At a media conference at this year’s two sessions, Premier Li Keqiang put forward a plan for streamlining “absurd certifications” as a major target to further transform government functions.
Now, Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, has moved quickly to streamline all kinds of “absurd certifications.”
In 2017, the city has streamlined 313 village- and community-level certifications, of which 298 have been eliminated.
More than 95 percent of the certifications have been abolished, except 15 essential items, such as marriage and birth certificates.
Premier Li recently issued a special instruction requiring all local governments to have the resolution and courage to cut all kinds of unnecessary certifications, bringing more conveniences to companies and citizens.
He also said that related departments should give further guidance on the issue so that efficient methods to streamline certifications can be promoted in a timely manner.
The move in Chengdu city is being carried out in accordance with the policy on streamlining administration, which requires removing redundant certificates and fees.
At a State Council executive meeting in 2015, Premier Li criticized some of the certificates required by government departments around China.
Among them, the most notorious case is to provide materials that prove “your mother is indeed your mother”. And he also mentioned a similar case in Chengdu.
All departments should be responsible for the certificates that are not only time-consuming and useless, but also may lead to corruption, said Premier Li.
Four days ago, during his inspection trip to Shandong province, Premier Li was told by local officials in Weihai city that various “bizarre certificates” not only caused inconvenience for citizens, but also increased workloads for local committees that are responsible for issuing the certificates.
The Chengdu municipal government is currently exploring ways to completely eliminate such certificates. From May 1, a list of remaining certificates to be issued by village (community)-level departments in Chengdu city will take effect. The list specifies 15 certificates required by laws and regulations and government departments above provincial level.
Departments at all levels under the jurisdiction of Chengdu will not be allowed to ask citizens to provide certificates not on the list.
During his inspection tour to Shandong province, Premier Li praised Weihai city’s online government services. He said, “Even large sums of deposit and payment can be handled via the internet, why can’t approval procedures? Actually, we must change minds.”
Only by shifting from traditional concepts can the government optimize its service, said the Premier, adding that a power list must be released by publicizing information, simplifying procedures, sharing data and reducing powers.
An overall list system to regulate the government was also a goal stated in this year’s Government Work Report.
As the Premier often stressed, “All departments should provide efficient and convenient services of high quality, for the interests of the public instead of their own, thus avoiding phenomenon such as ‘absurd certifications’.”