Prosecutors on job to fight corruption

11:12, May 27, 2011      

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Employees and managers at a giant State-owned energy company in the capital have an unusual group of new co-workers - a team of local prosecutors who have joined the enterprise in a bid to stamp out job-related crimes.

The first ever "in-house" prosecutors' liaison office - effectively a dedicated channel for whistle-blowers - was unveiled on Wednesday at China National Coal Group Corp.
"Basically, our prosecutors are offering law services at this enterprise," said Ye Wensheng, director of the anti-corruption bureau at the No 2 Branch of the People's Procuratorate of Beijing.

Ye told China Daily on Thursday that one or two prosecutors from the bureau will work in the liaison office on one or two days each month.

In addition to offering legal information and consultations, the prosecutors will help monitor and supervise bidding, sales and procurement processes for major projects - things that are prone to corruption.

Their oversight will extend to the 41 branch companies belonging to the enterprise and the 100,000 employees under its umbrella.

Workers will be able to get in touch with the in-house prosecutors by phone, email or by dropping them a line via the company's intranet.

"Internal supervision and discipline efforts have not been enough for this company," Ye said, noting that the decision to open the office followed a series of recent job-related crimes at the company.

"The presence of the liaison office itself is a deterrent," he said. "And the activity will help us summarize experiences and knowledge and plug holes so we can tackle crime in similar companies within this industry."

Zhou Hui, a senior discipline official from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, said corruption is made possible by weak supervision of the people who are in leadership positions at such companies. Zhou said such corruption drains State assets.

The commission regulates and holds shares in most of China's largest State-owned companies.

Last month, reports said the former general manager of a State-owned petroleum giant's Guangdong branch had spent more than 1 million yuan ($153,000) on high-end liquor, triggering public criticism of the waste of State assets.

Zhou said the new liaison office will summarize experiences from which other State-owned companies can learn.

Many employees and officials at China National Coal Group Corp told China Daily they are glad to see the move.

"The prosecutors said they will not interfere with our management and operations," said an official with the enterprise's internal discipline authority who refused to be named. "It is good to have another inspection authority from outside joining in to fight corruption. That could ensure standardized operations."

Source: China Daily
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