CHINA> Regional
Officials' pay to be publicized
By Zhu Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-01-12 07:31

URUMQI -- The income of more than 1,000 officials in Altay prefecture in the north of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region will be made public by March, in line with ongoing efforts to improve transparency in government, local disciplinary officials said Sunday.

The move requires all county- and division-level officials in Altay to declare their assets once a year.

Newly appointed and retired officials are supposed to declare their property as soon as they take or leave office, said Wu Weiping, Party secretary of Altay Prefecture Discipline Inspection Commission.

"The aim is clear and simple - to put official's personal assets under supervision to prevent corruption," Wu said.

The latest requirement follows the unprecedented release of the income details of 55 officials in the region on Jan 1.

The central government and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China had issued two regulations in 1995 and 2001, requiring officials to declare their income. These were limited to officials' salary and subsidies, with the information unavailable to the public or the media.

However, the declaration in Altay is now divided into two parts. The first part includes officials' annual salaries, subsidies and other income from activities such as giving lectures and authoring books related to their work.

Valuable gifts from job-related organizations or individuals also fall in this category, according to a regulation posted on the prefecture's anti-corruption website

"Information on officials' income related to the first part of the declaration will be available for everyone to see," Wu said.

The second part, which will be restricted from public view, includes official's income from the stock market, inheritance and lotteries, as well as any fixed assets of more than 100,000 yuan ($14,630). Officials are also required to report monetary gifts or gifts given to their parents, spouses and children.

Only disciplinary officials have access to information under this second part, as officials "also have the right to privacy", Wu said.

"The reform has to proceed step by step," he said.

Still, the media can request for access to information that falls under the second category of the declaration if an official has received disciplinary or criminal punishment for corruption.

The income of 55 newly appointed officials in Altay were publicized on the local anti-corruption website on Jan 1.