At a recent conference on further simplifying administrative procedures, Premier Li Keqiang criticized some government agencies for their bureaucratic working style and vowed to change the situation.
Why do some government agencies insist on complicated paperwork procedures even though they can be simplified? Because there are interests hidden behind these procedures. With power in hand, officials can force people to pay a service fee or even a bribe. Wei Pengyuan, a middle-ranking official from the National Development and Reform Commission, was suspected of having received 200 million yuan ($32.22 million) in bribes only because his hand was on the stamp that permitted the opening of coal mines. It’s essential to put power in a cage.
China Youth Daily, May 8
We live in a digital age, so different government agencies are able to share information efficiently. For example, if a government agency needs to check one’s family information, it can inquire of the household registration authorities, or turn to the police if it needs to check whether someone has a criminal record. The reason for making the procedures complicated is that many bureaucrats who are paid with taxpayers’ money refuse to perform their duties as they should.
Gmw.cn, May 8
Some government agencies ask people to provide too many documents when making an application. By doing so, they are shirking their responsibility. This absurdity should have long ago been ended.
Wang Manchuan, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, May 8