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China Daily Website

Loophole in attendance signing reflects deeper problems

Updated: 2014-02-14 16:34
By Translated by Zhang Zhouxiang (

An official surnamed Zhou from Chuzhou, Anhui province, has a creative solution to the problem of signing his work attendance sheet — on Mondays he fills in the sheet for the whole week, China Central Television reported. The practice has exposed deeper problems with attendance regulations for officials, says a column in Western China Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:

On a recent CCTV report, it could be clearly seen that all the staff members of Zhou’s bureau share one attendance sheet; everybody else, including the director, could see his obvious trick. But no one pointed it out until a reporter visited and reported the practice on TV.

This is terrible. Zhou is paid taxpayer money to serve in the bureau, and to ensure that government staff members such as him serve punctually, strict regulations such as attendance signing have been introduced. But the regulations prove to pale before the bad habits of officials. What if the same is happening with other regulations, such as those against corruption?

The report also said Zhou is only one of the deputy directors of the office. The fact that the office runs quite well — or at least shows no hint of disorder — with his absences, makes us ask another question: do we have too many government officials doing nothing everyday and is it time to shrink the size of the government staff to save public funds?