Anti-graft body pushes officials to disclose assets

Updated: 2013-12-03 08:08

By An Baijie (China Daily)

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Anti-corruption authorities will promote a pilot project to require newly promoted officials to disclose their private assets, an official from China's top anti-graft agency said.

Newly promoted officials will have to publicize information including their families' assets, and their spouses' and children's jobs, incomes and entry and exit records, said Li Xueqin, head of the research division under the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Li made the remarks on Sunday during an interview with the commission's website to help interpret decisions made during the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which was held last month.

The session vowed to establish a scientific and effective mechanism of power restriction and to enhance innovative systems for identifying corruption.

The plenum also planned to improve the financial budgeting process, along with approval and audit systems, and focus on the control of administrative expenditures.

Li did not give a detailed timeline for the pilot project.

Under current regulations, Party and government officials are required to report their private asset information to supervisory authorities, but such information remains unavailable to the public.

Anti-graft authorities will speed up the verification of reported assets information by officials, and the punishment will be enhanced for those who have lied on the declaration, Li said.

The commission will continue to dispatch inspection teams to government bodies, State-owned enterprises and institutes to enhance supervision of officials, he added.

The authorities will make regulations to tighten supervision on "naked officials" - officials whose spouses and children spend long periods living overseas, he said.

Some local governments have already made detailed rules toward "naked officials", but there are no State-level regulations to supervise officials whose family members have already emigrated.

In 2009, the Shenzhen government in Guangdong province announced that these officials must not be nominated as leading officials of government agencies.

Luo Yinguo, former Party chief of Maoming, Guangdong province, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve in July for receiving bribes of 100 million yuan ($16.3 million) from 1993 to 2011.

Luo's children had emigrated to Australia and Macao before he was caught, the Beijing Times reported.

Jiang Ming'an, a law professor at Peking University, said that "naked officials" are prone to taking bribes as they can more easily transfer their illegal gains and flee when they are exposed.

Anti-graft authorities have taken unprecedented strict measures toward corrupt officials, and at least 13 ministerial-level officials have been probed since the Party's new leadership was elected last November.

In the latest case, Liang Jingli, board chairman of Guangxi Liuzhou Iron and Steel (Group) Co, was investigated for a "grave discipline violation", the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region's department of supervision announced on its micro blog on Monday afternoon.