In January, 1999, the standing committee of the People's Congress of the city of Guiyang made a resolution, deciding that from then on, all meetings of the standing committee must be open to the public. Citizens could come to listen to the debate and discussion at the meetings, and they would be allowed to express their own ideas on the issues. By September 2001, all of the 21 meetings of standing committee had been opened to the public. More than 200 citizens have attended the meetings.
This project was implemented in the following way: the standing committee announces twice a year through local newspapers and TV and radio programs the topics at each of the meetings in the coming half year; then citizens attend the meetings based on their own interests.
Four results of this project have become discernable since it was put into practice. Firstly, the ideas and interests of the ordinary citizens have been heard through their presentations in the meetings. Citizens have a new channel to articulate themselves. Secondly, with public attendance at the meetings, members of the standing committee have become more serious and more active in the meetings, and therefore have improved the quality of their work in the meetings. Thirdly, supervision of the People's Congress stipulated by law has become strengthened. At the 32nd meeting of the standing committee held recently, two appointments of cadres to administrative positions within the municipal government were rejected by the meeting. Last but not least, citizens have become more experienced in participating in the political process. They came to understand laws, rights, powers, structure and operation of the government better, and became more capable of taking part in politics.
Supplementary to this system of opening to public, other projects such as informing the public about laws before being passed, collecting public comments on the People's Congress's work, and requiring officials within the administration to report their work to the congress have also been carried out by the standing committee of the People's Congress of Guiyang.
Until now, there have been only 12 seats for the general public available for each of the meetings. The leadership of the People's Congress has decided to move the meeting to a larger room in the coming new year to increase this number to more than 30.
In addition, this project sets a good example for People's Congresses at other places and at other levels. The provincial People's Congress has praised the practice of opening up in Guiyang and has decided that from September, 2001 on, it will open all of the meetings of its standing committee to citizens from all over the province.