Public officials to receive ethics training

By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-14 07:09

Ethics training for government officials will be a key part of the effort to cut down on corruption this year, a top discipline authority said yesterday.

"Public officials will receive ethics training this year to raise awareness of the need for them to abide by the law," said Gan Yisheng, spokesman of the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Gan made these remarks at a press conference yesterday to announce the results of the anti-corruption effort last year.

Other key parts of the anti-corruption effort this year include improving the supervisory system, strengthening the oversight of the use of power and cooperating more with international anti-graft programs.

In a year when several ministry-level officials became ensnared by scandals involving everything from graft to marital infidelity, ethics have been a major concern among public officials.

In a speech delivered last month, President Hu Jintao asked all officials to adopt a "correct style" both at work and in their personal lives.

Specifically, he urged them to be upright, modest, prudent, hard-working and frugal and to avoid living a depraved lifestyle.

In concert with the ethics instructions, discipline authorities will also make more use of a system requiring officials to report details from their personal lives, said Gan, who is also deputy secretary of CCDI.

The system has been in place since September. Specific bureaus have been designated to handle the reports and impose punishments for rule infringements.

The sale and purchase of homes and cars, marriages or divorces and the business activities of relatives are examples of the information public officials, especially those above the ministerial level, must share.

Experts said the rule would help rein in ethical lapses.

"The reporting system sends a strong signal to all officials, warning them against any misconduct," said Wang Genyun, an anti-graft prosecutor with the Beijing People's Procuratorate.

"The system will also help strengthen the party's supervision of individual officials."

However, Ren Jianming, a professor at Tsinghua University, said he doubted that the reports were that efficient.

He said officials could easily withhold or disguise information from their reports .

The anti-corruption effort has led to the downfalls of several high-ranking officials.

Major ministerial-level officials who were caught and punished in 2006 for corruption

Liu Zhihua, 58, Beijing's former vice-mayor, who was in charge of Olympic construction, was sacked in June for corruption and was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) last December.

The investigation also found that Liu's lifestyle was corrupt and depraved. He abused his power to contract projects for his mistress and sought large illegal profits.

Wang Shouye, 64, former deputy commander of the navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), was expelled from China's national legislature in June for "loose morals." He abused his power by requesting and accepting bribes.

Wang fell from power after one of his mistresses turned him in. She had been in an "improper relationship" with Wang "for a long time."

Chen Liangyu, 61, former secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC), was sacked in September for his involvement in the misappropriation of at least one-third of a 10-billion-yuan ($1.2 billion) social security fund.

The city's labor and social security department chief, a district governor and several prominent businessmen were also detained for questioning as the scandal unfolded.

Qiu Xiaohua, 49, former head of the National Bureau of Statistics, was removed from his post in October for his suspected involvement in the 10 billion-yuan ($1.25 billion) Shanghai social security fund fraud.

He was expelled from the CPC in January, and the central disciplinary watchdog has accused him of "taking a large sum of bribes from enterprises, living a decadent life and committing bigamy."

He Minxu, 51, former vice-governor of Anhui, was expelled from the Communist Party of China and removed from office for taking bribes and abusing power.

He was found to be guilty of taking bribes worth several million yuan and offered cheap land, tax cuts and job promotions to people who paid their way.

Wang Zhaoyao, 63, former deputy secretary of the Provincial Communist Party of Anhui Province, went on trial in November.

Wang was accused of taking 7 million yuan ($897,900) from 44 individuals and groups in exchange for favors over the course of 14 years until his fall in 2005.

Wang was sentenced to death, with a 2-year reprieve issued by a court in Jinan this January.

China Daily

(China Daily 02/14/2007 page4)


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