China / Society

Poor county questioned over 'extravagant' office building

By Ma Lie in Xi’an ( Updated: 2012-05-31 20:27

A land and resources bureau of a poverty-stricken county under State assistance in Northwest China's Shaanxi province was questioned for its extravagant office building, though the bureau said the building did not exceed the standard.

Qiu Xiaobin, an official with the Hanyin County Land and Resources Bureau's administrative office, told China Daily on May 31 that the building for education and training was designed in August 2009, and the bureau held a public tender for the project under the supervision of the local governmental departments concerned, including the discipline, inspection and supervision, prosecution and urban construction departments.

"The bid price of the building was 5.18 million yuan ($812,900), and the total floor area of the building was 3,970 square meters. It did not exceed the standard," Qiu said.

Two days ago, an online post revealed that the bureau spent some 10 million yuan to build a luxury office building with some 4,000 sq m for its 36 officials.

The post said that Hanyin in southern Shaanxi is a State-level poverty-stricken county and the governmental bureau was not right to spend so much money to build a luxury building.

Qiu said the building was designed for education and training of land and resources administrative officials, and the bureau used it as an office building because the bureau's old office building was declared unsafe, as it has many cracks caused by the 2008 earthquake that occurred in neighboring Sichuan province.

Fang Yanding, director of the bureau, was quoted by Hushang Daily, a newspaper based in Xi'an, as saying that the cost of the building "would not be more than 5.18 million yuan".

However, according to the Office Space Construction Standard for Party and Government Organs issued by the National Development and Reform Commission in January 2009, the standard of the bureau level office building should be 6 to 9 sq m per person, and the floor area of the bureau's office should be less than 324 sq m.

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