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China sets guidelines for central government's administrative reform(07/17/08)


    BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- China recently set a guideline for a new round of institutional reform of the State Council, the country's Cabinet, in an effort to build up a service-oriented, responsible, law-governing and clean government for the nation.

    This remark came from an official in charge of the General Office of the Central Government Set-up Committee in a recent interview with Xinhua and People's Daily.

    He emphasized the guidelines on restructuring some central government departments adopted on June 25 by the State Council's executive meeting were a directive document with the nature of law and it served as a base for State Council departments to play their functions.

    It was a major step forward for implementing the essence of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and to further deepen the restructuring of administrative management, said the official.

    He added, the document was aimed to readjust functions of different central government departments, define the main functions and responsibilities for these departments, decide the set-up and responsibilities of subordinate cells within these departments, and define the numbers of staff in these departments and the numbers of leading officials of the subordinate cells of these departments.

    One of the main jobs for the new round of administrative reform is to streamline the relations of functions and responsibilities for different central government departments.

    For example, the administrative powers in the sector of flash and online games will go to the Ministry of Culture, while the State Administration for Radio, Television and Film is the only administration for the film industry. Meanwhile, the General Administration for Press and Publication is responsible for controlling the whole sector of manufacturing audio and visual products.

    Under circumstances when the management of a certain sector needs the cooperation of several departments, one department should be made the coordinator and it has the rights to summon the others concerned to carry out the administrative powers.

    For instance, the Ministry of Health will manage the issue of food safety, in collaboration with other departments concerned such as the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and the State Food and Drug Administration.

    The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry ofFinance and the People's Bank of China (PBC) will set up a coordinating mechanism for macroeconomic control, while the PBC should form another coordinating mechanism for the supervision of financial affairs, together with the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

    Anyway, while trying to make the central government more efficient and simple, the set number of total staff of the State Council must not be exceeded, the official stressed.

    To change the functions of the government was a primary task for this reform, so as to enable the government to define what it should do and what it should not, said the official.

    He stressed the government should do a better job on major issues such as macroeconomic control, management on energy, environmental protection, education, population and family planning, housing, social security, culture, health care and safe production.

    The official urged all the central government departments to seriously implement the regulations of the document and strictly follow the regulations, so as to safeguard the seriousness and authority of the guidelines.

    According to previous official reports, the new round of government reform is led by Vice Premier Li Keqiang, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau.

    At the 17th Party Congress in October, the CPC leadership called for further deepening the administrative reform.



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