China’s Red Cross Society sets up outsider scrutiny committee

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has set up a special committee to supervise the collection and management of donation, a move to improve transparency as it suffers mistrust.

The committee members were chosen from the public, including professionals, celebrities and volunteers with academic, legal, financial, medical and media backgrounds, said the RCSC said in an announcement issued via its official microblog account on weibo.com, though it did not release the names of the committee members.

At its first meeting on Friday, committee members discussed the committee’s chapter and reviewed several reports from the RCSC, including its financial report, the implementation of its major charity programs, and work of volunteers, said the announcement.

The RCSC came under fire in 2011 after a young woman calling herself “Guo Meimei” wrote microblog posts on China’s popular Twitter-like microblogging service weibo.com, claiming that she worked for an organization under the RCSC.

Her posts detailed her lavish lifestyle, leading some netizens to believe she was embezzling funds.

Although it was later found that the organization “Guo” claimed to work for did not exist, the incident had a negative impact on the RCSC and triggered calls for greater scrutiny over charitable organizations.

Donations to the RCSC plummeted 59.39 percent year on year in 2011, according to previous official reports.

At the meeting, Zhao Baige, executive vice president of the RCSC, promised to facilitate the work of the committee, guarantee its access to information and its right of participation and supervision, the announcement said.

Xinhua

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