Local gov't slammed after arranging job for official's son

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, December 27, 2010
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A public servant position reserved for the son of a former senior official in the government of Lengshuijiang city of Central China's Hunan province was abolished on late Sunday after the case drew a spate of criticism from the country's netizens.

The Lengshuijiang city government ordered the local human resources and social security bureau and the general office of the institutional organization committee to cancel the employment of Cao Bowen, the son of Cao Changqing, former director of the Lengshuijiang personnel bureau.

A whistle-blower on Saturday leaked a letter from Cao Changqing asking local leaders to find a government job for his son - a request later granted.

A local official on Sunday confirmed that an unwritten consensus exists within the city government to favor employing children of government heads - feeding dismal job prospects for millions of fresh graduates.

Jin Tao, former deputy director of the Lengshuijiang personnel bureau, was quoted by Chengdu Business Daily as saying the case is "not at all surprising" to him because "three or four years ago, local authorities issued a circular to help the children of local government and Party heads find employment."

Another unnamed personnel official confirmed that the practice of favoring senior officials' offspring has been going on for years, according to the report.

"The standing committee (of the Lengshuijiang Party committee) made the decision. It's not suitable to circulate the decision in written form, but such a practice indeed exists."

Xie Lisong, publicity chief of Lengshuijiang, told China Daily on Sunday that local authorities are investigating.

"Since my retirement is approaching, I wish to ask leaders to arrange a post for my son in the finance bureau," read a copy of the letter from Cao Changqing to local Party and government leaders.

It was posted on a local Internet forum by an unidentified netizen on Saturday.

"I have served the Party for decades and never asked any personal favor from the organization ... I ask you to take my request into consideration and support it," said the handwritten letter dated Aug 16.

According to the photocopy of the letter, the city's Party chief, mayor and vice-mayor inked their support on the letter.

A host of eminent Chinese scholars, such as Professor Yu Jianrong from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, have long been calling for a fairer system to select civil servants, which is the major channel for young people to gain a decent place in the Chinese social stratum.

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