Checks on officials' integrity expanded

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 July, 2006, 12:00am

The Communist Party is expanding a system reminiscent of the imperial envoys in ancient times, sending inspectors around the country to check local officials' integrity.

Central Commission for Discipline Inspection spokesman Gan Yisheng was quoted by Xinhua as saying the body had already sent inspectors to review officials in 30 regions, nine state-owned banks and four state asset-management companies.

The commission was also sending inspectors to county and district levels and 489 county-level cities and bureaus and 888 counties and districts had been inspected so far.

Mr Gan said the commission planned to send inspectors to more counties as part of its campaign to curb corruption.

More than 10,000 officials were given administrative punishment in the first six months of this year.

While the spokesman gave away few details about the inspection system, which started about three years ago, a report by Southern Weekend last month said there were 45 inspectors when the team started in 2003. They were led by retired officials including former Jiangsu deputy party secretary Cao Keming, former Henan People's Congress chairman Ren Keli and other retired officials from the discipline commission and Ministry of Supervision.

Provincial governments were also asked to send their own envoys to county governments.

The central government's special envoys would complete their inspections of all provinces before the keynote party congress next year, the report said.

Meanwhile, Mr Gan said the commission had recovered 117 billion yuan, or 95.2 per cent, of the outstanding money owed by local governments to construction contractors.

Construction workers are usually not paid if their contractors fail to receive payments from developers or local governments.