Selection decisions overturned after cases of favoritism revealed
Beijing - The majority of civil servants recruited by central government departments in 2010 were from ordinary families, which stood as proof of China's efforts to ensure social justice, a senior official at the labor ministry has said.
Among those recruited by ministries and other high-level government agencies, 93.2 percent came from families with parents working as laborers, farmers, doctors, teachers and freelancers, Yang Shiqiu, vice-minister of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said on Thursday.
"China has made efforts to ensure social justice in recruiting civil servants, by breaking various limits and giving equal opportunities to every talented person," said Yang, who is also vice-director of the State Administration of Civil Service.
The recruitment of civil servants at local governments has been tarnished by a recent series of scandals, in which powerful parents used their influence to acquire positions for their children.
China recruits its civil servants through examinations. The 2011 national civil servant written examination has just ended, with interviews continuing for those who passed the written test.
It attracted more than 1.41 million applicants.
A total of 137 departments and institutions are seeking to recruit 16,000 civil servants - about 1,000 more than last year. That means an average of 64 examinees are competing for each position.
Many people believe civil service jobs are stable, provide many benefits and have a light workload. Many would quit their current jobs to become civil servants.
A survey by Zhaopin.com released in December showed that more than 70 percent of office workers in the private sector would prefer to work for the government if they had the opportunity. The survey questioned more than 5,000 employees, about 1,000 of whom worked in Beijing.
University graduates are also interested in government positions, although about 85 percent of these vacancies require at least two years' work experience at the grassroots level.
However, with more people working toward government jobs, there has been increasing doubts about the transparency and fairness of the examination and competition for jobs, especially after a series of reports that showed children with powerful parents had been favored in selection.
Last May, Wen Pingting, daughter of the director of the social security bureau of Sanya, Hainan province, scored an unbelievable 99 out of 100 in a civil servant exam held in the city.
After the public questioned the mark, the local government said "there were mistakes in calculating the young woman's score" and revoked it.
In December, a popular online post disclosed that most examinees who passed a recruitment exam for government-affiliated agencies in Huangshan, Anhui province, turned out to be children of local officials.
The local government later canceled interviews for those who had passed and reorganized the exam.
Party and government organs at all levels last year recruited nearly 800,000 talented people from 14 million examinees, according to a statement released by the State Administration of Civil Service on Wednesday.
"China recruits its civil servants in a fair way, through examination, especially since enacting its first law on civil servants six years ago," the statement said.