By Qian Bei (钱蓓), Shanghai Wenhui News (文汇报), February 1, 2013
Coming from a government work report, the statement “Lead society’s power to participate in social service management; accelerate the construction of social organization incubation bases; strengthen public welfare project investment and bidding mechanisms; explore a management system for social organizations’ direct registration” indicates that the management of social organizations is an issue of interest to the government. First-time Shanghai People’s Political Consultative Conference committee members Guo Xiaomu and Lü Chao, who also have extensive backgrounds in NGO work, are optimistic for the future of social organizations. Guo Xiaomu compares the present situation for social organizations to that of privately-run businesses thirty years ago. Referring to the moderately new practice of government procurement of social organization services (according to the article, the Shanghai government established its procurement mechanism in 2011, distributing RMB 10 million in contracts to social organizations annually), Lü Chao says that the government is indicating its intention to allow social organizations to focus on community needs.