CHINA / National

Policies aim to avoid corruption
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-08-08 05:56

The Communist Party of China (CPC) unveiled a package of "dos and don'ts" governing official promotions and transfers in a bid to avoid corruption and nepotism.

Researchers said the regulations aim to realize smooth and transparent tenure changes for Party and government officials at the county level and above.

Leading officials should not hold key positions in the Party and government agencies of their birthplaces, they said. Moreover, married couples should not be put under the same leadership, nor should one spouse become "the boss of the other" in Party or governmental organizations.

Officials of the CPC Central Committee, the State Council, and the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress are also required to abide by the regulations.

They are stipulated in the Temporary Provisions on the Avoidance of Leading Officials, which were announced over the weekend by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

The Temporary Provisions on the Tenure of Leading Officials and the Regulations on the Transfer of Leading Officials were also unveiled amid the ruling party's latest efforts to curb corruption.

Before the CPC's 17th Congress, which is to be held during next year, the Party official appointments and governmental chiefs' elections have been in full swing.

By the end of this year or early 2007, the CPC is scheduled to finish Party chief appointments for five-year terms of office in the mainland's 2,861 counties.

It is determined to appoint the cadres, around the age of 45 and holding bachelor's or higher degrees, as county-level Party chiefs to consolidate its ruling power at the grassroots level.

Along with the appointment of new county Party chiefs, heads of county governments will also be elected this year and in early 2007, according to a schedule made by the National People's Congress in March.

The tenure shift has already taken place at the provincial and cabinet department level since late 2005.

However, position shifts in some cities come too frequently. In a typical case, the industrial city of Handan in North China's Hebei Province had seven mayors from 1993-2004. "The practice is no good for local residents," declared the People's Daily.

To avoid similar happenings, the provisions required officials to stop sudden promotions and transfers and work for their full tenures.

The provisions also limited the officials to a maximum of 10 years (two tenures) at the same position and place. Afterwards, "they must be transferred to other positions or other places," the provisions say.

Party chiefs and government heads at county-level should be regularly rotated within a city, and city-level party chiefs and mayors should be shifted from city to city in a province.

The provisions have already been piloted in Sichuan. Officials at the county level and above have all taken positions away from their birthplaces or have been shifted or promoted to a different place during the past three years.

The changes have their critics. "I don't think it's a good practice as some officials have to leave behind their families, and it will also increase public spending if they often commute between the cities where they work and families," said Ma Shoulong, a professor at Renmin University of China.

(China Daily 08/08/2006 page2)


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