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E-govt to Be Fully in Place by 2008 in Shenzhen

Top Shenzhen officials have promised that the municipal government will provide full e-government services by the year 2008, after Shenzhen became the first Chinese city designated by the Central Government to trial e-government programs.

The IT application office under the State Council on Monday named Shenzhen as a pilot city for spearheading e-government programs in the country. Top city officials, including Li Hongzhong, secretary of the municipal committee of the Communist Party of China, and Mayor Xu Zongheng, were present at the ceremony where State Council officials unveiled a plaque symbolizing the beginning of the Shenzhen program.

Shenzhen has opened certain online services for residents and companies to obtain government approvals.

According to the latest plan disclosed by the government following Monday's ceremony, residents and companies can submit applications for administrative approval and inquire about the results online by 2008. Any inquiry about government affairs and public services can also be lodged via the government's Web sites. Half of the applications will be processed online.

An independent body will scrutinize e-government services in a bid to ensure transparency and efficiency.

Li said at the ceremony that e-government services will be conducive to the vitality and efficiency of the government, while Xu urged the municipal government to make its online services more practical and efficient, and cover as many public services as possible.

(Shenzhen Daily August 9, 2006)

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