Opinion / Opinion Line

Stricter civil service exams will help root out nepotism

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-02-02 08:39

Stricter civil service exams will help root out nepotism

Candidates wait outside the exam hall in Nanjing Forestry University, Jiangsu province, Nov 29. The vacancies hit record high while the average number of applicants vying for each position is the lowest in the past five years. This year will witness the strictest exam in history as those caught cheating face up to seven years in prison. [Photo/IC]

Cai Zhonghua, the head of a local agriculture and animal husbandry bureau in Northwest China's Gansu province, abused his power and utilized his connections to employ 19 of his relatives and acquaintances as civil servants. In the past three years, millions of yuan were paid to them. says:

It is astounding to hear the news and know that Cai was able to provide government jobs for his relatives and acquaintances. The people introduced by Cai into government positions seldom showed up for work but they were paid for years. Who should take responsibility for the lack of proper supervision exposed?

It is noteworthy that this case was not uncovered by the supervisers within the system. Cai's abuse of power can be traced back to 2005, but it only came to light because the local people's procuratorate was investigating another case. While the net of justice is long and wide, Cai's case once again confirms the difficulties some higher supervision departments face.

When higher authorities rely on nothing but local officials' reports, they will not be able to prevent the latter from exploiting loopholes in the system.

The key issue that should be tackled is how to cure the concentration of power and reduce the benefits-for-power connections.

Strict entrance exams are now in place to better select top talent to be civil servants. The tightening of the recruitment process should help prevent such nepotism in the future.

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