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China Focus: NPC focuses on supervision and compliance
2014/03/11

BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- As China continues striding toward the rule of law, the country's top legislature is finding new ways to streamline compliance.

Incorporation of questionnaires and online solicitations for public opinion have made the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee's supervision of government and judical bodies more objective and pertinent, lawmakers said.

"The NPC usually holds its full session once a year and its standing committee meets every two months," said Fu Wenjie, a deputy director with the NPC Standing Committee secretariat. After meetings adjourn, the main task for lawmakers is supervision. "This includes making sure that the Constitution, laws and regulations are upheld in full," he said.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said on Sunday that the Standing Committee had improved supervision. The top legislature inspected compliance with four laws last year: compulsory education, renewable energy, meteorology, and administrative review.

"We need to fully implement the guidelines of the (Communist Party of China) central committee and the provisions of the Oversight Law and raise the NPC's oversight to a new level," he said.

One of the innovations the NPC Standing Committee is public questionnaires. According to Yu Jianwei, director of the NPC's committee for internal and judicial affairs, some 4,800 questionnaires were sent out last year by NPC deputies investigating compliance with the Law on Administrative Review.

The questionnaires covered the quality of administrative review cases, how those cases were handled, and the public conception of the administrative review system. The system allows people to appeal when administrative acts are deemed to have infringed on their rights.

"About 4,350 questionnaires were returned, and some 60 percent of those polled said they were not at all familiar with the administrative review system," Yu said.

Inspectors also asked review authorities for statistical reports on the progress of their work, and to solicit public opinion online, by mail and through phone calls.

Yu said the measures allowed lawmakers to communicate more widely with the general public than ever before, and "had made our supervision work more comprehensive and objective."

"Our suggestions made to improve the system henceforth are thus more operable and pertinent," he said.

In his work report delivered on Sunday, Zhang Dejiang said the NPC Standing Committee will investigate compliance with another four laws this year: tourism, patents, protection of minors, and air pollution.

Wang Yuzhi, an NPC deputy, said similar innovations could expand public participation in the NPC's oversight of legal compliance, and support for the legislature's work.

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