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Government may enlist help to monitor NPOs

Updated: 2014-01-03 22:25
By He Dan ( chinadaily.com.cn)

The government is considering joining with research institutes to strengthen supervision over the nonprofit organizations that have mushroomed in China as a result of relaxed registration policies, a senior overseas NPO official said Friday.

Wang Jianjun, head of the Bureau of Administration of NPOs under the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said the government has realized it is not possible to monitor social organizations on its own.

Wang said at a Friday press conference in Beijing that his bureau has set up a research center on social organizations with Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

"Every staff member from the civil affairs departments has to supervise at least 150 social organizations, which is unrealistic," he said.

There are fewer than 3,300 civil affairs officials nationwide, while the number of registered NPOs reached 511,000 by the end of the third quarter of 2013, statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs showed.

He added that the supervisory task became much heavier when the central government decided to allow four types of NPOs — industrial associations, charities, community services and organizations dedicated to the promotion of technology — to directly register with civil affairs departments.

The abandoning of pre-examination and approval by other regulators saw a rapid rise in NPO registrations.

The Social Sciences Academic Press also released its annual Report on Social Organizations Evaluation in China (2013), which was jointly conducted by the Bureau of Administration of NPOs under the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, at the press conference.

The report revealed that about 12 of 63 surveyed foundations had failed to complete sound financial reports and that many NPOs are lacking in talent.

Yuan Ruijun, deputy director of the Center for Civil Society Studies at Peking University, said the evaluation report can be a vital reference for government supervision.

Yuan said the results could act as a deciding factor for the government when consider ing whether to fund civil society organizations or provide some public services.