Civil servants in China to get ethics training

Beijing, Nov 3 (IANS) China will launch an ethics training campaign for the country's civil servants over next five years that will focus on training senior officials and civil servants who work in direct contact with the public.

According to a statement issued by the State Administration of Civil Service, the training will include lectures and case studies to improve civil servants' loyalty to the country and people, as well as their sense of responsibility and honesty.

Ethics performance will always be taken as an important standard in civil servant selection, assessment and supervision, it stated.

All civil servants will be trained by the end of 2015 which is the last year of China's 12th Five-Year Plan period.

In this, the individuals are required to complete a training course of no less than six hours.

The campaign's need was felt after incidents of improper behaviour and illegal acts by civil servants came into government's knowledge.

In one instance, director of the Suqian Municipal Agricultural Machinery Bureau in Jiangsu province, was removed from his post following allegations that he had an affair.

In another instance, a police officer, accused of killing five people and injuring three others in a road accident in China's Henan province, was arrested in October.

Such cases leave a negative influence on the public's image of civil servants, says Liu Dasheng, a professor with the Jiangsu Administration Institute.

Many regions in China have already begun efforts to improve moral standards of their civil servants.

The government of Shuyang County in Jiangsu has included 'moral qualities' in its civil servant performance evaluation system since 2010.

Zhang Fengyang, head of the School of Government at Nanjing University, believes ethics training can help to prevent corruption and appease the public's desire for disciplined civil servants and officials.