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China to reform local gov'ts' offices in Beijing to check corruption
www.chinaview.cn 2006-09-04 18:35:38

    BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of offices of local governments and large companies in Beijing are facing an overhaul, as they have become a breeding ground for corruption.

    The Government Offices Administration of the State Council is drafting a plan to readjust and reform the offices of the local governments in Beijing, according to a report of The Economic Observer.

    A total of 52 offices of the local governments above the vice provincial level will be involved in the initial plan, said the report.

    The plan is expected to come out in the fourth quarter of the this year.

    In addition, readjustment of the local governments' offices in Beijing has been listed as one of the major tasks by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China and the Ministry of Supervision in 2006.

    It is estimated that there are more than 520 offices of local governments at city level and some 5,000 offices of county level governments in Beijing. Thousands of associations, enterprises and universities across China have also opened offices in Beijing.

    The establishment of the offices aims to exchange information and attract investment to localities, said an official with the office of Jiangxi provincial government in Beijing.

    However, the offices are said to have been involved in many corruption cases in recent years.

    For instance, Li Yihong, former vice director of the office of the government of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in Beijing, was involved in the notorious case of Cheng Kejie.

    Cheng was sentenced to death in 2000 for soliciting and accepting bribery, when he served as chairman of the people's government of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwest China.

    Wang Fuyou, former director of the office of Hebei provincial government in Beijing, was put into jail in 2002 because he was involved in the economic crimes, in which Li Zhen the former head of Hebei provincial tax department was sentenced to death for corruption.

    The report cited an unconfirmed estimation that more than 20 billion yuan (about 2.5 billion U.S. dollars) are spent by the offices every year to establish relationship with the departments of the central government.

    According to the report, the offices of the local government at city and county level in Beijing will possibly be closed.

    The government of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region opened the first office in Beijing in 1949. In 1991, there were 186 offices of local governments above city level in Beijing.

    But the number of such offices sharply increased to 426 in 2002.

    The major work of the local governments' offices in Beijing is to treat and cultivate useful officials in the departments of central government, said an official working in such an office, who would not give his name.

    At a meeting, Li Jinhua, auditor general of the National Audit Office, criticized the local governments' offices in Beijing for giving briberies and establishing ties with the departments of central government.

    Wu Guanzheng, the Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, said during his work report at the beginning of this year that the offices of local governments in Beijing should be reformed to curb the rampant corruption.

    At a meeting on building a clean government in February this year, a decision was made that the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC would conduct a survey of governments' offices in Beijing, and the Government Offices Administration of the State Council would draw up the reform plan.

    The offices of the local governments above vice provincial level in Beijing are governed by the Government Offices Administration of the State Council, while other offices are under the administration of the Beijing Development and Reform Commission.

    The establishment of offices in Beijing by large companies and city and county level governments was welcomed by Beijing Development and Reform Commission in recent years, the newspaper cited an official from east China's Jiangxi Province as saying.

    The various kinds of offices in Beijing has brought huge economic benefit to the capital.

    The total assets of those offices in Beijing had exceeded 10 billion yuan (1.25 billion U.S. dollars) in 2001. In 2002, those offices spent a total of 4.3 billion yuan (537.5 million U.S. dollars) in purchasing houses and daily expense, up 23.5 percent than the previous year, according to an incomplete calculation.

    The newspaper cited an official with the Beijing Development and Reform Commission as saying that the commission will obey the decision of the central government on reforming the local governments' offices in Beijing. Enditem

Editor: Yangtze Yan
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