BEIJING, June 25 -- The State Council, China's cabinet, dispatched eight inspection teams on Wednesday to check the implementation of its policies nationwide, in a process which will last 10 days through to July 5.
The teams, made up of central government officials, will look into how well the central government's policies are executed at local levels.
This is the first large-scale inspection launched by the current administration.
Policies in the spotlight of the inspection will be those designed to stabilize economic growth, deepen reforms, promote economic restructuring and benefit people's livelihood, spanning 19 social and economic sectors.
For instance, one team, composed of officials from construction, water resources, social security ministries, the banking regulator, among other central authorities, will examine developments in sectors including financing of small and medium-sized enterprises, construction of subsidized housing and retrofitting of shanty towns.
Inspectors will objectively assess how policies are implemented by local governments, identify challenges and offer suggestions on how to solve them.
For a country with a gigantic bureaucratic structure, such work will help the central government see to it that its policies are faithfully carried out at all levels.
"There used to be a funnel effect in the passing of policy from central government downward," said Sun Xiaoli, professor with the Chinese National School of Administration (NSA).
As Chinese government operates on the five administrative levels of state, provincial and ministerial, municipal, county and township, a policy package may taper off during its passing downward, Sun explained.
The policies may be misinterpreted or even distorted by local executors or local interests, and the role of inspections is to keep the authenticity of the policy, she added.
Another focus of the inspection is to "fit central government policies into local shoes," said Chu Songyan, another professor with the NSA.
Inspectors are also tasked with spotting mismatches between central government policies and local situations; after all, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all policy and some policies may be very difficult to enforce even if they succeeded in trial runs, added Chu.
To demonstrate the central government's resolve to streamline policy practices, it will for the first time invite third parties to the probe.
The State Council also warned that it will be "serious" about punishing officials who have not fulfilled their duties.
Local government officials found wanting will be held accountable. Those who are not willing to act for fear of making mistakes or who put off their work will be brought to book.