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Further Fight on Corruption
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Checking corruption should include public supervision of officials' family members, says a commentary of the Beijing Youth Daily. An excerpt follows:

According to a recent interview with an official working in the Supreme People's Procuratorate, family members are increasingly involved in the corruption cases of officials. It is therefore highly possible to publicize the occupations of the officials' family members as part of the attempt to check corruption.

It would be a realistic and effective tactic against corruption if the occupations of the officials' family members are known to the public.

In recent years, authorities at all levels had required that officials should report the jobs of their spouses and children. But such reports are only internal records of the discipline department.

If the report is released to the public through government web site or even the news media, the public, instead of the supervision department within the government and the party, will keep an eye on the officials and their families. Obviously, the supervision would be much stronger.

There have been a series of stipulations about the professions of the family members of officials, especially of the key officials in local governments. But it is hard to judge whether all these stipulations have been observed.

More importantly, some officials invented numerous tricks to bypass the stipulations, like cooperating with other officials to make mutual benefits. All these malpractices are not easy to detect by the internal discipline officials while the public will find out easily once they are empowered.

Publicizing the occupation of officials' family members has been in practice in some cities and experiences have been accumulated. There is reason to believe it could lend a strong hand to check corruption once promoted widely.

(China Daily June 9, 2007)

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