China officials ordered to give 10 days' advance warning for weddings... and funerals
Guangdong discipline authority's blessing required for major family occasions, as ostentatious weddings become top austerity crime
Civil servants in Guangdong are now required to seek the anti-graft authority’s approval before holding weddings or funerals and to disclose how much they would spend for these events.
The Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection’s latest directive on Tuesday is part of efforts to clamp down on extravagance among party cadres, the Legal Daily and the Guangdong newspaper New Express Daily reported.
Officials from the lowest to highest rank – including village chiefs, must now report plans for major family occasions 10 working days in advance, the reports said.
They must also declare their expenditures on such events in an annual report, and prohibit fellow public servants from attending.
The directives came the same day that the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the national anti-graft body, named 183 officials who were recently investigated for allegedly violating the eight-point directive against ostentation and bureaucratic red tape, announced by President Xi Jinping in 2012.
Lavish weddings accounted for around 17 per cent of the cases, surpassing the abuse of government cars as the major source of extravagance, The Beijing News reported.
Among the officials charged were a discipline inspector from Beijing who spent 40,000 yuan (HK$50,300) on his daughter’s 26-table wedding banquet and a village party chief from Guangdong who pocketed 37,000 yuan in cash meant as gifts for his son’s wedding.
The commission’s guidelines also listed “four no’s”: no work-related guests, no accepting gifts and cash from work-related persons, no use of public funds, and no lavish ceremonies.
Officials who fail to comply will face “violation of party discipline” charges, it said.
Xi has launched austerity drives as part of wider efforts to clean up the bureaucracy and eradicate corruption.
The so-called “eight rules” include strictly regulating spending for celebrations, seminars and ceremonies; economically planning foreign trips; cutting down on printing official documents; and using government cars only for official purposes.