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Red Cross sets up scrutiny committee

Updated: 2012-12-11 03:15
By SHAN JUAN ( China Daily)

As part of its reforms aimed at improving public trust, the Red Cross Society of China has established a public committee to help supervise issues such as donation management and improving the organization as a whole, Zhao Baige, executive vice-president of the society, said on Monday.

The committee is composed of 16 members from the fields of law, politics, medicine, media, finance and accounting, and will work independently, said Yao Lixin, newly appointed spokesman for the society.

Yao said committee members will receive no salary from the society and will play a role in a number of areas including development planning, finance supervision and public communication.

"The model will be institutionalized and expanded nationally to facilitate public supervision over the Red Cross," Zhao told a news conference.

The move is also part of the society's comprehensive reforms to help restore its reputation, which was tarnished in 2011 when Guo Meimei, claiming to be an official at the society, detailed her lavish lifestyle in micro-blog posts.

Huang Weimin, an attorney with the Grandall Law Firm in Beijing, who has been appointed secretary-general of the committee, said the prestige of the position links the personal reputation of the members with the society.

Each term of membership lasts for three years. "We are under public supervision as well," he said. Those who are found to be irresponsible will be replaced.

Apart from key issues, such as implementing charity projects and supervising donation management, "the committee also serves as a bridge between the society and the general public", Huang said.

To ensure proper and accurate public communication, the committee includes Bai Yansong, a well-known China Central Television presenter and commentator, and Yuan Yue, president of the Horizon Research Group.

"Effective supervision takes expertise and skill, and committee members all have appropriate backgrounds that will enable them to fulfill their responsibilities," said Yao.

He said public supervision of this kind is in line with international practice.

"Behind each of the members there are also untapped resources, which can help with the society's overall development," he said.

Wang Zhenyao, director of the China Philanthropy Research Institute at Beijing Normal University, who is also a member of the committee, said he welcomes the latest initiative.

"It represents huge progress for the society," he said.

Wang said the committee will issue regular work reports to the public.