Index number:000014349/2016-00164 Subject category:Comprehensive government affairs / electronic government affairs Issuing Organ:General Office of the State Council Document date:July 30, 2016: Title:General Office of the State Council Notice on Further Completing Responses to Public Opinion on Government Affairs During Government Affairs Disclosure Work Release Number:SCGO (2016), No. 61 Release date:August 12, 2016 Source: http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2016-08/12/content_5099138.htm
General Office of the State Council Notice on Further Completing Responses to Public Opinion on Government Affairs During Government Affairs Disclosure Work
SCGO (2016), No. 61
To all levels of people's government, and to all ministries and commissions directly under the State Council:
In recent years, following the rapid development of the internet and the constant emergence of new means of broadcasting, there have been deep changes on the environment in which the government governs, public opinion incidents are common and plentiful; increasing disclosure on government affairs and responding well to public opinion on public affairs have increasingly become an requirement inherent to raising the capacity to govern. After years of hard work, efforts on disclosure of public affairs and responses to public opinion have made consdiderable progress in all areas and departments; a complete and coherent work model of publication, explanation, and responses, has essentially been formed. However, compared to the demands of the internet on the government and governance, and compared with the expectations of the masses, a few areas and departments have still not adapted their ideas on work, have imperfect working mechanisms, do not sufficiently respond to public opinion, make responses with less than ideal efficacy, and so forth. The following notices are made,, with the consent of the State Council, so as to do work on responding to public opinion on government affairs even better:
I. Further clarify responsibility for responding to public opinion on government affairs.All levels of government and their departments should place great emphasis on efforts to respond to public opinion on government affairs, truly increasing awareness of public opinion, establishing and completing mechanisms for monitoring, evaluating and responding to public opinion on government affairs, and implementing responsibilty for responding, avoided slow and passive responses. The relevant departments [ministries] of the State Council are the entities with the lead responsibility for public opinion on government affairs involving the State Council's major policies or major decision-making. For public opinion on local government affairs, carry out responses in accordance with the principles of localized governance, tiered responsibility, and responsibility resting with the competent department; so as to make the deparment with reponsibility for the matter the entity with lead responsibility; the general offices for that level of government together with the publicity department are to do a good job of organizational and coordination efforts. The competent department at the next higher level of government is the entity with lead responsibility for public opinion on governmental affairs that involve multiple areas, and the relevant areas conduct responses in accordance with the principle of localized management. For public opinion on government affairs that involve multiple departments, the relevant departments complete response efforts in accordance with their duties and division of labor, departments should strengthen communication and consultation between them and ensure that response information is accurate and consistent; the general office for that level of government, together with the publicity department, completes efforts for organizational coordination, and oversight guidance, and when necessary may designate a department to take the lead; for especially significant public opinion on government affairs, the comrade with primary responsibility for that level of government should truly take up leadership responsibility and guide, coordinate, and push relevant departments to complete efforts to respond to the public opinion.
II. Grasp standards for public opinion on government affairs that require key responses.The public opinion on government affairs that each area and each department must make response to are: where there are misunderstandings or misreadings of major policy measures of governments or their departments, where it involves the public's vital interests and has a larger impact, where it involves an area of the people's livelihood and is a blow to the limits of social morality, where it involves response to breaking events and natural disasters, where higher level governments request that lower level governments actively respond to public opinion on government affairs, and so forth. If acts creating or transmitting rumors that seriously endanger social order or national security are discovered during public opinion monitoring, the relevant departments, while making a prompt response, should also transfer the situation and leads to the public security organs and network management departments for investigation and handling in accordance with law.
III. Increase the effecacy of responses to public opinion on government affairs.There should be a rapid response and timely statement on especially significant or significant breaking incidents, with a press conference held no later than 24 hours; response to other public opinion on government affairs should be within 48 hours, and there should be sustained release of additional authorative information, based on the developing situation. Each area and department should strengthen research and evaluation of public opinion on government affairs found through monitoring, distinguishing between different situations to conduct differentiated handling, and use methods such as releasing authoritative information, convening press conferences or briefings, or accepting media interviews, to make a response. The content of responses is to revolve around public opinon's focus，hot topics, and key questions; it is to be practical and realistic, be well supported, be on point, avoid making personal comment, and strive to express things accurately, personably, and naturally. Where response is through the convening of press conferences or briefings the responsible parties or press spokesperson shall be present. Government personnel that come forward to make responses should be given definite room for autonomy and tolerance for mistakes. Each area and department should adjust to the trend of targetted and grouped dissemination and, further increasing the rate of government affairs microblogs, WeChat and client terminals in use, fully utilizing new media characteristics of equal exchanges and interactive transmission, and the interactive functions of government websites, to increase expression of reponse information. Establish and promote methods for rapid response and coordinated action by cyberspace and other departments, strengthening communication with the media and relevant websites, expanding the range of transmission for response information.
IV. Strengthen oversight, inspections and operational training.Each area and department should make systems for responding to public opinion of government affairs, mechanisms for responses, and response efficacy, key focuses; periodically carrying out inspections, so as to truly eliminate doubt and answer questions, clarify facts, and win the public's understanding and support. Further increase the extent of operations training; using two years' time, the State Council Information Office will lead the way in conducting a round of training for the comrades in charge and news spokespersons of each province's (region's, city's) people's government and each Ministry under the State Council; and the news office of each province (region, city) will lead the way in conducting a round of training for the comrades in charge and news spokespersons of each department and at the city and county levels of people's governments; to truly strengthen awareness of disclosures, and transform their thinking, to raise their capacity in publishing information, explaining policies, and responding to concerns.
V. Establish mechanisms for enouraging and restraining responses to public opinion on government affairs.Each area and department should make responding to public opinion on government affairs a major part of the evaluation system for openness in government affairs. The general office of each level of government should periodically conduct a sifting and summarizing of experiences and methodologies for responding to public opinion on government affairs, and conduct promotional exchanges on advances models and appropriate methods, giving play to their use in demonstrations and guidance; units and individuals that have implemented work well are given commendations in accordance with relevant provisions. Systems for the circulation of criticisms and calling people in for a talking-to should be established on responses to public opinion on government affairs; periodically circulating a bulletin on the state of efforts to respond to public opinion on government affairs, and summoning units and individuals that skirt or fail to do their work, and do not make adequate corrections, to be given a talking-to; and where government affairs are not disclosed in accordance with provisions, violating the public's right to know, and with more serious circumstances, working with the procuratorate to strictly pursue liability in accordance with law.
General Office of the State Council
July 30, 2016