Many local govt apps are merely vanity projects
ONE AFTER ANOTHER, local governments have developed apps, which they claim allow residents greater convenience in the application procedures for certain issues. However, China Central Television recently found that many of these apps do not work. Southern Metropolis Daily comments:
In the video released by CCTV, when a journalist visited a local government office to inquire about one of the apps, an official said: "Who said you can apply by app? You cannot."
There is one answer to that question. It is the local government department that released the app.
Worse, many local government departments fabricate the data about their apps including the number of users and downloads. When one of our journalists clicked on the app of a local government agency in Fuzhou city, East China's Fujian province, the number of visits shown on it increased by a dozen. On its main page, it is claimed the app has been downloaded 10 million times in a year. That is ridiculous.
According to the developer of one government app, the official who contracted the job to them said, "its mere existence is enough". All the officials want is to have an app to win praise from their superiors, instead of helping to make life more convenient for residents.
Deeper analysis will show there might be waste of taxpayers' money, even corruption behind the apps. Each of the apps contracted by local government agencies costs tens of hundreds of yuan, with additional management costs. The officials who spend the money at will have abused their power in hand.
In order to solve this, stricter supervision is needed, including giving the public more power to supervise local government departments. Only under stricter supervision will local officials refrain from abusing taxpayers' money.