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Full Text: Work report of NPC Standing Committee
Posted: March-23-2016Adjust font size:

4. We made progress in the provision of more effective oversight.

The Standing Committee exercises powers of oversight in accordance with the law. With a view to better serving the central task of economic development and the overall interests of the country, we channeled considerable energy into making our oversight work more effective, maintaining a focus on key priorities. Our oversight efforts have helped to ensure the implementation of the Party Central Committee's major decisions and plans, as well as law-based government administration and judicial impartiality.

1) We intensified our efforts to inspect compliance with laws.

Inspecting compliance with laws is a major statutory means by which the NPC exercises oversight. Over the past year, the Standing Committee inspected compliance with six laws, specifically the Law on Vocational Education, the Law on the Protection of Consumers' Rights and Interests, the Agriculture Law, the Law on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution, the Law on Guaranteeing the Rights and Interests of Senior Citizens, and the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy. Vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee, as well as myself as Chairman, headed inspection groups to localities to oversee and inspect compliance with these laws and on this basis, delivered reports on the findings at meetings of the Standing Committee and chaired inquiries on related specific issues. In addition, the Standing Committee strengthened follow-up oversight. Following our inspection of compliance with the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Law and our deliberation on the inspection report in 2014, we made arrangements last year to hear and deliberate the State Council's feedback report on how it had responded to our 2014 report and our comments. We also heard and deliberated a report from the State Council on the work it did in response to our compliance inspection report for the Law on Vocational Education and our comments. Our efforts in this regard have contributed to the improvement of relevant government work.

Focusing on the prominent problems and weak points identified in the enforcement of the laws for which we carried out compliance inspections, the Standing Committee put forward comments and proposals for solving these problems and improving related systems, urging relevant government departments to work toward complete and effective enforcement of these laws. Taking these comments and suggestions extremely seriously, the State Council and its departments took earnest measures to rectify the problems exposed in the inspection reports and implement the Standing Committee's suggestions, thereby resolving a number of practical problems and refining the relevant systems and mechanisms. Based on an inspection of compliance with the Law on Vocational Education, the Standing Committee put forward proposals on improving the quality of vocational education by taking an employment-oriented approach, deepening the integration of vocational education with industry and cooperation between vocational colleges and businesses, and encouraging regular undergraduate institutions to shift their focus toward providing applied education. Under follow-up monitoring by the NPC's Education, Science, Culture, and Public Health Committee, the relevant government departments acted accordingly by revising the list of specialties offered by vocational colleges and promulgating methods for managing the provision of specialties by vocational colleges. As a result, the total number of specialties has been condensed from 1,170 to 748. In addition, the relevant departments formulated and implemented guidelines on encouraging the incorporation of vocational education providers into groups, resulting in the formation of over 1,000 vocational education groups nationwide. They also formulated and implemented the action plan for innovation and development in higher vocational education (2015-2018) and the guidelines on encouraging some local regular undergraduate institutions to shift toward providing applied education.

2) We strengthened the review and oversight of government budgets and final accounts.

In performing this legally prescribed duty, the Standing Committee heard and deliberated government reports on final accounts, auditing work, and the implementation of budgets, and reviewed and approved the central government's final accounts for 2014. We required governments at all levels and related departments to conscientiously observe the revised Budget Law, deepen the reform of fiscal and tax systems, follow standard procedures in compiling and managing budgets and final accounts, and make overall plans for the use of government funds so as to ensure that these funds are used more effectively.

We deliberated and approved a motion by the State Council on imposing ceilings on local government debt in 2015, and heard and deliberated a report on its work to strengthen local government debt management. Upon deliberation, we required that the growth of local government debt be tightly controlled, strict procedures be followed in the issuance of bonds by local governments, and strict controls be imposed on the use of borrowed funds, with due attention given to both short-term and long-term needs. We also required that improvements be made to mechanisms for evaluating debt management performance, assessing risks, and dealing with emergencies, so as to effectively prevent and defuse local government debt risks.

3) We helped to promote sustained, sound economic development.

The Standing Committee heard and deliberated reports by the State Council on development, including a report on the implementation of the 2014 plan for national economic and social development. We fully endorsed the work of the State Council and its relevant departments, remarking that the steady and positive performance of China's economy in 2014 had not come easily. At the same time, we proposed that the State Council continue to faithfully implement the decisions and plans of the Party Central Committee; understand, adapt to, and guide the new normal in China's economic development; focus on improving the quality and efficacy of economic development; maintain a proper balance between ensuring steady growth, promoting reform, making structural adjustments, improving living standards, and guarding against risks; and work to promote sustained, sound economic development and social stability.

We also heard and deliberated reports by the State Council on its work to promote the application of information technology and the deeper integration of information technology into industrialization, and on its work to improve and stabilize rural land contract relationships. We emphasized that the government should highlight information technology development as a strategy; promote breakthroughs in generic key technologies and build a system for innovation; improve public services concerning information; accelerate the commercialization and application of advances in information technology; and move faster to promote the application of information technology and integrate it more deeply into industrialization. We required that the government work to ensure smooth progress in determining, registering, and certifying contracted rural land-use rights; properly settle disputes over contracted land-use rights and solve the problem of an increasing number of rural residents having no land to farm; protect the rights and interests of farmers according to law; carry out the trial reform of the rural land system in an orderly fashion; speed up the establishment of a new type of system of agricultural operations; and develop modern agriculture.

The Standing Committee organized for the relevant special committees and working committees to carry out dedicated research on major issues concerning economic and social development during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. The 24 reports this led to focused on issues concerning public finance, the economy, education, science, culture, public health, energy conservation, environmental protection, work related to ethnic minorities and overseas Chinese, elderly care, agriculture, rural areas, farmers, and cooperation between Guangdong on the one hand and Hong Kong and Macao on the other, thereby providing the government with a valuable source of reference for formulating the 13th Five-Year Plan. These research activities have also better prepared deputies for examining and approving the 13th Five-Year Plan at this session of the NPC.

4) We helped to guarantee and improve living standards.

Safeguarding and improving the people's wellbeing and promoting social equity and justice represent priorities in the Standing Committee's oversight work. After hearing and deliberating the State Council's report on its efforts to develop the system of public cultural services, the Standing Committee proposed that the relevant government departments intensify the construction of public cultural and sports facilities; build a stronger contingent of personnel in the cultural and sports sectors; increase the supply of public cultural products and services; and make innovations in systems and mechanisms for the management and operation of public cultural programs, so that the people can benefit more from cultural development. After hearing and deliberating the State Council's report on the progress in deepening the reform of the medical and health care systems, the Standing Committee fully affirmed the notable achievements that had been registered, while also emphasizing that the government should continue to push the reform forward in line with China's realities, with strong confidence and the courage to overcome any difficulty that may emerge on the road ahead. We iterated that the government should do everything it can within reasonable limits to ensure basic medical and health care services for the people, improve the services provided at the community level, and establish sound supporting mechanisms. We also stated that it should strengthen top-level design, improve systems and mechanisms, and work energetically to find a Chinese solution to medical reform -- a difficult problem for all countries around the world -- with a view to making progress in building a Healthy China.

5) We continued to strengthen oversight of judicial work.

We heard and deliberated the report of the Supreme People's Court on the hearing of administrative cases and the report of the Supreme People's Procuratorate on the oversight over the enforcement of penal decisions. On this basis, we commented that the courts should fully observe the revised Administrative Procedures Law and improve the hearing of administrative cases, and that the procuratorates should standardize and improve oversight over the enforcement of penal decisions and ensure strict application of sentence commutation, parole, and medical bail. The Supreme People's Court held a teleconference for courts throughout the country, during which it laid out dedicated plans for strengthening and improving the hearing of administrative cases under new circumstances. The Supreme People's Procuratorate also earnestly considered our comments, formulating the decision on comprehensively strengthening and standardizing inspections of the enforcement of penal decisions.

The Standing Committee identified improving oversight mechanisms and methods as an important means of intensifying its oversight work and making its oversight more effective, and conducted new trials in this regard. This led, among other things, to the production of the guidelines on establishing a mechanism for the State Council to report to the NPC Standing Committee on the rectification of pronounced problems discovered in auditing. In June 2015, the Standing Committee heard and deliberated the State Council's annual report on auditing work and proposed corrections to problems identified therein. In December, the Standing Committee convened to hear and deliberate the State Council's report on the rectification of these problems, and then conducted an inquiry on specific issues based on our deliberation. This was a first in the oversight work of the NPC. Judging from the results, all problems discovered in auditing have been rectified, with the Ministry of Finance, the National Development and Reform Commission, and four other departments rectifying the major problems and presenting reports on their rectification work; and 47 departments and offices making corrections to 772 other problems. In addition, the National Audit Office referred leads on violations of the law and discipline uncovered during the auditing to the competent authorities for further investigation. Another result of the trials we conducted last year was the formulation of the guidelines on improving special inquiries. We carried out special inquiries in connection with our deliberations of the two compliance inspection reports for the Law on Vocational Education and the Law on the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution, allowing the topics subject to inquiry to be further expanded. Leading officials from the State Council came to deliver reports on special topics at meetings of the Standing Committee, and attended joint group meetings of the Standing Committee as well as meetings of the Standing Committee's groups inspecting compliance with laws, to respond to inquiries and solicit comments. These practices fully demonstrate that the government is accountable to the NPC and subject to its oversight, and that the building of a rule of law government is picking up speed.

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Source: Xinhua 2014-3-17Editor: tracyliu
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