Test for anti-cor­rup­tion drive

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

A psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sess­ment hand­book has re­port­edly been de­signed in Nan­jing, Jiangsu prov­ince, to test civil ser­vants’ oc­cu­pa­tional risks in or­der to pre­vent cor­rup­tion and duty re­lated crimes. But the pub­lic doubts whether such a hand­book can re­al­ize the goal, be­cause the test ques­tions are naive and of low level, says an ar­ti­cle on qq.com. Ex­cerpts:

The aim of the as­sess­ment test is to check civil ser­vants’ po­ten­tial to get in­volved in cor­rup­tion, be­cause many cor­rupt and po­ten­tially cor­rupt of­fi­cials share sim­i­lar men­tal ex­pe­ri­ences.

The hand­book has 34 test ques­tions such as: “Do you want to have an ex­tra-mar­i­tal af­fair?” and “Do you agree with the view that ‘of­fi­cials should use their power be­fore it ex­pires’?”

Such su­per­fi­cial ques­tions can­not elicit truth­ful an­swers and, hence, they will not al­low the au­thor­i­ties to de­ter­mine whether of­fi­cials are prone to cor­rup­tion. To avoid fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions, nearly all of­fi­cials will choose “no” as an­swers to the ex­am­ple ques­tions men­tioned above and can eas­ily hide their real in­ten­tions.

More­over, many cor­rupt of­fi­cials can pre­tend to be hon­est and good per­form­ers in the pub­lic and carry on their cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties on the sly. There­fore, such dis­guise and fak­ing can­not be ex­posed through a sim­ple test.

Al­though ex­perts say such a test can in­still fear in cor­rupt and po­ten­tially cor­rupt of­fi­cials and com­pel them to stay away from il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties, the pub­lic feels the move could be more ef­fec­tive if the au­thor­i­ties also used suit­able reg­u­la­tions to force of­fi­cials to de­clare their as­sets and strengthen so­cial su­per­vi­sion. Be­sides, the ques­tion­naire should be care­fully and sci­en­tif­i­cally de­signed to elicit real an­swers.

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