President Tsai Ing-wen attended the Presidential Hackathon award ceremony on the afternoon of July 27. She stated that we will certainly continue to share Taiwan's open government achievements and efforts with the international community, and continue to show the world in concrete ways that "Taiwan Can Help."
After President Tsai arrived, Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) announced the names of the five winning teams: Rounding Team, Angels of the Aged, Judicial Yuan, Loan Alert, and Gov Data Opener.
In remarks, the president said that civil servants have become more active in exploring and meeting the public's service needs, and seeking teams to resolve problems. Cooperative problem-solving is not the traditional method of allocating a budget, drafting a plan, contracting out work, and taking bids to solicit private sector help. Instead, it means forming teams that include private sector organizations, business entities, and academic organizations and individuals, all working together as partners, an excellent model. It was very inspiring, she said, when government departments transcend conventional thinking and work with civic groups as equal partners, using their collective wisdom and capacities to really resolve government issues. She also encouraged the nation's civil servants to act boldly, without fear of mistakes, to make a better Taiwan. "I, as president, support reform," she said.
In addition to congratulating the five winning teams on their outstanding presentations, President Tsai also thanked all the teams for their efforts over the past three months. She recalled that she interacted with all the teams at last month's workshop, and that she was quite impressed with their creativity and passion. She was delighted to invite them to the Presidential Office to meet again.
The president pointed out that this year, we were holding our second Presidential Hackathon. And over the past year, she said, we have already seen many concrete results from the projects submitted by last year's five winning teams. So holding a Presidential Hackathon wasn't just a one-time show, but has a real and practical impact on the quality of public services, improving the effectiveness of government operations and policy implementation.
President Tsai further stated that the theme for this year's Presidential Hackathon, "Smart Nation," attracted over 100 proposals from ministries and government agencies, local governments, and private sector teams. This kind of creativity and innovation are an important foundation for a "smarter," more advanced Taiwan in the future, she said.
The president remarked that that future will see more and more opportunities for cooperation between the government and the private sector. We also welcome direct submission of innovative proposals on the betterment of government services, she said, adding that deeper and more diversified public participation is one of the best ways to optimize government performance. There is widespread public concern about many social issues. To address those issues, we will continue to seek public cooperation to use and analyze government information in innovative and meaningful ways. That will help us create innovative solutions, and lead us in new directions, she said.
This year was also the first year that the Presidential Hackathon included an International Track, with 23 teams from 15 countries participating, the president stated. She congratulated two of the winning international teams, "Mentadak" from Malaysia, and "CoST" from our ally, Honduras. In the future, she hopes that expert hackers from Taiwan and abroad will continue to exchange ideas about technology and new perspectives, and that they will submit more diverse creative proposals, and keep working together to promote sustainable development worldwide.
President Tsai mentioned her recent state visits to our allies in the Caribbean, and stated that she personally shared Taiwan's efforts and achievements with them. Taiwan's innovations in ICT also received much praise. She said that she was proud to see so many government colleagues with ideas and energy, and the creativity and efforts of so many private sector experts that day. The president then commended them all for their achievements.
President Tsai emphasized that we will certainly continue to share Taiwan's open government achievements and efforts with the international community. And we will continue to show the world in concrete ways that "Taiwan Can Help," she said.
Following her remarks, the president personally presented the awards to the five winning teams. Attendees also included Deputy Secretary-General to the President Shih Keh-her (施克和), National Security Council Advisor Der-Tsai Lee (李德財), American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office Deputy Director Raymond Greene, Honduran Presidential Commissioner of Transparency Alfredo José Cantero Callejas, and members of the diplomatic corps stationed in Taiwan.