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September 26, 2013

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Non-emergency hotline addresses complaints and food safety fears

ILLEGAL construction, unlicensed stalls and food safety issues were among the major complaints that the city’s non-emergency unified hotline 12345 had to deal with in the past 11 months from worried Shanghainese.

The government-backed hotline was test run last October and officially put into service in January.

The operators received nearly 1.32 million calls between October 8, 2012, and September 15 this year, Wang Jianhua, director of the hotline management office, said yesterday.

About 11.8 percent of calls made were complaints. Another 22.8 percent of people sought help over personal issues, such as property repair and labor security, while 28.6 percent called to seek interpretation on updated policies and public information consultations.

Relevant departments and district governments played a positive role in addressing the queries, Wang said yesterday.

The city’s industrial and commercial watchdog has connected the hotline 12345 to the customer complaint hotline 12315. Since January, the authorities handled nearly 15,000 cases. Most of them were resolved within 15 days.

Investigators also detected illegal operations from tip-offs made to 12345, and busted 150 cases involving fake products and illegal online trading to the tune of 2.8 million yuan (US$457,520).

Shanghai’s landscaping authority also responded to demands made by the public. City’s roads were sprinkled with water more frequently during the scorching summer heat and 34 public toilets built inside the Expo area were reopened.

The government of Pudong New Area focused on statistical analysis. Officials have made work reports on hot topics, like river pollution, missing manhole covers and school enrolment policies.

The government of Zhabei District established a three-color warning system to distinguish between emergency, urgent and non-emergency cases.

Most of the residents got timely feedbacks, however, in some cases there were still government oversight, said Vice Mayor Ai Baojun.

The major task in the future was to improve the quality of the government responses, he said.

As part of efforts to better monitor officials, a system to assess the public satisfaction of 12345 will be completed in November at the earliest, said Gu Guolin, director of Shanghai Supervision Bureau.

Also, from next year officials will be evaluated for their performance in resolving problems in a timely and proper manner,  Gu said yesterday.



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