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Civil servants show some change

Updated: 2014-02-11 09:27
( China Daily)

Holiday resorts have hosted fewer official receptions this Spring Festival, according to media reports. Restaurants and other hospitality sectors, too, have seen a decline in their business. This change can be attributed to civil servants' efforts to change their image - one of indulging in extravagance - following the eight-point austerity measures announced by the central authorities, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

The change in civil servants' behavior is in line with public expectations. Civil servants are expected to keep their public and private lives separate, which many of them didn't do in the past. Of course, officials are free to go on holidays to the destinations of their choice but the expenses for such trips should come from their pockets, not from public funds.

Civil service is about performing one's duty diligently and honestly and maintaining individual dignity. But over the years, many civil servants have misused public resources for personal benefit, instead of doing their job and fulfilling people's expectations. In the process, they have given the civil service a bad name.

Fortunately, following the announcement of the eight-point code by the authorities, government departments at all levels have taken effective measures to reduce bureaucratism and maintain close ties with the people. This shows that the changes among civil servants are not restricted to the ones related to Spring Festival. But considering how difficult it is for an official to exercise self-reform and the possible existence of supervision and inspection "dead zones", we should not be over-optimistic about the changes.

Such changes, instead, should be used to strengthen supervision over officials' exercise of power, further improve officials' working style and eradicate formalism, bureaucratism and hedonism from public life.