Leading officials of two local governments have been disciplined for crimes committed by their subordinates, official media reported yesterday. Xinhua said the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection - the Communist Party's highest disciplinary watchdog - named the leading cadres in Bazhou and Yuzhou cities of Henan province for failing in their leadership responsibilities over two murders committed by police officers under their supervision last summer. The murders happened in June and July respectively. In the incidents, a truck driver and a landlord were shot dead by police officers after they had argued with the officers. In both cases, the two officers were convicted and executed in August. The notice issued by the commission said the crimes involved were serious and created 'bad political influence and social consequences'. The leading cadres in these cities should therefore be punished, it said. However, the punishment the cadres received amounted to nothing more than a black mark on their job records and recommendations that their superiors postpone promotion or wage increase for a year. China does not follow the accountability system practised by most Western governments. Cadres found to have made mistakes are often only subject to Communist Party internal discipline and rarely shoulder any legal responsibility. In 1996, President Jiang Zemin introduced the so-called 'one-vote-down' appraisal system under which cadres would be denied promotion, job transfers or wage increases if they were found to have failed in even just one area of their responsibilities. Ordinary citizens are often unable to hold government officials accountable for their mistakes. However, the number of civil lawsuits against cadres has increased in recent years.