Supervision efforts paying off

By Song Wenwei (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-14 07:09

NANJING: Government officials are under more supervision than ever before as authorities step up the crackdown on corruption.

"We have taken the promotion of transparent exercising of government powers as an important part of our effort to curb graft and build a clean government," said Zhao Kezhi, vice-governor of East China's Jiangsu Province.

Along with rapid economic development since the late 1970s, especially after the mid-1990s, some government officials have used their powers to seek illegal personal gain, resulting in harm to society and a loss of public confidence in the government.

Cases of high profile officials taking bribes and abusing powers have been uncovered over the last few years across the country, including in Jiangsu Province.

"We have made it a rule to conduct a thorough examination of power use in all provincial and municipal government departments and to regulate the exercise of power so that fewer loopholes are left for officials intending to engage in illegal activities," said Xie Xiulan, director of Jiangsu Provincial Supervision Committee.

Statistics show that in 2006 alone, 9,539 officials at various government levels in the province were investigated and punished for their misuse of power, corruption and other illegal activities.

"The number of corruption cases last year was much lower than in previous years as we have installed a supervision mechanism to conduct regular examination of officials' performance and garner feedback from the public," said Xie.

The provincial supervision committee has set up five inspection teams to supervise the activities of provincial and municipal officials as well as leaders of key State-owned enterprises.

The drop in corruption cases is also attributed to a prevention mechanism, which includes moral education, enforcement of party discipline and observation of laws and regulations among government officials and civil servants.

The reform of cadre selection and appointment systems has also played a role in the anti-corruption and clean government move.

To regulate the procedure of selecting and appointing cadres, open elections, notification before appointment, feedback from the public and voting systems have been introduced, which, to a great degree, ensure the quality of the officials from the very beginning.

"Fighting corruption is a long-term endeavor and we will continue the battle by further strengthening law enforcement, as well as investigation and punishment for any illegal activities no matter what position the official holds, said Xie.

(China Daily 02/14/2007 page4)

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