China to maintain public appeals and complaints order 2009-08-19 13:53:04   Print

    BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- China will seriously penalize people using the appealing to authorities for help, as a way of making financial gain, damaging social order or creating mass incidents.

    The Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee said Tuesday evening the government since 2004 had received an increasing number of complaints about lawsuits and greater efforts had been needed to deal with them.

    In China, certain departmental officials of central and local governments receive members of the public and letters of petition and complaint.

    The central level department dealing with public complaints is the State Bureau for Letters and Calls. Local governments also have corresponding departments.

    The Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate, as well as various central departments such as the ministries of education, public security and health, also have offices to deal with the public appeals and complaints.

    The PLAC said "safeguarding people's rights and interests should be in line with maintaining social stability and judicial authority."

    Officials in charge of legislative affairs at various levels of government should set aside a day a week to receive members of the public who want to file complaints, the committee said.

    Officials should also thoroughly investigate and deal with problems raised by the public, the PLAC said. In areas where facilities are available public complaints could be heard via the Internet.

    Problems raised should be investigated immediately and dealt with within 60 days, and the people involved must be informed of the result.

    "Mediation should also be extensively used in dealing with complaints from the public," the PLAC said.

    Also, "police authorities should generally mediate to handle cases such as disputes between neighbors, traffic accidents and compensation for damage."

    Zhou Benshun, secretary general of the PLAC of the CPC Central Committee, said earlier this month that government officials should handle public complaints carefully and in accordance with the law in order to maintain social harmony and stability ahead of the National Day celebration in October, which this year marks the60th anniversary of the founding of new China.

    Zhou said government officials should try to address and resolve public complaints and disputes at village and county levels.

    "Problems can be solved without coming to Beijing," he said.

Editor: Lin Zhi
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