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New rule to keep corruption at bay
By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-16 10:11

GUANGZHOU: A new regulation is being drawn up in South China's Guangdong Province to prevent recently resigned civil servants from entering businesses where they can take advantage of the connections they had as government officials.

According to the new regulation, part of the province's contribution to the nationwide battle against corruption, officials will only be able to take up such positions three years after they have left their government posts.

The Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Personnel is drafting a new and detailed regulation to help standardize the resignation of the province's civil servants.

The new regulation is expected to come into force in the second half of 2005 if it can be approved by the provincial People's Congress early next year.

An official from the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Personnel said the new regulation is aimed at preventing corruption in the prosperous province where development of the market economy is advanced.

The decision to draw up the new regulation came after a spate of complaints from local people's congress deputies and members of the provincial people's political consultative conference.

The question they asked most frequently was why so many civil servants had recently resigned, the official told China Daily yesterday.

Increasing numbers of graduates in the provinces are being attracted to a career in the civil service, which offers them good conditions, welfare, good promotion prospects and the chance to study abroad.

The Guangdong Provincial People's Congress deputy Yang Jianyou said "there must be something fishy about" the growing number of civil servants who resigned to work in the local private sector.

Many new opportunities for corruption exist, warned Yang, who supposed that senior officials who refused to take bribes while in office after they illegally granted a project to their contractors may have already agreed to take up highly paid posts at these firms after they resign.

Yang urged the government departments to take effective and concrete measures to standardize the resignation of local civil servants and stamp out corruption.

Many civil officials, including some senior ones, have resigned to work in the local private sector in Guangdong in recent years.

Jiang Chongzhou, former director of the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection, resigned to become the vice-general manager of a local property company in August 2003, for example.

And in March 2002, Liu Zhihang, former executive director of the Shunde District of Foshan, also resigned.

Liu who was also once the director of the Shunde District Bureau of Finance, was immediately appointed vice-president of Shunde Midea Holding Co Ltd, a Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed company and a leading Chinese home appliance maker.

Jiang and Liu were estimated to be earning more than 1 million yuan (US$120,000) a year, more than 10 times their original annual income.

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