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New Policy to Build An Efficient Gov't
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Shenzhen government authorities will have to make public apologies for inaction or dereliction of duty, the municipal government has said in a new regulation.

The regulation, passed Friday, requires bureaus and government departments to apologize to the public through newspapers or press conferences within 20 days of improperly performing duties or failing to act.

The apology must specify the reasons behind the wrongdoings and remedies, the regulation says.

The regulation came months after Shenzhen Mayor Xu Zongheng proposed making apologies mandatory for government agencies in cases of grave dereliction of duty, in a government work report in March delivered at the annual session of the city's people's congress.

An essay on the Web site applauded the rule yesterday, saying it has shown Shenzhen's intention to build an efficient and responsible government.

The city launched a drive in October 2005 to improve the performance of public servants and get them to accept more responsibility.

Shenzhen was one of the first cities in China to kick off such a campaign.

About 300 city officials had been reprimanded by the municipal supervision bureau for inaction as of June.

In just over a year, 294 people were identified as chronic underperformers.

They have either received administrative demerits or been demoted, the supervision bureau said earlier in June.

In one case, officials with the municipal transportation bureau and public security bureau were held responsible for failing to deal with recurrent traffic jams on one of the city's arterial roads.

(Shenzhen Daily September 18, 2007)


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