In October 2000, Xiaguan District in Nanjing decided to introduce the advantages of supermarkets to government administration. They changed the closed pattern of doing administrative work to an open one similar to people shopping in a supermarket. The district government transferred 40 kinds of administrative work which are closely related to people's daily lives such as civil service, helping honored families and the handicapped, city planning, street cleaning, re-employment programs, business license issuing, taxes collection, hukou management, community Party building, and provision of administrative information together to an administrative hall. Local people can get related tasks done in an open environment; they can easily determine which desk to go to, whom to ask, and what to prepare.
This project also requires that the civil servant who is first asked by a person about any issue should follow the whole process till it is done. It requires that promises made by civil servants should be strictly kept, and that any civil servant who is accused of not helping people to solve problems will face concrete criticism. In the large administrative hall, there are desks occupied by representatives from the People's Congress at that level and by lawyers and supervisors.
Within this project, administrative work can also be done on weekends. This project requires that everything asked by local people should be done within a short deadline; things cannot be delayed by any excuse. Local people benefit greatly from this project. The public relations of the civil service and the effectiveness of the government have been greatly improved.
This project of transforming administration to the supermarket model has been highly praised by the municipal and provincial leadership and has attracted tremendous attention in the mass media. People's Daily, Guangming Daily, Economy Daily, Xinhua Daily, Nanjing Daily, and Yangzi Evening have reported this project prominently. About 124 governmental delegations from such places as Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shanghai, and Shanxi, have gone to Xiaguan District to learn from the experiences of this project. So far, the cities of Quanzhou, Fujian Province; Shenyang, Liaonin Province; Jiaozuo, Anhui Province; and Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province have implemented this project.