Officials punished for misusing public money
Updated: 2013-11-19 07:38
By An Baijie (China Daily)
Nearly 17,000 people had been punished as of late September for violating the Party's rules on official frugality, the country's top anti-graft agency announced Monday.
A total 14,839 cases involved breaches of the "eight-point" rules - the policy aimed at fighting bureaucracy and formalism and rejecting extravagance among Party members - according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China.
The commission said that 16,699 people have been punished, 594 of whom were at the county level and 25 at the department level.
Of the total number of cases, 4,851 involved misuse of government vehicles, 820 involved lavish banquets paid with public money, and 53 involved overseas travel.
Expenses for receptions, vehicles and trips, also known as the "three public consumptions", have raised particular concern among the people.
Lavish spending on weddings, births and funerals resulted in the punishment of 852 individuals, the commission said.
Some Chinese officials have taken advantage of weddings, birthdays and even funerals to receive money - often as bribes - from subordinates jockeying for promotions, or from businesses seeking contracts or regulatory green lights, according to Xinhua News Agency.
A total 10,483 people were punished for giving and receiving gifts during various holidays, using public money for luxury consumption and to support indolent work styles, the commission said.
Seventy-one people, including two county-level and two department-level officials, were punished in connection with the construction of government buildings.
The commission did not provide details about what the various punishments consisted of.
Local governments nationwide are required to report their progress toward the full implementation of the eight-point rules every month, the commission said.
On Dec 4, 2012, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee put forward the rules to improve government work style and move it closer to the people.
Officials are required to improve work efficiency, lead a frugal lifestyle and abide by regulations on houses and government vehicles.
In an effort to curb extravagance during the upcoming New Year and Spring Festival holidays, the commission announced a ban earlier this month on the use of public money for calendars, postcards and holiday greeting cards.
Jiang Ming'an, a law professor at Peking University, said that the authorities will continue to strengthen anti-corruption efforts.
"The decision made by the Third Plenary Session (of the CPC Central Committee) called for a regular mechanism to improve work style, showing that the eight-point rules will be sustained," he said.