Charities and donors will receive rewards or disciplinary action from up to 40 government departments based on their credit scores, according to a senior official from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
Li Bo of the ministry’s bureau for social organization administration said departments including the central bank and the National Development and Reform Commission have signed a memorandum to share the credit data of both charitable organizations and those who donate to them, and to mete out rewards and punishments accordingly.
“The move signals that charities have been incorporated into the country’s credit system,” Li said at a news conference on Feb 24.
The move is part of a campaign initiated by the central government to establish a national-level credit system that encompasses all fields and sectors.
According to the memorandum, charities with ratings of at least 4A (the second-highest level) are eligible for rewards, which include favorable taxation rates and priority status during government contract bids.
Corporate donors with good records, or those that have made outstanding contributions to poverty relief efforts, are also eligible for the same rewards.
Organizations that have violated charitable organization rules, along with those culpable, will be placed on a blacklist to be shared among departments. The list will be updated on a regular basis, the memorandum said.
For those organizations that have rectified their misconduct or passed through punitive time frames, the organization and culpable people will be removed from the list.
Donors and recipients involved in legal disputes, and individuals and organizations that carry out charity scams, are also subject to possible disciplinary action, it said.
In addition to higher taxation and exclusion from government contract bidding activities, organizations on the blacklist will face stricter scrutiny in sectors including environmental protection.
Individuals found committing various infractions will also face restrictions in purchasing airline and high-speed rail tickets, it said.
To synchronize interdepartmental cooperation, civil affairs authorities will first update the credit information in a database shared among government departments. Then the 40 departments will give rewards or carry out disciplinary action depending on the data, according to Li Hui, an official at the NDRC, the country’s top economic planner.
The general public can access the information at creditchina.gov.cn, gsxt.gov.cn, cishan.chinanpo.gov.cn or mca.gov.cn, she said.
Li Bo said scams have a major effect on charity work. But in the past the ministry was only able to resort to administrative laws, whose disciplinary policies, he suggested, were not severe enough.
“With the memorandum in place, charity scams are liable for 24 punitive measures from up to 40 departments, which greatly increases the deterrent effect for scammers,” he said.