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What are the supervisory mechanisms of the NPC and its Standing Committee?

The National People's Congress and its Standing Committee have established various mechanisms and procedures necessary for it to exercise its supervisory role fully and effectively. They are being continually improved and include:


NPC supervision of government, court and procuratorate activities is achieved largely through receipt and consideration of their routine reports augmented by further reports covering specific subjects as required. Certain standard procedures are required by law.

In particular NPC supervision of the work of government involves examining and approving the Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the State Budget together with reports on their implementation. Both require the approval of the National People's Congress and once approved must be implemented.

Scrutiny of regulatory documents

According to the Constitution and the law, the National People's Congress has powers to annul any administrative rule, regulation, decision or order of the State Council that contravenes either the Constitution or the law. The NPC can also annul any local regulation or decision of an organ of state power at the provincial level that contravenes the Constitution, the law or administrative rules and regulations.

Local people's congresses at and above the county level have powers to amend or annul inappropriate decisions not only of their own standing committees but also of those of the local people's government at the same level.

The people's congress at township level has the power to annul inappropriate decisions or orders of the people's government at township level.

The standing committees of people's congresses at and above the county level have the power to annul inappropriate decisions of the people's congress and its standing committee at a lower level. They can also annul any inappropriate decisions and orders made by the people's government at their own level.

Supervising law enforcement

Such supervision is aimed at the law enforcement agencies and encourages the timely resolution of problems in the implementation of the law. Reports on matters concerning law enforcement are taken onto the agendas of the Standing Committees of the people's congresses at various levels. The law enforcement authorities must respond to the comments and suggestions of the Standing Committees. Typically these might be to work towards a particular improvement within a prescribed time frame. Progress reports are fed back to the relevant Standing Committee.

Hearing complaints, charges and accusations made by citizens

The Constitution provides that a citizen has the power to file complaints, charges or accusations against any state organ or individual member of staff where unlawful acts or dereliction of official duty are concerned. The Standing Committees of people's congresses at and above county level can hear complaints concerning the government, the court or the procuratorate.

The system of inquiry

While considering bills, NPC deputies can make formal inquiries of the state organs concerned. These bodies then provide representatives to report at meetings of deputies or delegations as appropriate.

When the NPC is in session, a delegation or over 30 deputies may through a joint letter make inquiries of various departments and commissions of the State Council. The Presidium will decide whether the body to which inquiries are addressed should give a written response or have those responsible appear in person at a meeting of the Presidium, or relevant special committee or delegation.

Also during a meeting of the NPC Standing Committee, more than 10 members of the committee, may in a joint letter raise inquiries of the State Council and its departments and commissions, the Supreme People's Court or the Supreme People's Procuratorate. The chairmen's meeting will decide whether to call for a written response or have those responsible appear in person at a meeting of the Standing Committee or the relevant special committee.

In addition, the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee have powers to investigate special issues and their authority is backed by powers of dismissal.

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