Openness encouraged by State Council

The State Council, or China’s cabinet, released a circular on Tuesday urging increased openness in government affairs in order to ensure that government officials will continue to work in a lawful and efficient manner.

“We should stick to lawful, scientific and democratic policy-making and increase the scope of publicity, especially for major reform plans, policies and projects that are directly related to the people’s interests,” said the circular, which was jointly issued by the State Council and the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

The circular stressed that expenditures and budgets for government departments at all levels, as well as data on key construction projects, must be publicized in full detail.

Information on major emergencies should be released to the public in an “objective and timely manner.”

“Local government departments must make more efforts to ensure transparency in government affairs,” said the circular.

The circular specified several obstacles for transparency efforts, including a lack of information, nonstandardized publicity procedures, poorly designed information-sharing systems and problems regarding the distinction between classified information and public information.

Xinhua

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