Civil servants get 1st code of conduct

By Li Fangchao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-04-30 06:59

Government officials who engage in illegal or immoral activities such as having a mistress or gambling will risk being demoted or even fired, under a landmark regulation released Sunday.

 Yunnan official takes $5.2m in bribes:

KUNMING: A corrupt official from Yunnan Province, who fled to Singapore, took more than 40 million yuan ($5.2 million) in bribes, a local official said on Saturday.

Hu Xing, former deputy director of the Yunnan Provincial Transport Department, was also accused of taking advantage of his post to help his relatives profit from business activities, keeping a mistress, and having "unlawful sexual relationships" with other women, Guo Yongdong, deputy secretary of the Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China Yunnan Provincial Committee, said.

Hu disappeared in January while local authorities were investigating a major economic crime, in which he was involved, Guo said.

Hu, 49, had served as deputy director of the Yunnan Provincial Transport Department since November 2004, and previously served as vice-mayor of Kunming. Hu was captured in Singapore on February 18, Guo said.

The regulation is "China's first to systematically stipulate what administrative punishments civil servants abusing their power will receive," according to a Xinhua report.

Approved by the State Council and scheduled to take effect on June 1, the regulation details a variety of misconducts and corresponding punishments.

Qu Wanxiang, vice-minister of supervision, said it is the first regulation of its kind that aims to "make sure government officials perform their duties according to the law".

Government staff members who leave the country without permission, stay overseas longer than permitted and secretly obtain foreign citizenship will receive a grave demerit or even be sacked.

If their failure to perform duties results in accidents, disasters, environmental pollution and "mass protests", they can also be reprimanded, demoted or sacked.

Other activities that civil servants must avoid, according to the 55-article regulation, include:

Using influence to benefit a lover;

Engaging in corruption, organizing superstitious gatherings, taking drugs, and engaging in sex trade;

Abusing or abandoning family members or refusing to support elderly relatives;

Embezzling or losing public funds meant for disaster relief, poverty relief, resident resettlement, social security and land appropriation compensation;

Engaging in fraud and misleading their superiors and the public; and

Repressing criticism or retaliating against whistleblowers, destroying evidence or disclosing personal details of whistleblowers to the accused.

Qu said: "The regulation is important for persuading officials to adopt a clean, honest and down-to-earth work style to better serve the people".

Gao Fengtao, deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, said the regulation shows the "government's resolve to improve the rule of law."

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours