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Official bumbles, couple in trouble

Updated: 2013-12-26 07:37
( China Daily)

A couple in Wuming county in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, expecting their second child after getting certification from the local family planning authority, have been told that the certification needs to be withdrawn because of an official's mistake. Now they are in a dilemma, either to pay a fine for having a second child or go in for abortion. Ordinary people should not pay for the mistakes of government officials, says an article in People's Daily. Excerpts:

When an incident like the one in Wuming comes to public attention, bumbling officials always apologize for the mistakes to wash their hands of the affair. Apologies are important but more important are remedial measures, because such incidents cause damage to the parties involved.

In the Wuming case, the woman is already expecting her second child. Now the local officials say that the couple are not eligible to have a second child under the family planning policy. The question is: Can the couple have the child without paying the social compensation fee and who should be held responsible for this incident?

Government departments and officials have to find ways to avoid committing similar mistakes. Also, they should handle such cases with utmost care, which is part of their official responsibility. As civil servants, it is the duty of government officials to safeguard the rights and interests of the public, and this is something they should always keep in mind.

If the official who granted permission to the couple to have a second child had a thorough knowledge of the family planning policy - which anyway is compulsory - the sorry incident could have been avoided. Therefore, it is important to regularly review in-service knowledge and skills of government officials. This will enable seniors to discover sooner rather than later the mistakes committed by juniors and take timely steps to rectify them.