There senior civil servants in East China's Shandong province have reportedly left office and started new careers as senior executives in financial enterprises. Changjiang Daily commented on Thursday:
Many believe that civil servants resign to pursue better pay, otherwise they would not quit their seemingly glamorous government posts.
Up to a point, such an assumption makes sense and government employees have the right to pursue other professions regardless of their true intentions.
Back in the days of the planned economy, most people refrained from resigning from a government post because it basically meant unemployment. But today, the decision of an official to leave office is no longer beyond comprehension, and is unlikely to cause a drain of talent from the country's civil service, which has more than 7 million employees.
However, that does not mean officials can quit whenever they want either. According to the Civil Service Law, officials who resign are not allowed to work for companies directly related to their previous work for two years after they leave their posts. Those who used to be managers face a three-year "cooling off period". This is so they cannot exploit the resources and connections they had in the old job for personal gain.
In other words, former civil servants should not seek to bypass these regulations and do whatever they want after resigning.
In Shandong's case, the former deputy mayor of Weifang city is now the vice-president of Sunshine Insurance Group, just four months after he assumed office in the committee for the Shandong Social Security Fund. It is thus necessary to impose tighter controls over resigning civil servants to ensure fair competition.