Improving Government Contracts for IT Services

In its Taiwan White Paper submissions in recent years, AmCham Taipei’s Technology Committee has called on the government to better define the scope and limitation of damages and service-level penalties, as well as to determine the copyright ownership of vendor proposals based on the nature of the project.

After numerous discussions, the government has now agreed to revise the clauses in the model contract related to limitation of liability within one year. The Committee’s proposal for amending the model contract has been to stipulate that damages should not exceed the total contract amount and that the IT service vendor’s liability should not include derivative losses of the contractor.

But so far the government has not indicated that copyright ownership of vendor proposals will also be reconsidered. The current model contract clearly defines that the copyright ownership of vendor proposals should belong to the government, once the bid has been granted. But some proposals originate from vendors’ existing knowhow and copyrights. When that is the case, it is reasonable that ownership of the copyright should be retained by the vendor. The Committee has pointed out that lack of flexibility on this point has held back the Taiwan public sector’s ability to adopt new IT technologies.

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