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Training at public expense   2012-07-13 15:17:00

  The Beijing municipal government's new rules on the management of officials' training abroad are a timely response to the increasing public concern over officials' trips abroad at the taxpayers' expense.

  It is good that the new rules specify a cap on the amount of money the trainees can spend on a daily basis. Obviously, they are meant to tighten control on such spending.

  Given the fact that training has become a widely used pretext for officials at various levels to go sightseeing or shopping overseas at the public's expense, Beijing's rules should be an example for the rest of the country.

  The new rules stipulate that trips should not be used for sightseeing and at least two thirds of the visit must be spent on classes, inspections or practice. There must be no unapproved changes to the proposed itineraries.

  Rules are certainly necessary to make sure that training trips abroad are a genuine attempt to learn something that will improve the work of officials.

  Training trips must be strictly monitored to make sure they meet practical needs so that unnecessary ones can be prevented before public money is wasted.

  As long as most government employees are dedicated to their duties, such trips can improve their work. But careful consideration is needed to make the best use of public money.

  For example, Beijing has been calling for garbage classification for years and sent officials to learn about Japan's sophisticated system. However, the issue has proved a hard nut to crack. If the money had been spent on organizing neighborhood committees and workers within communities, perhaps more headway would have been made.

  Beijing's endeavor on such trips is the first step in better regulating such training. Moreover the officials should be fully aware that whatever they learn overseas should meet with the needs of domestic development.


source : China Daily     editor:: Diana
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