Civil servants next target for body which has probed deals worth 1.96b yuan in push to clean up administrative corruption Nearly 7,000 cases of commercial bribery, involving about 1.96 billion yuan, have been investigated in the year since a special taskforce was formed to tackle the problem, state media reported yesterday. And in another sign that the Ministry of Supervision is pushing ahead with an administrative cleanup, a senior official said yesterday that the taskforce would investigate civil servants who accepted bribes from bidders for government contracts. Vice-Minister of Supervision Li Yufu, who heads the central taskforce on commercial bribery, said the government needed to encourage the public to report cases and also encourage people who committed such crimes to confess, the China News Service reported. Some areas that called for special attention were construction, land transactions, the exchange of property rights, medicine sales, government procurement and resource development, Mr Li said. There were also many bribery cases in the banking, insurance, publishing, sports, telecommunications and electricity sectors. The taskforce investigated 6,972 bribery cases from last August to June. Civil servants were involved in 1,603 of the cases. Some of the most common cases involved government officials who accepted bribes from businesses. In a Hebei case, former transport official Zhang Quan and his son accepted 1.8 million yuan in bribes from businesses bidding to build an expressway. In Jiangsu province , a former environmental official took bribes to help companies that needed to obtain permits to import products that could harm the environment. The Hebei and Jiangsu cases were among 15 that the taskforce listed as having been investigated and tried. The figures were the first to be released by the taskforce. Public discontent over potential collusion between businesses and government has been rising. President Hu Jintao said in a speech in June marking the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party that there needed to be a 'resolute' fight against corruption. The Ministry of Supervision works separately from the Communist Party's Central Disciplinary Inspection Commission, which is the more powerful anti-graft agency. The internal cleanup comes before October's sixth plenary session of the 16th Communist Party Central Committee, which will review the work of the Politburo and is seen as a prelude to the elevation of the next generation of party leaders when the 17th central committee is formed next year.