China clamps down on lavish government offices

China has laid out size restrictions on the offices of officials at various levels, amid an ongoing campaign against corruption. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
China has laid out size restrictions on the offices of officials at various levels, amid an ongoing campaign against corruption. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - China has laid out size restrictions on the offices of officials at various levels, amid an ongoing campaign against corruption, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

Luxurious and spacious offices of officials have long irked the public and has become a target in the current anti-corruption drive launched by President Xi Jinping, the state news agency said.

Under new regulations specified in a document issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and published by the ruling Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), ministers and provincial governors shall have offices no bigger than 54 sq m - about the size of a three-room HDB flat - said Xinhua.

Offices for their deputies shall be 12 sq m smaller, it said.

Department heads at ministries and provincial governments shall enjoy an office no bigger than 30 sq m, and their deputies 24 sq m.

Heads of county governments shall work in a space no bigger than 30 sq m, and their deputies, 18 sq m.

Officials are allowed to have lounges and toilets in their offices but the facilities should be included in the total area allocated, according to the document. Deputies are not to enjoy the same privilege, it said.

seokhwai@sph.com.sg