GPS to help stop abuse of public vehicles

08:25, February 11, 2011      

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To prevent public officials from using government vehicles for private purposes, the 439 government cars in Songyang county of East China's Zhejiang province will be installed with Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.

Lu Jingtian, head of the publicity department of the Communist Party of China Songyang committee, told China Daily on Thursday that GPS devices had been installed in 116 government cars by Jan 20.

And the devices will go into a further 323 vehicles by the end of this month. The cars belong to 75 government organizations and State-owned companies in Songyang county, Lu said.

"The GPS device for each car costs about 1,000 yuan ($152), and the monthly operational cost will be about 30 yuan," Lu said.

"The GPS devices are meant to reduce the use of official cars for personal purposes and to improve the government's image."

Under the rules, anyone who misuses an official car for the first time will be given a warning notice. The punishment for a second infraction will be a Party or administrative disciplinary action.

Using the GPS devices, authorities can monitor and record where government cars are parked and driven, according to Liu Zhiyun, a senior official with the county's Party discipline inspection commission.

"If the car speeds or violates traffic rules, an alarm will sound in the central supervision platform of the Party discipline inspection commission, and that will be recorded," he said. "In other words, any of a car's movements can be monitored."

And the county's Party discipline inspection commission will not be the only agency involved in the oversight. The government or company departments that own the cars are also receiving supervision systems, Liu said.

The people's court of Songyang was among the first group to adopt the GPS supervision system. GPS devices were installed in the court's 10 cars last June, Huang Genfa, a discipline inspector with the court, told the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post.

Huang said the devices produced no evidence that the cars they were installed in had been parked in inappropriate places.

Yang Jianhua, director of the research center of Zhejiang Academy of Social Sciences, said the installation of GPS devices, a measure widely adopted in Western countries to prevent corruption, can also help to reduce the need for ever larger numbers of government cars.

Source: China Daily
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