Report says 162,629 'phantom' staffers taken off govt payrolls

Updated: 2014-10-07 03:56

By Agencies(China Daily)

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A total of 162,629 "phantom" staff members on government payrolls have been removed since a national campaign targeting corruption and bureaucracy was launched last year.

Hebei province saw the largest number of instances, with 55,793 people found to be getting paid even though they never worked, People's Daily reported on Monday.

Sichuan province removed 28,466 such ghost staffers, and another 15,022 were exposed in Henan.

No such individuals have been uncovered in Shanghai or in the Tibet autonomous region, the report said. In Beijing, 531 were found, and 327 have been removed.

To tackle the issue of phantom staff, some provinces and regions have created regulations and adopted a zero-tolerance stance.

In Nanchang, Jiangxi province, officials whose payrolls include two or more phantom staffers beyond a given deadline will be removed from their posts as punishment, People's Daily reported.

To solve the phantom staff problem permanently, some provinces have established rules and set up ongoing audits.

Hezhang county in Guizhou province, for example, has conducted investigations on a regular basis, both with advance notice and secretly.

When an instance is uncovered, those involved are placed under investigation and required to repay the salary of the unauthorized individual. They are also subject to further punishments.

In addition, a government department will be punished by having its budget subsidy reduced by as much as five times the amount taken by a phantom employee. The county government will then undertake an accountability review of the department's top leaders.

On another anti-corruption front, China shelved 114,418 vehicles designated for use in regular government affairs in an effort to cut hefty spending amid mounting public complaints over the misuse of public money, the report said. Only a handful were retained for special services.

The "mass line" campaign began in June last year to improve the ragged relations between Party officials and the general public. Officials were told to clean up undesirable work styles, including formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.

Xinhua — China Daily