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China reshuffles cabinet office, adding emergency response, e-gov depts
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16:02, July 19, 2008

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The General Office of the State Council, China's Cabinet, has expanded its number of set staff and organization framework to reinforce its capacity to deal with emergencies and supervision work.

The number of bureaux will increase from six to nine while the staff number will reach 519, an increase of 300, according to a recent circular issued by the Office.

Four new bureaux were added. They include the emergency management office, the supervision office, the electronic government office and the finance office. The emergency management office also doubles as the general office on duty.

The reshuffle is part of an effort by the government to clear define of the responsibility of every government department, improve their services and efficiency while streamline the size of the public servants.

This represents the biggest change made to the cabinet office in a decade, the Beijing Times quoted analysts as saying.

The General Office has also removed part of its functions from the major responsibility list including dealing with petitions, providing consultation for disputes among departments under the State Council, carrying out research program under the direction of government leaders and better manage administrative affairs.

But analysts say these functions still exist as some of them are put under the rule of other bureaux under the State Council, such as the General Office which will directly manage the State Bureau for Letters and Calls, which is an important channel for ordinary people to make their voice heard.

Source: Xinhua

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