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A regulation launched by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the State Council extends the list of declarable assets for officials and introduces dismissal as the maximum penalty for failing to report assets honestly and promptly. This is seen as a stronger measure to curb corruption.
The regulation requires officials at the deputy county level and above to annually report their assets, marital status and whereabouts and employment of family members.
It also empowers local CPC's provincial Committees and members of the government to expand the regulations to officials below the deputy county chief level.
Shi Zhongquan, former vice director of Party History Research Center, said, "Now the scope of monitoring becomes even wider. The management of the state owned enterprises and non CPC member cadres are all included. Officials of lower levels are also monitored by the provincial CPC committees and officials. The punishment for those violating the regulation is even more severe."
According to the regulation, if officials fail to declare their assets honestly or promptly they could face dismissal, which is the hardest penalty under the new regulation. Previously the most severe punishment was "criticism" of the offending official in a public notice.
The CPC Central Committee said in a statement that the regulation targets new issues and problems emerging from the current situation of integrity and self-discipline of officials.
Shi Zhongquan said, "The new measures to prevent corruption conforms to the will of the people. But more important is how the measures are implemented. The measures will be further improved while they are implemented. I think one more measure should be added to the regulation later, public notice, namely, what the officials report should be known by the public."
The reporting system was set up in 1995, and revised in 1997 and 2006 by broadening the list of items and adding detailed procedures.
The latest regulation comes months after the CPC Central Committee issued the "52 don'ts", which is a code of ethics for CPC cadres, specifying 52 prohibited practices. The official reporting system and cadre ethics code were both revised this year. That shows the authorities' determination to improve mechanisms to fight corruption.