Over 100 representatives in charge of the major e-government projects throughout the country are attending the National E-government Work Meeting, which began in Shanghai on Thursday and ends today.
Chen Dawei, deputy director of the State Council Informatization Office, said: "The e-government websites in most provinces have helped local governments communicate more easily with local residents and therefore make the administrative work more transparent and efficient."
According to the office, most provinces would have completed the construction of their e-government networks by the end of July.
Chen added that three major cities, namely Shanghai, Xiamen and Guangzhou, are leading the way in building e-government portals and related websites.
Qiao Zhigang, vice-director of the Shanghai Informatization Commission, said: "We have finished constructing the overall framework linking the municipal government website with those of district governments."
Qiao added that the commission is working on a project that will enable Shanghai residents to access more public information via only one website. This would require the compilation of resources from the various government agency websites.
The Shanghai government website www.shanghai.gov.cn is currently linked to 240 district government, government agency and society websites.
Shanghai residents in the city can now download 2,400 kinds of government forms from the Internet, enabling them to conduct 703 different kinds of government-related business.
Previously, much of the work had to be done in person with the relevant government agency.
Commission officials revealed that a pilot project in Huangpu District, that combines information from six different governmental agencies, would make it even more convenient for those applying for income subsidies.
Applicant now need only complete nine forms online rather than the previous 19 forms that had to be submitted by hand.
The online process has also reduced processing time from 15 to three days, and has done away with the need for applicants to scurry between the different agencies.
Qiao added that Shanghai's e-government projects are being developed for companies as well as individuals.
Qiao said: "The pilot project in Songjiang District has information from 23 government departments available on a platform that all locally registered firms can access."
Likewise, the different departments can access general information on the local companies via the same portal.
Setting up a company is also easier with the e-government portal. It now takes only 10 days to register a company compared with the previous 30 days.
China currently has about 103 million Internet users.
(China Daily August 19, 2005)