Thursday, January 4, 2007

Central gov't website marks 1st anniversary

Chinese central government's website turned one year old, and its birthday was celebrated with the launch on Monday of a new look and new services. Two new functions were added to the front page. One provides a list of all administrative permits and administrative approvals by the departments under the State Council, and the other provides details of services by various government departments. The columns of "online live broadcasting" and "online interview", through which citizens can witness the policy-making process and directly talk to the policy makers, are more prominent on the front page of the website. Zhou Xisheng, CEO of the government website, said "The website is intended to play an active role in promoting transparent governance, improving public service as well as safeguarding citizens' rights to know, participate and supervise governmental affairs." The website, which is written in traditional and simplified Chinese and English, has four sections which provide information about government affairs, online services for citizens, enterprises and foreigners, and interactive communication between governments and citizens, as well as a search engine. The website releases 1,000 news items on average every day, 800 in Chinese and 200 in English. Over the past year, it has released more than 500 governmental documents and 250 gazettes of the State Council, broadcast live more than 60 important meetings and activities of departments under the State Council, and invited 22 senior officials in the central or provincial governments to talk with netizens. People can access some 1,100 services provided by 71 departments through the website, including tourism information during the "golden week," civil servant examinations and consumers' right protection services. According to the United States-based Alexa web information company, China's government website is currently the world's second most commonly visited government website. The Canadian government's website receives most visits."> " title="permanent link">#

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