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Officials beware: Do the job or hit the road
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-07 09:00

Beijing's Dongcheng District government officials had better start taking public service seriously - if that haven't already.

Tuesday, the government announced that if officials receive complaints from residents or enterprises three separate times, they could face demotion or be transferred from their current posts. If the problems still occur, the problem employees could get the ax.

The new regulation applies to officials, no matter how high up the organizational chart they are.

The directive - which went into effect this month - is meant to improve the way the government deals with complaints from the public and other entities. The district also opened a special complaints office on Monday to oversee citizen complaints, the first such office in the nation's capital city.

The office is mainly responsible for accepting complaints about environmental protection, health, urban layout, industry and commerce, urban management, public security and transportation.

It will also investigate complaints filed against city employees.

The Beijing municipal government also plans to establish a similar office to receive complaints over local officials, but a timetable has not been fixed.

If officials repeatedly receive bad marks from the public over their work after they are demoted or moved, the new regulation states, they could face dismissal.

Sun Yingjie, office director of the Beijing Dongcheng District Personnel Bureau, said yesterday that her bureau will join with the district supervision bureau to investigate any official to confirm whether a citizen's complaints are really valid.

The official vowed to confirm within 10 working days after a complaint is received if the employee was at fault.

People who put forward complaints will be notified afterwards of the results.

Officials have the right to appeal their punishments to the district personnel bureau, according to Sun.

Sun's bureau is the organization that drafted the regulation and is responsible for its interpretation.

"Up to last Thursday when the regulation became effective, we so far have not had to deal with irresponsible officials," she said yesterday.

Forbidden behaviours for governmental staff are listed.

If a person or company asks permission for a project according to law, governmental staff are forbidden to refuse to delay dealing with the item.

Police officers who use illegal force or fail to provide legal warrants will also be punished.

"I will be more cautious in my work to try my best to satisfy taxpayers," Wang Maozhen, an official with the Dongcheng District government said on Tuesday.

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