This program was a nominee for the "Local Government with Best Sense of Responsibility Award."
By 2005, roughly 96 percent of the government departments and all villages in Yulin were connected to the internet. Technological innovations, especially internet management technology, allowed Yulin to create a new form of e-government that functions within the local context and is transparent, accountable, efficient, cost effective, convenient, and secure.
This One-stop E-government Reform is a virtual intranet system that includes a comprehensive application platform. It has an internet data center for resource sharing, two platforms (one for applications and the other for data exchange), and seven systems (security, electronic seal, government web portal, automatic office, on-line examination and approval, credit evaluation for enterprises, and electronic supervision). The Yulin government took the lead in introducing technology that integrated applications into one hardware and software system and networked government departments horizontally and vertically to ensure resource sharing and subsystem development. In addition, the government designed the system so that citizens can: search for useful information, file complaints, and have access to service delivery 24/7.
The Yulin municipal government reduced costs for the reform by using existing internet resources rather than by establishing a special network. The total cost of the project amounted to 5.6 million Yuan (Roughly 803,000 USD). It was 70 percent less expensive than estimated costs for a special network (roughly 16 million Yuan). The government also designed and constructed the system to operate within market rules. The government invested in infrastructure construction, final users financed application development, and local enterprises procured contracts. This led to a win-win situation for government, citizens, and the private sector.
Each of the subsystems was also designed to provide market benefits. For example:
The automatic office reduced costs and improved efficiency by creating a "paperless" office. The Yuzhou District Government of Yulin alone saved more than 700,000 Yuan (roughly 100,500 USD) in printed documentation and improved processing time. Under the previous system it took several days to print, bind, and distribute documents to other government departments. This system produces official documents instantaneously.
The electronic examination and approval system not only makes instruction, consultation, and information available to the general public, it also increases transparency. Applicants can now inquire about the status of their applications and results of their requests online. This transparent operation has also reduced official misconduct and corruption.
The online supervision system created oversight of official document transfer and distribution, correspondence, and approval.
The interactive platform for communication improved communication between citizens and their governments in a variety of ways. Government officials can communicate online with citizens to solve their problems or provide information. Users can evaluate and rate the government services they receive. They can also log onto the system to offer suggestions and concerns to government departments, which are required to respond and conduct investigations as necessary. Each of these features assists in creating a Harmonious Society*
There are still opportunities to improve the Yulin E-government Reform. Yulin could expand its e-government network to additional grassroots rural areas and further diversify services offered to increase economic development.
*Harmonious Society: The current leadership (in China) is committed to generating greater economic development in the interior and providing more services to those who do not live in China's coastal areas, goals that form the core of President Hu's concepts of a "harmonious society." http://www.state.gov/