The free app of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, is available in Apple's App Store and in various Android stores, as well as on the commission's website. The app makes it easier for anyone to submit tipoffs about suspected corruption. (China Daily/Wang Zhuangfei)
Hand-held technology seen as easy channel for whistleblowers to submit evidence about graft
As the anti-corruption campaign gathers steam across the country, the top anti-graft authority is drawing on the latest Internet technology to encourage members of the public to pass on evidence of officials' misconduct.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection recently revamped its website and its mobile app in an effort to make it easier for anyone to provide tips about suspected corruption.
The free app, which is in Chinese only is available in Apple's App Store and in various Android stores, as well as on the commission's website.
A new function－"One click to report"－was added to the app recently, allowing users to upload evidence of officials violating austerity rules set by the Communist Party of China in late 2012.
By pressing the button, the user is led to a page listing 11 categories of misbehavior, with the one about using public funds for dinners at the top.
Other items include using public money for overseas tours, misusing public vehicles and accepting gifts and allowances.
Users are allowed to upload up to two 5-megabyte pictures or videos of evidence and a narration of up to 500 Chinese characters. The whistleblower can do this anonymously.
The app is one tool in the effort to promote austerity rules adopted in late 2012. The Party's 87 million members are expected to abide by the rules, an official in charge of the commission's publicity said.
The goal is to give the public the opportunity to report acts prohibited by Party rules through an instant channel and help anti-graft watchdogs gather clues about corruption, the official said.
The aim is to solicit evidence of corruption from the public and to curb four undesirable practices in the Party, namely formalism－a rigid adherence to rules without desired result－bureaucratism, hedonism and wasteful spending.
Other apps have also sprouted up in dozens of cities and regions, including Hebei and Shandong provinces and cities such as Beijing and Chongqing.
In Qinhuangdao, Hebei province, 20,000 users have downloaded an app that the local anti-graft department developed. More than 300 tipoffs have been reported via the app so far, and about 30 officials were disciplined between last August and the end of April.
Zhu Lijia, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said modern technology makes governance more transparent and gives people a quick and convenient way to monitor the behavior of government officials.
"This reflects the Party's determination to root out corruption and clamp down on undesirable work practices," Zhu said.
The CCDI's app is designed to help hunt down "flies"－crooked officials at lower levels. The commission's website also offers space for anyone to report official corruption, including that of "tigers", or senior officials.
The website has become a popular channel for those wanting to blow the whistle on corrupt officials, says the office of the commission that receives complaints and tipoffs.
"Nearly half the tipoffs on corruption have been given through the website," an official in the office said.