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Watchdogs uncover many instances of official misconduct

Updated: 2013-11-10 23:14
By Zhao Lei ( China Daily)

Disciplinary watchdogs nationwide have exposed scores of official misconduct cases, ranging from lavish dinners paid for with public funds to misuse of military vehicle license plates, which experts say shows the government is serious about rectifying long-neglected undesirable behavior.

A deputy-provincial-level official in Heilongjiang province was demoted and his membership in the Communist Party of China was put on a yearlong probation after he was found responsible for the death of a person who accompanied him at a banquet, China Central Television reported on Saturday. Excessive drinking had led to the death.

Also punished during the government campaign in the province were 431 civil servants who were found in violation of government and Party regulations.

In April, the Communist Party of China launched a yearlong campaign to clean up undesirable work styles of formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.

Inspectors in Heilongjiang have checked nearly 2,000 government departments and publicly funded organizations, with many officials reprimanded after being found to be derelict in their duties or have bad work styles .

Disciplinary authorities have confiscated or auctioned off more than 5,900 government vehicles that exceeded standards or were used in violation of regulations.

In Sichuan province, several officials in charge of poverty reduction were placed under investigation for spending taxpayer's money on an extravagant dinner, and another was given a warning for receiving money from attendees at his son's wedding, the provincial government said on Saturday.

Beijing disciplinary watchdogs announced on Thursday that 16 officials were punished for violations including paying for overseas trips with government funds and involvement in extravagant activities.

The People's Liberation Army echoed the government campaign and has uncovered more than 8,100 apartments and more than 25,000 vehicles kept illicitly by its personnel.

Such moves show that top leaders have decided to root out improper behavior by officials that has alienated the people from the government, said Ye Duchu, a professor of Party building at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

"The top leadership is giving unmistakable evidence it is very serious in this campaign," Ye said. "A handful of local officials used to circumvent such tight measures by keeping a low profile during the campaign or reporting some of their minor mistakes. This trick no longer works."

Gao Bo, an expert with the China Anti-Corruption Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: "The government has become attentive to details when carrying out measures to curb official extravagance and formalism."

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