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Experts call for stricter implementation of regulations to curb misuse of official cars


16:57, November 02, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Experts have called for stricter implementation of regulations to prevent officials from using government-funded cars for private affairs, a misconduct that has long been denouced by the public.

The use of official cars for private affairs has become a prominent problem that caused discontent among the public, Prof. Wang Jingbo of the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPSL), was quoted as saying by the Legal Daily. Wang said such action is "de facto corruption."

According to the latest survey conducted by the Legal Daily, 97.4 percent of the 2,000 surveyed believe official cars have been improperly used, and 70.3 percent hold that the most common practice is officials' use of these cars for private affairs. Nearly 25 percent believe there are more official cars than needed, and 60.36 percent think government cadres should not be equipped with special cars.

Wang said the frequent improper use of official cars indicates loose supervision and lack of enforcement of regulations.

Since 1994, the government has enacted various reforms over the use of official cars.

In May, the State Council called on its ministries to reduce "squandering practices" and make their fiscal information public in more areas and "provide greater details."

In September, a special work group confirmed that a total of 179,500 cars had been improperly used.

The misuse of official cars is classified as "corruption," and penalties are prescribed, but in practical implementation, few are punished, Wang said.

Wang said a more powerful supervision and implementation team is needed to hold officials accountable.

It's not difficult to identify the improper use of official cars, technical ways using GPS to trace the vehicles' route is effective, Wang said.

Some experts also called for wider participation of the public in making relevant regulations to ensure effectiveness in supervising and curbing misuse of official cars for private purposes.

The framers will not risk their own skin in the reform, Pro. Liu Xin, also from the CUPSL, was quoted as saying by the Legal Daily.

"Fair, reasonable regulations can be formed as long as the public is allowed to fully participate in the discussion, rather than a few empowered individuals deciding matters behind a curtain," Liu said.

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