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“Visit to Maximum One Authority” Reform in social governance extended to serve people at the grassroots during the epidemic

Recently, Ms. Zhang, engaged in vegetable sales business, in Nanhu District, Jiaxing City, received nearly 10,000 yuan in arrears from customers. Previously, she was unable to meet her client after a dispute due to the impact of the epidemic. With the help of Nanhu District Social Conflict and Dispute Resolution Center, Ms. Zhang and the client successfully signed a mediation agreement through the “Online Conflict and Dispute Resolution Platform”, solving the problem without leaving home.

“Visit to Maximum One Authority” Reform was first piloted in social governance in Zhejiang Province in early 2019 to enable people to visit only one authority to resolve conflicts and disputes. By the end of last year, the county-level social conflict and dispute resolution centers had covered all localities in this province. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, this reform has been further extended to the towns (sub-districts) and villages (communities) to give full play to the role of the “four platforms for grassroots governance”, grid members, and people’s mediators, thus bringing government services into villages and communities to help people out of difficulties and solve disputes.

A good case in point is the recent resolution of a conflict between two households in Jiangbin Xincun , Shangyu District, Shaoxing City. Due to the banging noise caused by renovation, the upstairs household disturbed the downstairs children who took online lessons. Conflict developed between these two families. In this case, the grid members made personal visits to them to mediate, enabling these two households to coming into terms again.

In order to solve the urgent needs of people during the prevention and control of the epidemic, the “Visit to Maximum One Authority” Reform has been developed from “offline” to “online”, to  properly handle the legitimate and reasonable demands of people through a series of “online operations” and “no face-to-face mediation”. Recently, Jianggan District, Hangzhou, integrated the epidemic prevention and control with the grass-roots governance, by adding the functions of reporting, transfer, and disposal of the epidemic prevention and control matters to the “four platforms for grass-roots governance”. Once discovering matters related to epidemic prevention and control during the first-line inspection, the grid members post the information on the platforms, enabling the sub-districts to directly transfer the information to the relevant departments for joint law enforcement, considerably improving the problem-solving efficiency.

“The epidemic prevention and control is related to all aspects of social governance,” the head of the Political and Legal Commission of CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee said, “the ‘Visit to Maximum One Authority’ Reform is not just limited to the resolution of conflicts and disputes, but widely used in the epidemic prevention and control, and the resumption of work and production, including various key regions, key industries, and key fields, providing the general public and enterprises with a full range of services such as risk detection, convenience services, psychological counseling, and legal assistance.”

In Yiwu, Kaihua, Huangyan and other localities, the mediators are busying providing convenience services including shopping, mediation, law enforcement, etc.

With the effective control and prevention of the epidemic, all county-level social conflict and dispute resolution centers have now been opened to the public, and the courts, petitions, justice, human resources and social security, health and other departments have all been in business. People and enterprises have more channels to express their claims and resolve disputes.

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