Opinion / Editorials

Inspectors can't be fooled

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-15 07:19

A clean official with a clear conscience should have nothing to fear.

When local governments try to prevent petitioners from visiting a team of inspectors sent by the Party's top authorities into Central China's Henan province, the only conclusion we can reach is that some local leaders are afraid of what the inspection team might uncover.

Such a team is tasked with the mission of uncovering corruption in local Party and government departments, so it is natural that some leaders who have been abusing their power will shudder at the arrival of such a team. But it is worrying that some local governments are audacious enough to send public servants to the place where the inspectors are staying so as to prevent any petitioners from making contact.

The officials may believe that the team will not stay for long, and their problems will not be uncovered as long as they block the petitioners from meeting the inspectors. But they underestimate the resolve of the Party leadership in fighting corruption.

This tactic of stopping petitioners from lodging their complaints was once used in Beijing, and the officials in Henan seem to believe that they can do the same with the inspection team.

However, their efforts to prevent petitioners from visiting the inspectors have achieved nothing except sending a message to the inspectors that there are problems to be handled.

Preventing residents from lodging complaints to the authorities constitutes an infringement upon citizen's rights and freedom.

One of the reasons for sending a team of inspectors to a locality is exactly because some local leaders have tried every means possible to prevent their abuses of power from being uncovered. An important way for the inspectors to uncover corruption cases is to get tips from local whistleblowers.

What some local governments are doing in Henan is trying to make it impossible for the inspectors to get in touch with whistleblowers. Yet the means they are using is clumsy and it will not help them get through the probes by the inspectors if they do have wrongdoings.

Regularly sending such inspection teams to local governments can be interpreted as a gesture that the top leadership of the country will show zero tolerance to corruption.

So to stand in the way of the team of inspectors is doomed to fail.

(China Daily 04/15/2014 page8)

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