Beijing Calls for Greater Digitisation of Government, Reform of Sub-Provincial Fiscal System

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The Chinese central government has issued new directives to drive the greater use of digital technology for administrative purposes, as well as reform of fiscal systems at the sub-provincial level.

On 19 April the Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission (CCDRC) reviewed and approved a raft of key opinions, including:

  • “The Guidance Opinions on Strengthening the Establishment of Digital Government” (于加强数字政府建设的指导意见).
  • “The Guidance Opinions on Further Driving Work for the Reform of the Sub-provincial Fiscal System” (关于进一步推进省以下财政体制改革工作的指导意见).
  • “The Work Plan for Improving the System for Finance Supporting Innovation During the 14th Five Year period” (“十四五”时期完善金融支持创新体系工作方案).

The Commission said that since November 2013 it had “strengthened the top-level design for reform of the fiscal and taxation system, and the division of central and local revenues has been further clarified.”

“Reform of the fiscal transfer system continues to deepen, and we are gradually forming central and local fiscal relations where rights and responsibilities are clear, fiscal strength is coordinated, and there is regional balance.”

With regard to digitisation, the Commission said that “strengthening the development of digital government is a key measure for innovation in methods and concepts of governance,” highlighting the adoption in particular of Internet and big data strategies.

The Commission also approved measures that will make use of natural resources a factor in the assessment of political cadres even after they’ve departed from their current positions.