Online survey prods government response
( 2003-12-04 00:44) (China Daily)
The public's dissatisfaction with some municipal governmental organs in Beijing has prompted authorities to adopt quick and effective action for improvements.
An online survey of 60 governmental branches revealed that local authorities in communications, urban management, urban planning and public health received the most negative votes from the public.
The highest dissatisfaction rate reached 86 per cent by Wednesday.
But experts pointed out that governmental performance should not be evaluated exclusively on the basis of the poll results because spiteful and emotional voting takes place.
The survey, conducted by the Beijing Municipal Supervision and Evaluation Office, had tabulated over 110,000 online votes by Wednesday.
Started in mid-November, the online investigation is expected to be finished this month in accordance with the year-end comprehensive appraisal of governmental organs' annual political achievements, said Xu Dong, the office's deputy director.
Even if the poll figures are not accurate so far as ineligible votes will not be deleted until the end, the departments that have received many negative votes have already begun adopting effective measures to improve their work.
Liu Xiaoming, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Communications, which has been blamed most for the city's terrible traffic congestion, vowed that a press conference will be held to answer queries from the public.
Meanwhile, an overall solution to Beijing's traffic headaches will be released later this month.
The Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning, which has received 75 per cent negative votes, has established a complaint column on its official website.
More than 600 people had availed themselves of the column by yesterday.
"We have attached great importance to the online vote, but the survey organized by the evaluation office only shows the dissatisfaction rate, with no detail,'' said a commission official who requested anonymity.
He said the commission wants to hear detailed complaints from the public in order to make effective improvements and explanations.
"This is a good beginning for making government affairs transparent as well as for expanding the channels for the public to participate and discuss political issues,'' said Fang Zhulan, a professor with Renmin University of China.
"The high rate of dissatisfaction shows that further communication is needed between residents and the government,'' she said.
Fang also stressed that some citizens vote as a way to express their negative moods and some even vote online again and again for fun.
"Residents are always informed by government to do this, do that, but there are few channels for them to communicate with government,'' said Fang. "The online appraisal provides a good channel for residents to express opinions, although some of the voters are maybe too emotional in voting.''
The researcher also said the government should attach great importance to dealing with complaints, adding: "The government needs to inform residents appropriately on improvements after the survey.''
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