Taiwan Lottery tender under scrutiny after allegations of US interference

Taiwan Lottery tender under scrutiny after allegations of US interference
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Allegations have been made over possible interference in the recent Taiwan Lottery tender process, according to the Taiwan News.

The news outlet has reported details of a recent UDN report which claims Hsiao Chia-chi, Director General of the National Treasury Administration (NTA), helped to relay information about a US company to CTBC Bank, which has operated the Taiwan Lottery since 2007.

CTBC Bank’s first term, and the third in the lottery’s history, began in 2007 and ran until 2013.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) decided to continue the firm’s handling of operations, awarding CTBC Bank its second consecutive term in 2014.

This run comes to a conclusion in 2023, but the MOF recently re-elected CTBC Bank – who have raked in an average revenue of $4.93bn for the past four sessions – to stay on for a third term, which will last between 2024 and 2033.

However, officials are now facing questions about the most recent tender following allegations that the government interfered at the request of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de-facto US embassy.

Citing an unspecified former MOF official, the UDN report claimed the official said it was “inappropriate” for the NTA head to pass on the information, because this may burden the lottery issuance institution.

The NTA has rejected any meddling accusations, saying the administration did not pull strings for the firm in question and that the tender would be conducted publicly.

AIT has also defended the act as “regularised commercial engagement” to promote the interest of American businesses.