System builds clean bidding for projects
Updated: 2012-12-31 03:45
By Zhang Yan (China Daily)
A system that tracks companies and people that offered bribes is helping officials clean up the bidding process for major projects.
The system has been so successful that it could be broadened to include dereliction of duty and abuse of power.
Shi Rongbing, an officer from Yangzhong city's bidding office in Jiangsu province, recently prohibited a company from submitting a tender for a project after authorities said the firm had been engaged in bribery.
Shi took the initiative after he conducted a background check, through the system that links provincial-level regions on a database, on 18 companies that submitted tenders for the project.
"One of the companies had a project manager who had been convicted of bribery, and sentenced to six months in prison by a Nanjing court in 2003," he said. "So we kicked the company out of the process."
The case highlights how the national system, set up in February, keeps track of bribery convictions, said Song Hansong, director of the department of crime prevention under the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
From January to October, 700,000 inquiries were conducted to check 950,000 organizations and 1 million people, according to the top prosecuting body.
Consequently, 394 organizations and 720 individuals were found to have bribery records and were disqualified from submitting tenders for projects.
Bribery mostly occurs in capital-intensive fields, such as construction, bidding for projects, government purchases and subcontracting, Song said, though the education and health sectors have also seen instances of bribery.
Liu Xichun, director of the bribery records center under the procuratorate, said: "Guilty companies will face restrictions on market access and on getting bank loans."
Incentives are also on offer to help companies turn a new leaf.
"For example, if the bribery conviction was more than 10 years ago, and the company has since then strictly followed the law, we may advise that they should be treated without prejudice," Song said.
Prosecutors will also work with other government departments to track companies that engage in corrupt undertakings, he said.
In addition, prosecuting authorities plan to establish a national database not just for bribery but for corruption, dereliction of duty, or abuse of power, Song said.
Bian Jianlin, a law professor with China University of Political Science and Law, said the system was working well but suggested that those who point fingers should also be checked to make sure that commercial rivals were not getting an unfair advantage.
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