Strike at the root of corruption

Updated: 2014-04-18 07:13

(China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

A high-ranking female official in the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security has been convicted of corruption after it was detected that she had spent 130,000 yuan ($20,890) on cosmetology and had the entire amount covered as meeting expenses or contribution fees. The high-profile case shows that only by strengthening financial supervision and improving the financial system can higher authorities curb officials' presumptuous consumption, says an article in Legal Daily. Excerpts:

It is not difficult to draw up a long list of corrupt female officials who have spent huge amounts on cosmetic products and/or cosmetology. Evidence of huge amounts of public funds spent on such products and treatment can be easily traced back to a number of high-end beauty salons.

A look into the cases would show that the corrupt female officials have spent their ill-gotten money to enhance their "beauty" and that all of them have been found guilty of corruption and convicted of their crimes by courts.

But a deeper look into the phenomenon would reveal that the problem is not as simple as it seems. Consumption of beauty enhancing products is only one of the many ways that corrupt officials spend their illicit money on. In most of the cases, corrupt officials do not decide to abuse their powers to make amends later or to give up their corrupt ways altogether. Instead, corruption is a choice they make after spotting the loopholes in the supervision system.

Therefore, to curb such malpractices by officials, higher authorities should expedite the launching of the "three public expenses" system. If strictly implemented, the "three public expenses" system can eliminate the possibility of financial funds flowing through wrong channels into wrong hands. Also, the opening of more private luxury clubs, which is against social convention and moral norms, should be banned and those abusing power to facilitate their opening punished. The authorities should realize that it is important to strike at the root of corruption to root it out from our everyday life.

If supervision on the use of power is strengthened and institutional constraints are eased, many corrupt practices can be eliminated. Without such measures, it will be almost impossible for the higher authorities to eliminate corruption from the bureaucracy and society as a whole.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

(China Daily 04/18/2014 page9)