China will start a pilot program on standardizing and regulating the openness of government affairs at grassroots authorities, according to a circular released by the State Council on May 22.
It is expected that, by the end of 2018, a set of mature standards would be established for the whole country.
The pilot program will be launched in 100 county-level governments of 15 provincial regions, including Beijing municipality, Anhui and Shaanxi provinces, regarding issues such as urban and rural planning, major construction projects, fiscal budget, taxing management, safe production and environmental protection.
The authorities are asked to list and classify all openness items in a scientific and clear way, and clarify what details are to be open.
Meanwhile, standards are also urged in releasing government affairs. According to the circular, open government affairs include at least names, content, responsible departments, time limits and openness methods.
The procedure and mechanism of open governance should also be standardized and optimized, in order to promote coherent flow among information release, interpretation and response and an entire open process from policy-making to its implementation and feedback.
In addition, platforms for government affairs openness should be improved and diversified. According to the circular, government websites are the priority outlet for such information. Other platforms such as new media, broadcasting, television, newspapers and city halls can also be used for citizens’ convenience.
The pilot program will last for one year, until the end of August 2018. The 100 authorities should submit a summary report about the pilot work to the State Council by the end of September 2018, said the document.