Powers of leading local officials curbed

By Wen Ya Source:Global Times Published: 2014-2-11 0:33:01

China is launching new programs to restrict the power of leading officials, forbidding them from controlling departmental finance or promotions, in an effort to curb corruption.

Shanxi, Guangdong, Liaoning, Anhui and Yunnan provinces are either participating or have participated in the  program where heads of local government departments are restricted from taking charge of work on personnel, finance, construction, administrative approval, or supply purchase, according to the Beijing Times on Monday.

That work will now be assigned to officials who hold deputy positions in the organization and the decision will no longer be made by one but a group of officials to prevent corruption.

In Shanxi, leaders from the province's major organs such as the Party, the People's Congress, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the court, the procuratorate and other government-related organizations are now subjected to the new policy.

The program is aimed at improving government mechanisms through group leading and democratic decision making and to push for clean governance, according to a statement released on the website of the Central Commission of Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China on Sunday.

"As leading officials usually monopolize resources, personnel and construction projects, it is easy for them to become corrupt as there is little supervision from those beneath them," Fu Siming, a professor with the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told the Global Times on Monday.

Decentralizing the power of leading officials is becoming a trend in China, Hu Xingdou, a political science professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, told the Global Times on Monday.

However, restrictions alone may not be enough. Any official may become involved in corruption if the power structure is not open and transparent, Hu said.

Hu's opinion was echoed by Zhu Lijia, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance.

Zhu suggested broadcasting the entire procedure of how a government position is filled on TV to ensure public supervision. He called for similar media exposure for bidding on government projects, such as the construction of highways or bridges.

In Pan'an, East China's Zhejiang Province, where the pilot program was first carried out in 2003, media reports have shown an effective reduction in the number of leading officials who fell captive to the crime of corruption, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Posted in: China Watch

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