One website out of every five being run by governments at or below the county level are failing to provide useful information and services to the public in a timely manner, according to a recent survey by the State Council.
The survey took a look at 607 government websites at or below county level during the first three months of this year. The results show 18.5 percent were failing.
Last year, a survey of government websites at all levels found 83 percent of the inadequate websites were the ones being operated by governments at or below the county level.
Among the worst of the lower-level government websites, the Water Supply Bureau in Mingjin county, Henan province, stood out. It received only 93 visits during the month of April. And the website of the Yanji Environment Protection Bureau in Yanji city, Jilin province, was another unpopular site, seeing only three visitors on May 13.
The administration office for the provincial government in Henan said it had found about half of the governments' websites in the province to not be functioning and said some websites failed to meet standards seen in previous surveys.
In Anhui province, nearly 2,000 dysfunctional websites that were meant to represent various levels of government have been shut down since March last year.
Liu Shanying, a political science researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said there is a lack of effective supervision of governmental websites.
"People do not even know how to complain about a dysfunctional website when they encounter one. Most people are not being informed and some websites were set up purely to cope with the administrative inspections of the governments at higher levels," Liu said.
The latest survey found that some information on websites from the forestry bureau in Zezhou county, Shanxi province, and the education bureau in Jianchang county, Liaoning province, had not been updated for seven years.
Most of these websites lack useful information that offers a public service, the survey said, and information such as travel reports, weather reports and upcoming films in the county were the only items that were up to date.