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Charity organization opens to public to rebuild trust

(Xinhua)

08:44, June 07, 2012

BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Volunteers, donors, Internet users and reporters were invited to visit the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) on Wednesday, and were briefed on the organization's recent work.

The move was seen as one of the organization's efforts to boost transparency in the charity system and rebuild public trust after last year's scandal raised concerns over the possible misuse of donations.

Zhao Baige, the executive vice president of the RCSC, said the RCSC will also set up a public supervision committee and invite credible public figures to participate in and supervise the organization's major charity projects.

An internal monitoring organ and an accountability mechanism will also be established to ensure that donations are used properly, Zhao said.

The RCSC came under fire last year after a woman calling herself "Guo Meimei" posted pictures on her microblog detailing her lavish lifestyle. She claimed to be the general manager of "Red Cross Commerce," a group that the RCSC said does not exist.

The woman's photos provoked the ire of netizens, who speculated that she might have funded her extravagant purchases by embezzling charity funds from the organization.

Dubbed a "firefighter" for her work to ease public anger and doubt, Zhao said transparency is a better way to win public trust, as it preempts "fire" risks.

The RCSC also launched an online donation information database after the scandal last year, aiming to allow every donation made to the organization to be traced.

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