Another sci-tech official probed

Updated: 2014-02-20 02:40


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A Guangdong senior official has become the latest in the science and technology field in the province to be placed under investigation for violating Party discipline and State laws, amid calls for greater transparency and accountability in the science sector and reform of the funding system.

Wang Kewei, 51, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology, is the second senior official from the department to have been removed from his post lately.

Li Xinghua was sacked from his post as director-general of the department on suspicion of accepting bribes and expelled from the Party in January.

Guangdong's top anti-graft body did not reveal details of Wang's case as it is still under investigation.

At least 50 scientific and technological officials from the provincial government and Guangzhou and Foshan cities have come under investigation on suspicion of violating Party discipline and State laws in the past 12 months in Guangdong.

In August, Xie Xuening, director of the Guangzhou City Bureau of Science and Information, was placed under investigation for taking bribes.

To fight corruption in science and technology, Chen Yunxian, deputy governor of Guangdong, urged departments to boost management and better distribute scientific and technological funds.

"Supervision will also have to be expanded to help make the operation of scientific departments more transparent to help rebuild the image of Guangdong's science and technology sector," Chen said.

The Guangzhou Intermediate People's Procuratorate investigated 25 cases of corruption in 2013.

The cases involved 29 science and technology officials, one prefecture-level and seven county-level officials and had a monetary value of more than 50 million yuan ($8.23 million).

In Foshan, about 20 kilometers from Guangzhou, 21 science and technology officials were investigated for corruption last year.

Wang Dong, deputy mayor of Guangzhou, said the funding system for science "must be improved" as corruption cases were the consequences, in part, of a dysfunctional funding system.

"The government annually invests a large sum of money in funding research, but we need to introduce effective and concrete measures to prevent the research funding from being misused and siphoned off by corrupt officials," he said.

Zheng Fenming, director of the institute of modernization strategy at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, said government departments at all levels should try to prevent the centralization of power by senior officials to help keep corruption in check.

He urged government departments to cede more power on administrative approval and examination.

"Some officials, particularly top officials, have too much power to examine and approve projects and other affairs that could easily lead to corruption," he said.