Gov't Publicizes Clean Hands on TV in NW China
   2013-11-21 20:44:08    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Mao

Yao Honggang, secretary of a town Party committee, watches a special TV series featuring himself with a friend at home on November 20, 2013. This episode is one of 19 that highlight the daily life and anti-corruption efforts of different government officials -- the program airs in Gaoling County, Shaanxi Province. [Photo: CFP]

A special TV series revolving around the personal and work lives of 19 chief government officials is being broadcast on primetime throughout Gaoling County, Shaanxi Province. Among other things, the show is meant to highlight how local officials are embracing anti-corruption efforts and the Central Government's frugality campaign to curtail extravagant public spending, according to Beijing-based Mirror.

"I own a piece of property in town...my wife works at the Education Bureau...my daughter is a college student..." Yao Honggang, secretary of a town Party committee, told cameras during the filming of the TV series.

This is the first time Yao has shared the details of his life, finances and work in fighting corruption on television. Normally, Yao is making such proclamations behind closed doors at the Party's "internal" meetings.

Eighteen other senior officials from functional departments have similar features, sharing their thoughts about government duties, personal assets and home life with Gaoling's viewing public.

The local TV station carrying the show plans to air each episode every night at prime time, following CCTV's national news program, "Xinwen Lianbo," or Network News Broadcast.

The show is projected to get about 300,000 viewers; questions, thoughts or concerns about the program are welcomed by the broadcaster, who set up a hotline for viewers to call and comment.

"We did not make the show...there will be more officials on TV next year to expose their wages and other incomes," said Zhang Junxiang, Deputy Secretary of Gaoling Discipline Inspection Commission.

The approach to disclosing efforts by local officials in implementing the frugality system in Gaoling County is feasible and should lead to bolder steps for government transparency on a local level in the future, according to professor Cai Xia from the Party School of the CPC. 

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