'Shame award' of little use to push officials to fulfill duty

Updated: 2016-01-11 07:46

(China Daily USA)

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THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT in Taizhou, East China's Jiangsu province, has reportedly introduced a "snail" award for those officials who fail to press ahead with major projects or respond to the residents' concerns in time. This is not enough to punish incompetent officials, says Eastday.com:

To some, the "snail" award may seem to be both a punishment and encouragement to officials who fail or are unwilling to fulfill their duties, prompting them to improve their performance. But in fact, it will make little difference to the "prize winners" who will neither lose their jobs nor their pay, even though by winning the award they are clearly unsuitable for their position.

Maybe some officials will feel uncomfortable receiving the award, but this can be hardly called a proper punishment or incentive for them to do better. Instead, replacing them with those who are competent and willing to do their duty is a necessary and responsible move.

Of course, the award winners are required to make efforts to "rectify" their work, but that will take time and may cause even bigger losses to the country if they cannot do so. In this sense, issuing such an award to some officials is nothing more than ensuring their incompetence or unwillingness persists.

As Premier Li Keqiang said earlier this year, governments at all levels and their employees are obliged to work hard to improve their performance, and do-nothing officials must be seriously dealt with and any incompetence made public. That being said, the so-called snail award has no reason to exist, as there are relevant laws and party disciplines with which to hold all ill-behaved and incompetent officials accountable.

(China Daily USA 01/11/2016 page11)