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1st Public Service Committee Established

A Beijing News editorial welcomed the establishment of the first public service committee in the capital's Haidian District last week, meant to take over the management of 29 public service units (PSUs) formerly affiliated to local health and culture authorities.

The use of the rarely-used phrase "public service" was seen as significant in aiming to improve government planning and administration.

However, Beijing News warned that the following aspects will be important in order for it to be effective:

--Being service-oriented. Government departments usually deal with affairs from the perspective of government. PSUs should put people first and try their best to serve the public. Otherwise, the government's image will be damaged.

--Coordinating the interests of different departments. Functions split between PSUs and government units need to be clearly defined, otherwise they will conflict.

--Innovation in public service management. The newspaper suggested that government should hand non-public affairs to the market.

--Financial support. Government should take responsibility for financing public facilities and services. PSUs, serving the public, should make people's needs known to government and urge it to increase investment where necessary.

--Mass participation. This is vital for public institutions since achievements and efficiency need public reevaluation. Mass participation can achieve twice the result with half the effort, quickly relaying public demands and providing ongoing criticism and suggestions.

(China.org.cn by Tang Fuchun August 1, 2005)

Reform in Public Service Sector Faces Tough Challenges
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