State Office of Letters and Calls Measures for Further Standardizing Procedures for Handling Petitioning Matters and Guiding Petitioners to Follow the Proper Progression When Petitioning
Article 1: These Measures are formulated on the basis of the "Petitioning Regulation", "The Opinion on Innovation in Public Work Methods for Resolving Prominent Problems in Petitioning" and other relevant legal provisions to further strengthen regional responsibility and enhance the effectiveness of petitions work, to guide petitioners to lawfully follow the proper progression in petitioning, and promote the prompt local resolution of petitioning matters.
Article 2: The petitions organs at all levels of people's governments and other administrative organs will follow the "Petitions Regulation's" provisions and principles of regional management and graded responsibility, responsibility lying with those with primary authority, lawful prompt and local resolution of issues, and combining persuasion with education, to accept petitioning matters within the scope of their duties on a hierarchical bases, and follow designated procedures and time periods in their handling.
Article 3: All levels of people's governments and work departments in people's governments at the county level or above will place a high level of importance on initial petition letters and calls, to promptly, locally and properly handling petitioning matters and prevent letter petitioning from escalating to petitioning visits and petition visits from going up to higher levels.
Article 4: Petitioners submitting a matter shall generally do so by written letter, email, online complaint or other written format. Petitioners using a petition visit to submit a matter shall, based on the nature of the matter and jurisdiction levels, go to reception area set up or designated by the organ with authority for handling the matter for that level or one level above. The first organ to engage the matter has precedence in accepting it, and must not push it onward.
For submitted matters that span the jurisdiction of both this level and the level above, the level above will not accept it, and will guide the petitioner to submit it, either in writing or by visit, to the organ with lawful authority to accept it, and at the same time report the situation to the lower level organ.
Article 5: All levels of people's government and other administrative organs log each matter raised by petitioners, and decide in the provided time whether or not to accept them, and inform the petitioner as well. Organs with authority to accept must issue the petitioner with a written notification of whether or not it is accepted. Where it is not within the range of those accepted by an organ, it will indicate the organ that will accept it.
"Three cross-over, three separations" [1, see comment] petition matters are accepted and handled according to the clear principles and procedures of article 24 of the "Petition Regulations" and the "State Bureau for Letters and Calls Standards for handling 'three cross-over, three divides' petition matters".
Article 6: Petition matters within the scope of duties of any level of people's congresses or of the standing committees of people's congresses at the county level or above, courts and people's procuratorates, and also matters which have already been or should be resolved through statutory channels such as litigation, arbitration or administrative reconsideration, will not be accepted by any level of people's government's petition work office or other administrative organs, but the petitioner shall be notified to follow the procedures of relevant laws and administrative provisions to submit it to the relevant organ.
Article 7: Where a petitioning matter has already been accepted or is being handled and a petitioner submits the same matter to the organ at the level above the one that has accepted or is handling the matter within the designated time period, the higher level organ will not accept it.
Article 8: Where a petitioner is unsatisfied with a disposition (or review) opinion on a petitioning matter, and has not yet submitted a review (final review) request, but again makes a petition visit to the organ at the level above, all levels of people's government petition work offices and other administrative organs will not accept it, and will guide the petitioner to the review (final review) procedures.
Article 9: Where a petitioner is unsatisfied with an opinion on the disposition (review) of a petition matter, but without legitimate reason exceed the designated time period without submitting a request for a review (final review), it will not be accepted again.
All levels of people's governments' petition work offices and other administrative organs will not again accept petition matters that have already been checked and confirmed as completed by a provincial (autonomous region, directly governed municipality) people's government's review/final review organ, or those that have already completed a final review and been entered into the national petition system, where the petitioner continues to submit complaints and requests based on the same matter and reasoning.
Article 10: Central party and state organ petitioner reception departments will not accept petition matters that should be, but have not been, submitted to a provincial level people's government's petition work offices or other administrative organ, or those currently being handled by a provincial level department where the statutory time period has not been exceeded. Petition matters that have already concluded a final review will not be accepted again.
Article 11: Organs with authority to accept shall handle petition matters within the provided time, issue a written disposition opinion to the petitioner and inform them of the time limits and organs for requesting a review (final review). If an extension for handling is necessary, a written notice of extension shall be issued Where a petitioner requests a review (or final review), the review (final review) organ shall inform them in writing whether or not it is accepted, and issue a written review (final review) opinion within the provided time.
Written disposition opinions, notices of extension and review (final review) opinions shall be promptly delivered to the petitioner, with receipt formalities strictly performed.
Article 12: All levels of people's governments' petition work offices and other administrative organs will promptly record all information on petitioning matters and the circumstances of their acceptance and handling, as well as all written documents into the national petition information system to ensure that procedures are standardized, that data is complete and to share information.
Article 13: People's governments' petition work organs are responsible for supervising the acceptance and handling of petitioning matters by administrative organs at their level and the levels below. Where a petition matter is not recorded as required, is not accepted when it should be, is not handled in the provided time or according to the provided procedures or a disposition opinion is not enforced, causing a group visit petition to higher levels, follow article 36 of the Petitions Regulations to supervise and handle the matter, submitting recommendations for improvement and report the situation. Where the circumstances are serious or cause serious consequences, follow the Petitions Regulations, the Provisional Provisions on Punishing Violations of Petition Work Discipline and other legal documents to submit a recommendation on pursuing responsibility to the relevant local department.
Article 14: All levels of people's governments' petition work offices and other administrative organs will employ multiple forms of legal publicity and education to guide petitioners to use written methods for submitting petition matters and follow the procedures of the Petition Regulations to follow the proper incremental progression when petitioning.
Article 15: Each provincial (autonomous region or directly governed municipality) people's government's petition work offices, and Central Party and State organs' petition reception offices will formulate specific implementation rules based on the Petitions Regulation and these Measures combined with the local department practices. Social organizations, enterprises and institutions proceed with reference to these Measures.
Article 16: The National Petitions Bureau will issue explanations of of these measures.
Article 17: These measures shall enter into force on May 1, 2014.
 The three “cross-overs, three divides” refer to
Crossing regions, crossing departments, and crossing industries; and divide between the people and the matter, divide between the people and the hukou household registrations, and divide between the people, hukou and the matter.
Cases with any of these cross-overs or divides can potentially present a jurisdictional challenge as multiple agencies and regions are involved from different angles.
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