China / Society

Public not satisfied with province civil servants

By Li Wenfang in Guangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2012-12-07 11:03

Only 25 percent of urban residents in Guangdong province are satisfied or relatively satisfied with the conduct of those working in local government and public institutions.

About the same percentage are unsatisfied, according to a survey of 2,032 urban residents in Guangdong by the Guangzhou Public Opinion Research Center in August.

Among those who have sought services at local government departments, 46 percent agree that the services are provided only after gifts are offered to officials, with 24 percent admitting to offering banquets, entertainment, shopping cards, gifts and money.

Public office workers often help their relatives and friends make money in their businesses, say 68 percent of those polled.

The other two prevalent types of corruption identified by the respondents are moral decay, meaning officials misbehave in their personal lives, and the buying of luxury goods with public money.

In the public service sector, education and medical services are considered the two fields where corruption is most rife.

In the administrative law enforcement category, the most corrupt areas include the departments of public order, food and drug supervision, environmental protection and urban management sectors, according to the poll.

The departments of government services, government project bidding and the government procurement, sectors that have long been rife with bribery, are still identified by more than half of respondents as often or occasionally producing corruption cases.

More than 60 percent say corruption happens often or occasionally in the promotion of officials and court cases.

With regard to the harm from corruption, most people said it results in greater social inequality, social conflict and hatred of officials.

About 64 percent of respondents said corruption will weaken the credibility of the government among the public, and 58 percent said it will affect the ruling position of the Party, with other consequences including lower efficiency and higher costs.

Corruption has occurred in a wide range of fields and such cases are being constantly exposed. That is what the public sees and feels, said Zhang Jingen, a professor with the center for anti-corruption studies at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou.

Officials may disagree on the real situation. The only way to dismiss the doubts of the public is to make the information public, Zhang said.

In a province-wide campaign against commercial bribery between February and June, 28 provincial department level officials were investigated, according to the Guangdong Provincial Party Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Since June, investigations into at least eight officials at this level have been announced.

Respondents to the survey consider it most important to open to the public court cases, government decision-making processes, and officials' spending on receptions, vehicles and overseas trips with public funds.

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