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Government to boost integration with internet

Updated: 2016-09-15 08:13
By Zhang Yue and Hu Yongqi (China Daily)

China is stepping up in improving government services via the Internet Plus and aims to set up a nationwide internet-based government service system by the end of 2020, according to a new State Council guideline.

The guideline was approved at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

Internet Plus, proposed by Premier Li, refers to applying the internet and other information technology resources to conventional industries to foster new industries and businesses.

"We are now living in the age of internet. Using internet tools to facilitate public services is an important step in accelerating the internet as the fastest and most convenient way for the government to interact and provide services for people," the premier said.

Li brought up the idea of improving government services and information transparency via the Internet Plus in his Government Work Report in March. Streamlining government functions has stood high on the government's agenda since 2013.  

"The internet will not only provide people with more accessible public services, but will also help the government to improve its management via various ways," Li said.

The guideline was drafted based on field research across eight provinces.

Inconsistencies were noticed in promoting internet-based public services in many regions. A lack of government information-sharing, regulation inconsistencies and limited online public services were identified as some of the most common problems. And some regions had scarcely got started with the job.

The guideline sets the goal that central and regional departments will establish an open and integrated internet platform by the end of 2017 that is interconnected across administrative levels. It aims to build a nationwide Internet Plus Government Services System by the end of 2020.

The integration of government services with the internet can reduce governments' expenses and speed application and approval processes for the public, thus boosting efficiency by offering online services, said Ma Liang, an associate professor of public management at Renmin University of China.

Contact the writers at huyongqi@chinadaily.com.cn

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