Red light over China’s erring staff to check graft

Monday, January 17, 2011

BEIJING - In order to prevent corruption, Chinese authorities have put in place a new monitoring system which sends alerts by putting red or yellow light to indicate rule violations by employees using office computers.

In east China’s Jiangsu province, 52 provincial government departments, 13 city governments and 106 county departments are alrady linked to the monitoring system which is encouraging government officials to work hard and behave more professionally, according to the China Daily.

For example, if an official in the Nanjing urban planning bureau has not finished a case within 20 days, monitoring software will signal a warning and a yellow light will start flashing on the departmental system.

“If an official violates protocol in dealing with a case, a red light will flicker,” said Ding Haiyang, head of the bureau’s discipline department.

The discipline department intends to use the system to monitor the work of all officials.

Since it was put in operation in January 2010, the system has issued about 3,200 yellow warning lights and 22,400 red ones throughout the province, the provincial discipline agency said.

The programme is also designed to allow people to follow the procedure online, learn of results on the bureau’s website and submit complaints, Ding said.

“Since the system was installed, every official has done his best to finish his work on schedule and hand it over to colleagues for the next stage of the procedure. No one wants to be responsible for delaying a case and causing the yellow light to flicker,” Ding was quoted as saying.

Xie Chang, deputy secretary of the provincial commission for discipline inspection, said: “The new computer system helps us supervise administrative power and stamp out graft at its source.”

As China’s netizens reached 450 million last year, 35 percent of the total population, the internet became a major platform, enabling people to monitor the behaviour of officials and alert their supervisors to inappropriate or corrupt behaviour.

In November 2010, a netizen in Hangzhou, eastern Zhejiang province, posted details of bribery involving a medical salesman, listing hospital, doctors and other information, which triggered a full-scale investigation into bribery at hospitals.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

will not be displayed