Party lends an ear to gossip on cadres' graft
Heard some hot gossip about a local corrupt cadre? The Communist Party's powerful disciplinary wing wants to hear all about it.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and its Central Organisation Committee gave a rare glimpse into their methods this week, publishing an article on the People's Daily website describing the activities of the five investigation teams set up last July to monitor more than 2,000 provincial officials.
The teams aimed to extract information by befriending local officials and then seeing if they could pick up any intelligence from casual conversations, the report said.
They used the 'art of conversation' and learned how to create 'a harmonious atmosphere' to lead their new friends into giving tips about official misconduct.
'We move from being colleagues to friends. When we are together, we can open up and talk about anything. They [such colleagues] have provided the patrol teams with a large amount of valuable clues and information,' the article said. 'Of course we need to honour our promise strictly and protect comrades who report the problems.'
Main areas of inspection include the provincial cadres' attitudes towards corruption, the promotion of subordinates and whether cadres or their families are involved in corruption, and what they do after work.
'Experience tells us that who an official contacts, where he goes and what he does after work are usually important ways to judge his integrity,' the article said.
Retired officials are a useful source because they do not need to worry about career prospects.
Professor Mao Shoulong of the school of public administration at People's University, described the release of the article as a move towards greater transparency in party investigation work.