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Dalian sets 'zero meeting days'
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On three out of the five working days every week, the government of Dalian, a major city in northeast China's Liaoning Province, will be exempted from any meetings, according to a circular issued on Tuesday by the local government's General Office.


Without approval, no large meetings will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday every week, the circular stipulated.


This is one of a host of measures the local government will take to change its work style and improve its administrative efficiency.


The circular aims to greatly reduce the number of meetings in future government work, stating that no unnecessary meetings will be called. Related meetings should be combined into one if possible.


It also said that after work has been assigned via documents, there is no necessity to call a meeting.


Citywide meetings inside various government departments will be held only once a year. Without the city government's approval, commemoration and commendation meetings hosted by government departments will be forbidden. Memos are suggested as a substitute.


The use of videophones to convene meetings is also highly recommended in the circular.


The number and ranks of attendees will be strictly controlled, based on different meetings.


Short meetings and simple speeches are also advocated. In general, meetings should not extend beyond two hours. Citywide commendation meetings and meetings to convey higher-level instructions should be limited to one and a half hours. Speeches should be contained within ten minutes.


To avoid too much paperwork, Dalian will also reduce the number of paper documents issued by the city government and its general office. Telephone, fax and email are highly suggested as alternatives.


( by Yuan Fang September 20, 2007)



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