2008 Winner
Xicheng District Government, Beijing
The Innovations and Excellence in Chinese Local Governance Program
The Innovations and Excellence in Chinese Local Governance Program

This program is a winner of the "Local Government with Best Sense of Responsibility Award."

In 2005, the Desheng, Yuetan, and Jinrongjie Sub-districts in Xicheng District piloted, "Construction of Sub-district Public Service Halls." Guided by the goal of service-oriented government, the Xicheng District Government restructured its administrative bodies to create a program in which residents receive quality public service. The program has "four standardizations and five approaches." The standardizations include the scope of duties, the procedures, the timeliness of service, and the service criteria. The five approaches are comprehensive service delivery, networked services, online service delivery, back room process integration, and personalized service.

The project reformed the traditional management system to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. One official, usually the Deputy Director of the Sub-district Office is assigned as Director of the Hall and another official is assigned the day-to-day operations. Staff members are recruited from different departments in the Sub-district Office. Since the management system is relatively independent, the annual performance appraisal and evaluation process is conducted individually.

The project used business process re-engineering to reduce overlapping and redundant steps. It also standardized workflow to ensure hall staff conforms to service standards. The "one-stop" service mode was changed to a "one-window" service mode. Each window is now staffed by 6-10 employees, and these employees handle the work that was formerly done by more than 40 employees. This staff reduction slashed administrative costs. Working positions in the new system are established to meet the needs and demands of local residents and are extremely flexible.

As existing department procedures were analyzed, a new service chain, one which began with the needs of local residents, took shape. A comprehensive electronic system was developed to deal with "window" service, internal data transfer, statistical analysis, document filing, and performance evaluation. The "electronic window" service system integrated online data transfer with a video service system, which created an integrated e-government system. The online platform allows both vertical and horizontal integration and includes steps such as initial consultation, document and materials submission, examination and approval, and licensing. This system allows numerous steps to be accomplished in just one visit.

Positive outcomes include:

  1. Optimization of human resources.
  2. Continuous improvement of service delivery. The staffs of the Halls continuously conduct statistical analyses about resident demands and public service delivery. They then adjust service delivery methods to meet the needs.
  3. Open and transparent service. The Halls make the following information accessible to the public: scope of services, service procedures, processing time, and eligibility criteria. This ensures equitable service delivery and improves transparency.

In addition, the Halls use an online platform, a large display screen, a computer network, printer, touch-screen e-guide, flyers, brochures, and a bulletin board to increase transparency and ensure that residents have a comprehensive integrated service chain. This program, designed to provide convenient access to efficient and effective public service delivery, has now been implemented in all Sub-districts in Xicheng.

As the project matures, there are still several issues to be addressed including management and use of authorizations for online services (including those that require a seal), coordination among government sectors to standardize service delivery, and final promulgation of rules and regulations.

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