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China: Simplification of Administrative Procedures

(Nov. 2, 2007) On September 28, 2007, the State Council of the People's Republic of China issued a circular that cancels 128 administrative examination and approval procedures and amends 58 others, in a move to reduce government red tape. Among the 128 eliminated procedures are some of those listed, for example, in the Decision of the State Council on Instituting Administrative Licensing in Regard to Administrative Examination and Approval Procedures That Must Be Retained (No. 412, June 29, 2004), which has an appended list of 500 items, and in the Circular of the General Office of the State Council on Retaining Some Non-Administrative Licensing Examination and Approval Procedures (2004, No. 62, Aug. 2, 2004), whose appended list covers 211 items.

Of the 58 adjusted procedures, 29 entail a derogation of management level (mainly from the central government to the provincial level), 8 involve a change of implementing department, and 21 reflect a merger of the same type of matters. Seven other administrative examination and approval procedures, while slated by the State Council to be eliminated or adjusted, require deliberation and revision by the legislature because they were instituted on the basis of relevant laws. (Guowuyuan guanyu disi pi quxiao he tiaozheng xingzheng shen pi xiangmu de jueding [Decision of the State Council on the Fourth Batch of Cancelled and Adjusted Administrative Examination and Approval Procedures], Oct. 9, 2007; Guowuyuan dui que xu baoliu de xingzheng shen pi xiangmu sheding xingzheng xuke de jueding, WWW.GOV.CN [the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China Web site], June 20, 2005; Guowuyuan Bangongting guanyu baoliu bufen fei xingzheng xuke shen pi xiangmu de tongzhi, Ministry of Construction P.R. China Web site, Aug. 2, 2004.)