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Norm Set to Guarantee a Clean and Efficient Government

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) issued the Statute on Selecting and Appointing Party and Government Leading Cadres in July 2002. The document drew wide attention as soon as it was publicized. The regulation was promulgated and issued at the moment when the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is to be held in November and the provincial Party committees are being restructured. In recent years, malpractice in personnel management has been a commonplace, and it is believed to be one of the main causes of rampant corruption.

In an exclusive interview with staff reporters of china.org.cn, an official with the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee explained the focus of the new regulation and the significance to promulgate it.

Why Amending the Old One?

According to the official with the CPC Organization Department, the newly-made Statute on Selecting and Appointing Party and Government Leading Cadres was actually worked out by amending the Provisional Statute on Selecting and Appointing Party and Government Leading Cadres issued in 1995.

The provisional regulation played a significant role in standardizing the procedure for the selection and appointment of Party and government officials while putting malpractices under control in some way. However, over the past seven years since the provisional regulation was promulgated, the situation has changed greatly. The CPC Central Committee is expecting a higher standard of institution in terms of high-rank personnel selection and appointment. Along with progress made in the reforms of the country抯 civil service system, relevant departments and people working in this area have accumulated rich experiences. The new situation also made it an urgent matter to solve the problem of malpractices in personnel management. It is obvious that the provisional regulation could no longer meet the demand of the new development. Under such circumstances, the CPC Central Committee made the decision to work out the revised Statute on Selecting and Appointing Party and Government Leading Cadres.

Major Amendments

According to the official with the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, two chapters, 揂ppointment and 揙pen Selection and Competition for Posts, have been added in the revised regulation, and in Chapter 11, a section of 揇ismissal has been added. Apart from these, there are 50-odd other big modifications.

Nevertheless, the official stressed that the changes have not gone beyond the basic framework of the provisional regulation. He said that many original stipulations proved effectual in practice remain unchanged. It is also a principle of the amendment that there are only general regulations instead of specific ones in some chapters, so as to leave room for further revisions as time goes by.

Highlights and Characteristics

The revised regulation consists of 13 chapters with 74 articles. It covers a wide range of contents, including the guiding principles on officials appointment, basic conditions, standard process (recommendation, examination, deliberation, decision made through discussion, appointment, nomination and consultation). There are also chapters devoted to open selection and competition for posts, the change of posts, avoidance, resignation, demotion, discipline and supervision, and so on. It makes clear that qualifications for selection and appointment, democratic recommendation, examination, decision made through discussion, discipline and supervision are the key links in the process.

The amended regulation is marked with the following characteristics: First, it assumes new meanings to the principles, standards, procedures, methods and disciplines for the selection and appointment of leading officials, reflecting the changing new situation; second, while new methods have been regulated for democracy within the Party, the public抯 right to know, to participate, to choose and supervise officials selection and appointment is also to be guaranteed; third, based on a complete procedure, the regulation stipulates more explicit and specific provisions for each link of the personnel selection and appointment; fourth, by adopting new measures such as open selection, competition for posts, examination, and listening to the public opinion about the possible appointment in advance, the regulation perfects the systems of appointment, dismissal, resignation, demotion, etc.; fifth, while adhering to effective supervision, the regulation sets up the responsibility system for examination of the officials, marking a significant step forward towards the scientific personnel management.

In recent years, the number of corruption cases has been rising and an increasing number of senior Party and government officials have been involved in. According to an editorial of People抯 Daily, though some of those officials began to accept bribes after taking power, many others had been dirty-handed even before the promotion. This raises the question for the current personnel system. Therefore, the revised regulation has placed special emphasis upon a potential leading official抯 incorruptibility as a point for examination, in addition to morality, competence, diligence and merits that have been underlined traditionally. The regulation specifies that the state auditing department may step in to help make sure that the selected person is economically clean.

Speaking at a high-ranking officials meeting recently, Hu Jintao, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, pointed out that the further development of democracy in the process of officials selection and appointment is the guiding principle of the reform of the personnel system. It is also an effective measure to avoid or reduce mistakes and malpractices in personnel placement. Hu emphasized that leading officials selection and appointment must be open and transparent, and the public抯 right to know, to participate, to choose and to conduct supervision must be guaranteed and practiced.

(china.org.cn by staff reporters Jiang Wandi and Shao Da, August 27, 2002)