Hunan officials told to list assets

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 April, 2009, 12:00am

Officials in Liuyang, Hunan province, have been told to declare their assets and the financial dealings of family members from this month as authorities wage war against corruption, state media reported yesterday.

The city's party disciplinary committee is requiring officials at every level to declare their income, assets, investments, overseas travel and use of public vehicles. In addition, they will have to state whether their spouses or children live abroad and any income or gifts from weddings, funerals or other occasions.

'Officials must detail their income such as salaries, bonuses, subsidies, allowances, remuneration from part-time work, housing rents and even cash gifts and presents from others,' the anti-corruption regulation said. It covers both city bosses and entry-level government employees in communities, requiring them to declare assets to their department's party disciplinary bodies by the end of April every year.

The financial details will be published in newspapers, on television and online. But many mainlanders questioned whether the city authorities had any effective methods to ensure officials did not conceal assets and whether disciplinary bodies could recognise a fake declaration.

The heaviest punishment for a false declaration will be internal criticism, which prompted many to say the measure was toothless.

Mainland officials are notorious for widespread corruption, and most refuse to declare their assets.

Cao Jianming, chief of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, told this year's National People's Congress that 33,546 corruption cases involving 41,179 officials were under investigation for 2008.

In January, the authorities in Altay, Xinjiang, asked more than 1,000 newly appointed and retired officials to declare their assets.

Objections by officials have obstructed efforts to introduce similar schemes across the country.

Graft probe

Corruption often tops the list of public grievances in opinion polls

Beijing's top prosecutor said the number of officials involved in investigations last year was: 41,179