An official view toward disclosure: In interpersonal relationships, relativist understanding comes with disclosure. Will China’s move toward greater government transparency heal the rifts forming from the 180,000 and growing mass incidents? The only issue I see is that the imposition of a rule on a Chinese way of life (indeed, the line between guanxi and favours and hence corruption can be a very grey one in the Chinese context) might not truly understand the source of problem; which stems as far back as Chinese civilisation itself.
From the site ‘News of the Communist Party of China’, run by Peoples’ Daily Online 人民网 the online presence of Peoples’ Daily 人民日报. This is an organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China 中国共产党中央委员会.
Here three approaches of increasing government transparency are discussed.
1. Reducing unnecessary government spending
2. Saying no to “buying only expensive things instead of right ones”
3. Reducing paperwork and meetings
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China announces new rules to further increase gov’t transparency
by Liu Yizhan, Huang Xiaoxi and Cui Jin
Source – News of the Communist Party of China, published July 12, 2012
The Regulations on the Management of Governmental Affairs, which was promulgated by China’s State Council on July 9 as the country’s first administrative regulations in this regard, focus on major government issues of public concern such as the disclosure of information regarding government spending on official receptions, vehicles, and overseas trips, government procurement, and conference management. The regulations establish the basic principles for governmental affairs.
Reducing unnecessary government spending
When central government departments were just considering banning shark fins at official receptions, Wenzhou, a coastal city in southeast China’s Zhejiang province, recently issued an official statement forbidding expensive food and drinks such as wild yellowfin tuna, abalones, shark fins, sea cucumbers, Maotai, and Wuliangye or luxury cigarettes at official receptions.
Since April 2011, most of government departments had disclosed their spending on official receptions, vehicles, and overseas trips, placing themselves under the supervision of the people.
Wu Pi, deputy director of Peking University’s Centre of Anti-Corruption Studies, said in an interview that public spending should be disclosed, stressing that government agencies should accept the supervision of the people, provide more detailed and thorough disclosure, and increase their financial transparency.
Experts said that eliminating unnecessary spending items and curbing expanding administrative expenses in a scientific way will effectively reduce government spending on official receptions, vehicles, and overseas trips.
Saying no to “buying only expensive things instead of right ones”
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Government Procurement on June 29, 2002, in order to eliminate hidden rules in this area and place government procurement under legal supervision.
However, the phenomenon of “using public money to buy only expensive things instead of right ones” still occurs from time to time.
Wang Yukai, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that e-procurement can not only save government a lot of manpower, materials, financial resources, and time, but also avoid redundant projects and serious waste of physical resources as the government adopts more effective management techniques.
Reducing paperwork and meetings
Experts said that certain cadres are too busy with endless paperwork and meetings to do something practical. Endless paperwork and meetings have damaged the relations between the cadres and the masses, tarnished the image of the government, caused serious waste of time and energy, and increased administrative costs.
Wang said that the plaguing phenomenon of endless paperwork and meetings can be curbed, and administrative costs can be vastly reduced through cancellation of unnecessary meetings and adoption of inter-agency and trans-regional video-conferences, e-mails, office automation, and electronic documentation.
This story contributed to Xinhua
Read the Chinese version:为“三公经费”戴上“紧箍咒”, source: People’s Daily Overseas Edition, author: Liu Yizhan, Huang Xiaoxi and Cui Jin