Officials are told to act as anti-graft watchdogs

Updated: 2015-09-08 07:37

By ZHANG YI(China Daily)

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Demotion for failure to report on colleagues will become standard for Party, CCDI says

China's top anti-graft authority is warning officials at all levels that those who turn a blind eye to the corruption of others will be held accountable.

Officials are told to act as anti-graft watchdogs
Li Qinggui, an official in Henan province, drew media attention after provincial anti-corruption authorities determined to hold him accountable for his failure to stop corrupt practices by three subordinates.

The case attracted wide public attention because it involved a former Party chief who was demoted not because he himself took bribes but because of his failure to prevent corruption.

The discipline of Li followed a rule laid down at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in June. It said that Party chiefs would be banned from leading posts if they were found slacking or malfeasant in their job as the principal official in a jurisdiction.

Li was given a "serious warning", a disciplinary measure for Party members, and was removed from his leadership position, according to a statement by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the country's top anti-corruption watchdog.

"Li's case should be taken as a serious lesson," the commission said, warning that holding Party officials accountable will become standard procedure.

From May 2011 to February this year, Li was the top Party official of Xinxiang, a city 80 kilometers from Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. He was the head of a working group in charge of county reforms before he was demoted.

The provincial anti-graft authority had looked into corruption cases and brought down three senior officials in Xinxiang from April 2014 to January this year, a period during which Li was the top official in the city.

Central authorities described the cases as "involving a huge amount of illicit money" and "raising huge public concern". The head of the city's anti-graft department, Wang Bingqi, was also removed.

"Li failed to adhere to principles and flinched in the fight against corruption," the commission said.

It added that he, as well as the local department for disciplinary inspection, didn't meet standards for Party members in the exercise of self-discipline, didn't respond to the Party's call for a clean government and didn't follow through on their responsibility to clamp down on corruption.

"As the then-top official in charge of anti-corruption in the city, Li was not aware of his responsibility, was derelict in his duty in anti-corruption efforts, failed to keep subordinates in check, promoted them without thorough investigation and didn't stand up to curb corruption," the statement said.

Li should be held largely accountable for the three officials' misconduct, the statement added.