Guangzhou government’s satellite car-tracking scheme saves them big

By Chen Ximeng Source:Global Times Published: 2013-8-13 1:03:01

The Guangzhou government has saved  40 million yuan ($6.5 million) per year  over government vehicles after the city installed satellite positioning system and electronic identification system on the vehicles, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

The mileage of these vehicles has dropped 45 percent, and no cases of private use of government cars have been reported over the past two months, according to Mei Heqing, spokesman of Guangzhou Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection.

The satellite positioning system tracks down every destination of government vehicles. Once a vehicle approaches a supervised area, such as a golf course or a nightclub, the system will send out a warning, which will be logged into the network of the discipline inspection commission.

"It was easy to use a government car for private purposes in the past, but now it feels like you are being watched everywhere you go. It's more convenient to take a taxi," an anonymous official told Xinhua.

Tang Juan, a professor with the School of Management at Shenzhen University, told the Global Times that this move could help save the expenses on administration for the government, adding that if it could reduce public expenses, the initiative would be promoted to other places.

Ye Qing, deputy head of the bureau of statistics of Hubei Province, told the Global Times that the launch of the satellite positioning system was proven to be effective concerning the reduction of mileage by official cars.

"There are other problems that came to our attention, such as the initial investment to equip all government vehicles with positioning systems and whether it is a waste of tax payers' money to do so," said Ye, adding that the best way to curb misuse of government vehicles is to significantly reduce the number of cars.

There are currently 8,491 government vehicles in Guangzhou. The city launched the satellite positioning program in August, 2011.

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