Office closure plan worries some

08:57, January 26, 2010      

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By Huang Jingjing

A plan to close thousands of offices in Beijing – links between local governments and the cen-tral government – has triggered mixed reactions.

The offices are expected to be closed within six months and were identified as mainly county-level ones which number about 5,000, according to Outlook Weekly, which is operated by the Xinhua News Agency.

The offices representing prefecture-level governments or above will stay open, the report said.

The Global Times called more than 20 offices in Beijing Monday and only four picked up. None said they had received the closure order.

The liaison offices, established to help smooth communication between local governments and the central government, boomed in the 1980s, when China started to implement a market economy.

The offices serve as bases for local officials to lobby the central government for more fi-nancial grants and preferential policies.

There are over 10,000 such offices in Beijing, representing local governments of different levels, enterprises, colleges and committees.

The plan to close the offices, which have long been suspected as a hotbed for corruption, won praise.

"The news is good. They should have been closed earlier. In addition to reducing duty crimes, the closure will streamline government departments and reduce management costs," Jiang Linfeng, a civil servant from a township government in Hunan Province, told the Global Times Monday.

Source:Global Times

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