China ratchets up anti-graft efforts

China ratchets up anti-graft efforts
File photo of former China's Politburo Standing Committee Member Zhou Yongkang, who is at the centre of China's biggest corruption scandal in more than six decades.

Anti-graft authorities have tightened regulations on retired government officials and launched investigations into a number of former officials as part of their anti-corruption campaign.

The Jilin Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection announced on Sunday night that local authorities have ordered two retired prefecture-level officials to quit their posts in companies.

Provincial authorities have also ordered 1,274 government officials to leave such part-time posts, the statement said.

Government officials who have been retired for less than three years are not allowed to get jobs in companies that do business related to the officials' former administrative duties, according to a regulation issued by the Organisation Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in October.

More than 100 retired officials have quit their posts as independent board members at enterprises since the regulation was released, Xinhua News Agency reported early this month.

Lin Zhe, a professor of public administration research at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said retired officials have a wide social network, and they can still exert influence over government bodies even after retirement.

Supervision of retired officials should be enhanced since it's easy for them to seek private gains with the connections that they established in their former public posts, she said.

Gao Shaopeng, 66, a former deputy secretary of Dongguan's political and law commission in Guangdong province, was tried in October on allegations of accepting 2.25 million yuan (S$450,500) in bribes from businessman Xu Runbao after Gao retired from his post in 2008. A verdict has not been announced in the case.

After receiving the money, Gao allegedly asked his former colleagues to help Xu, a waste recycler, get a monopoly in the recycling business in Dongguan, prosecutors said.

Unlike in the past, when retired officials could always be exempt from punishment, corrupt former officials now are also targeted in the enhanced anti-graft campaign.

Li Xiaoping, former executive vice-president of Jilin Provincial Party School, is being probed on corruption allegations, according to the statement from the discipline inspection commission.

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