The Legislature approved on Tuesday the Cabinet's plan to establish a ministry of digital development, as mapped out by President Tsai Ing-wen (???) in her inaugural speech when she began her second term in office in May 2020.
According to a new law passed by lawmakers to establish the new ministry, it will be in charge of planning the nation's digital development policies in response to the political and economic challenges created by the rapidly evolving digital world.
The existing Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) will be reorganized as a ministry-level council, while related operations currently under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the National Communication Commission will also become part of the new ministry, according to amendments to several organizational acts approved by lawmakers.
The new ministry will be responsible for the overall planning of government resources in the fields of telecommunication and digital technologies, the infrastructure needed to promote innovation and cultivating talent.
It is also tasked with overseeing government information security, digital services and data management, as well as aiding the development of digital economy related industries, as stated in the newly passed law.
Some of these areas currently fall under the purview of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Cabinet's Department of Cyber Security.
The plan to establish a ministry of digital development seeks to speed up the digital transformation of Taiwan and improve the government's ability to deal with cyber security issues, said Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng (???).
The formal establishment of the ministry will follow the plan drawn up by Minister without Portfolio Kuo Yau-hwang (???), who heads the Cabinet's task force on the organizational changes, Lo said.
Meanwhile, the MOST said its future role will be similar to that of the National Development Council, coordinating across ministries and between industry and academia to guide the innovation of software and hardware in Taiwan.
It will also focus on research projects involving advanced technologies and how they can be applied commercially, according to the MOST.
The organizational changes are expected to take place in March 2022 at the earliest, but the actual implementation schedule will be determined by the Cabinet, the MOST said.
The MOST was established in March 2014 to replace the National Science Council which was formed in 1959.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel