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China Daily Website

Anti-graft inspections target senior officials

Updated: 2013-11-06 07:32
By Xu Wei ( China Daily)

Leading officials at the provincial and ministry levels will be the major targets of anti-graft inspection teams sent by the nation's leading disciplinary watchdog, a top official said on Tuesday.

The teams, sent by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, are primarily looking for evidence of corruption among high-level officials at various provinces and central government departments, said Zhang Jun, deputy secretary of the anti-corruption commission.

"That is because top officials have major responsibilities and concentrated power in their hands. If they have corruption problems, it would cause a bigger loss to their leadership team, their government department and their region," he said in an online interview.

The interview was posted on an official website run jointly by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision.

The second batch of 10 teams inspecting ministries, commissions, State-owned enterprises and local governments had been sent by the top anti-graft agency at the end of last month, one month after the first batch concluded its inspection tours.

The inspection teams are responsible for finding evidence of corruption, Zhang said.

A clue provided by the first group of inspection teams led to the anti-graft agency's investigation of Liao Shaohua, Party chief of Zunyi, Guizhou province, on suspicion of severe disciplinary violations.

The inspection teams are also expected to report on corruption at city levels and uncover illegal behavior by officials, including trading power for money, abusing power and bribery, as well as undesirable work habits such as formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.

Zhang said inspection teams are responsible only for uncovering the problems and not for handling them, as "the inspection and investigation of problems are work of a different nature."

The inspection teams, which collect evidence of corruption by making their telephone numbers and mailing addresses public, will take strict measures to protect the personal information of whistle-blowers, he said.

"We will also try to find problems at their initial stage and give feedback to the top officials of the government departments," he added.

Jiang Ming'an, a professor of administrative law at Peking University, said the inspection teams will play a role in supervising the work of top officials of government departments.

"The supervision of top officials at ministerial or provincial levels is difficult because the disciplinary watchdog at those levels is also under his watch," he said.

The inspection teams will help the supervision as the leaders of the teams are usually officials at the ministry or provincial levels and are under the direct leadership of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which gives the inspection teams greater power and freedom to search for evidence of corruption and power abuse, he said.

However, Jiang said, the inspection team mechanism will not fundamentally solve the corruption problem if no steps are taken to reform the anti-corruption system.

"Even the inspection teams are made of officials, and you cannot count on them to be totally cut off from the outside world," he said.

Jiang said there should be more anti-corruption measures at the system level, such as declaring the personal assets of officials and registration of real estate information.


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