind today.

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Slowness of Opening Data and Rush of Identification Process Kills Historic Buildings in Taiwan.

Article by Perry Wu | Edit by Open Culture Foundation

Taiwan was ranked as the high quality Open Data government in 2015 and 2016 by “Global Open Data Index". However, since than, there is no further development and many open data sets are still lack of function. This October, Taiwan National Development Council suddenly announced the draft of “Open Data Act" is under discussion. Before we finally step into next stage, let us review what is really going on about Open Data in Taiwan in historical case and environmental case.

After the overhaul of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act in 2016, citizen participation finally became more extensive. The amendment of the law expected that experts from the private sector can make up for the government’s manpower gap in the investigation and protection of cultural heritage. As with the Open Government policy, more and more aged historical materials are digitized and open to the public, and the preservation movement of private monuments has flourished everywhere. Concerning the “Red Leaf Garden” (Chen Mao-tong Residence) case, a recent occurrence of cultural heritage dispute, how did the reporter find the key information in the scattered historical materials to rediscover the history of this house almost 80 years ago? How can we figure out a more open and fair solution in the dispute regarding the certification of historic buildings in time to come?

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