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Guangdong ‘naked officials’ may lose shot at higher office

Xu Jingxi in Guangzhou
Updated: Oct 23,2014 9:29 AM     China Daily

Guangdong province plans to bar officials who have spouses and children living overseas from playing leading roles in government departments, public institutions, people’s organizations and State-owned and State-held enterprises.

“Naked officials” also will not be allowed to work in “important or sensitive” posts, including those related to security, finance, financial regulation, human resources and accounting.

Anyone considered for promotion to a leading post will have to truthfully report their marriage, house property, personal investment and debt, self-discipline records and the jobs of their spouses and children.

The provisions were formulated in the province’s draft on corruption prevention, the first such anti-graft measure in the country, which was released for public comment on Oct 22.

The regulations will be effective in preventing corruption, said Zhang Jin’gen, a professor of political science at the School of Government of Sun Yat-sen University.

“Disqualifying naked officials from leading roles can reduce the risk of having corrupt officials who flee the country,” said the researcher at the Guangzhou university’s Center for Anti-Corruption Studies.

“However, it’s better to authorize an independent third party to investigate the backgrounds of the State personnel in line for promotion rather than solely rely on their own reports,” Zhang said. “And the provincial government needs to set specific standards on examining the collected information and picking out naked officials.”

According to the draft, the reports handed in by public officers being considered for promotion should be made public “within a certain scope”, which Zhang interpreted as “within the Party committees’ organization department”.

“The reports should be released to the general public, who have proved their power online to supervise the government and uncover naked officials and corrupt officials,” he said.

As required by the central inspection team in February, Guangdong has identified 2,190 naked officials and reassigned 866 of them.

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