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China Daily Website  

Chinese government yearly reports need less self-praise

Updated: 2015-01-13 18:50

BEIJING - Chinese government organs should pay more attention to their faults rather than self-praise when reviewing their work in releasing government information.

A report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences revealed that many annual summary reports on government information disclosure were "hollow without concrete content."

Since the end of 2014, all provincial-level governments and a majority of State Council organs have submitted their yearly work reports on the release of government information, which have been published on the website of the State Council.

According to the report, many of the government departments have mistaken "disclosing government information" for "listing progress and praising themselves." Some have even given themselves high scores praising their work in information disclosure.

It is true that many government departments have made progress, particularly in going digital and interacting with the public.

However, it is meaningless for them to submit a yearly report praising themselves. Instead, they should pay more attention to responses from the public and identify their weaknesses in handling information so as to improve government transparency.

Information disclosure is a must for China to build clean government. It should be recognized by society and written into regulations.

In summarizing the year's work, governments are obliged to find shortcomings and draw lessons to guarantee people's right to be informed and better supervised.

Public opinion should be taken into account in assessing governments' work on information disclosure, as the public is the audience for the information.

As China steps up efforts to disclose government information, the State Council should also stipulate detailed plans and regulations to guide lower-level governments in the field.

In 2014, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China stood out by exposing corrupt officials and violation cases.

However, the CCDI emphasized its work by only listing achievements, such as conferences it held and the number of anti-graft cases it handled. The commission should also collect opinion and probe possible ways to solve problems raised by the public.

Some government organs mentioned their flaws in publicizing information. The State Forestry Administration said it "lacks effectiveness in releasing information," and the National Audit Office critiqued itself, saying it should state information more clearly.

Although these criticisms did not take up much space when mentioned, they are a good sign for the government organs to start reflecting on themselves.

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