CCDI lures whistleblowers with new app function

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-6-21 14:24:46

With a few clicks of a mobile phone, a whistleblower has informed China's top discipline inspection agency about an expensive new local government office building flouting the central leadership's frugality policy.This was the first in a surge of tip-offs to the Communist Party of China's (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) since it added a new function to its mobile phone application to gather such reports of low-level corruption and minor discipline violations on Thursday.

Before Thursday, the agency received a daily average of 250 to 300 tips-offs through its website and phone app, according to a CCDI press release.

On the day the new function launched, the number increased to 1,033 and 67 percent of them were from mobile phones.

"At one point, we were getting three tip-offs a minute," according to a CCDI official who wished to remain anonymous.

In the case of the new office building, the official said, "The informant sent clear details and the case was clear-cut. So we handed over the lead to investigators in about 10 minutes."

Phone users who open the tip-off section can post under 11 varieties of discipline violations. They include spending public money on expensive dinners and travel, hosting luxury weddings and funerals, violating protocols on use of official vehicles, building new office buildings without permission and visiting private clubs.

Whistleblowers can post post text and upload photos and videos as evidence.

The app update was launched together with a new gateway for tip-offs on the CCDI website.

Petty graft among low-level officials is closely felt by the public and damages the Party's reputation, said the CCDI press release. "We want to send a strong signal and press local Party organs to stay alert."

To field the increased number of tip-offs, the CCDI plans to add manpower, update the computer system and streamline coordination among divisions.

Since the current leadership took office in late 2012, the CPC has engaged in a fierce anti-corruption campaign, taking down both senior leaders and minor bureaucrats.

While investigating high-profile officials such as Zhou Yongkang, the CCDI also regularly names and shame officials and government departments who commit minor discipline violations.

In 2014, discipline inspection agencies nationwide investigated about 50,000 cases of minor violations and punished more than 20,000 officials.

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