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Bribery probe system should be improved
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The new bribery inquiry system is aimed at preventing corruption, but it can be improved further, says an article in Yanzhao Metropolis Daily. Excerpt:

The Supreme People's Procuratorate implemented regulations on inquiry into files of bribery cases on Sept 1.

The new inquiry system, which covers all but five fields, is aimed at eradicating bribery by strengthening deterrents. But it still leaves much to be desired.

The existing "bribery blacklist" includes only enterprises and individuals found guilty of giving bribes. But a lot of entities that pay bribes are not convicted because existing laws are mainly aimed at punishing bribe-takers, not bribe-givers, severely.

The judicial authorities often let off bribe-givers if they agree to become witnesses. Hence, a lot of people who pay bribes cannot be found on the bribery blacklist, a fact that could impair the effectiveness of the new inquiry system.

The judicial authorities have to make the inquiry system more convenient and accessible by setting up a nationwide network of bribe-payers' database, which allows inquiries to spread to other places. To make sharing of information easier, the bribery inquiry system should be linked with other social inquiry systems such as credit ratings of commercial banks.

Without sharing information, the public and authorities in other administrative departments can hardly reach bribe-payers, making it difficult for the bribery inquiry system to play its supervisory role.

(China Daily September 15, 2009)

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