Yunnan publishes local govt, Party directory

Updated: 2008-02-18 17:18

BEIJING -- Officials' contacts in Kunming, capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan, have been published by a leading local newspaper with permission of the local government.

The information, including telephone numbers, positions and divisions of responsibility, appeared last Saturday in a four-page special section of the Kunming Daily. The list included leading officials of the municipal Communist Party committee and the mayor.

The section was so popular that the newspaper had to reprint the issue, which was sold out within hours, and the on-line edition is being widely bookmarked.

The special issue has become a hot topic at the session of the 11th Kunming Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the local advisory body, which opened on the same day. Opinion has been split: many members of the committee considered it an embodiment of "sunshine government" while others worried that it might mean problems, including prank calls, that would hamper normal operations.

"The publication of the government contacts not only benefits the public, which has access in speaking out about their problems, but also helps superiors supervise their subordinates," said Wu Tinggen, one of the committee's members.

"This may cause unease, but some officials work and live so comfortably that they make people feel uncomfortable. The point is on which side you stand," he said.

"This is just a baby step of the government work-style reform," said Zhou Hailian, another committee member. Zhou added: "To solve problems, there will still be measures to take after people get access."

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