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Thousands Of Bureaucrats Snared In Myanmar Blitz
Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1252918/1/.html
Source Date: Friday, February 08, 2013
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Country: Myanmar
Created: Feb 07, 2013

YANGON: Some 17,000 Myanmar civil servants have been punished -- with 380 among them jailed -- following a "good governance and clean government" campaign, according to a government report.

Action was taken against 16,952 workers, including scores of police officers, between April 2011 and December 2012, said the document, which was sent by the government to parliament this week and seen by AFP on Thursday.

The country's President Thein Sein has vowed to stamp down on graft as part of reforms that promise greater democracy and measures to establish the rule of law after decades of corrupt military rule which ended in April 2011.

None of the alleged offences are detailed in the report, but the punishments range from jail terms and dismissals, to demotion, written warnings and pay cuts.

"Due to the requirement for good governance and clean government, ministries were investigated... and action has been taken," said the report, which was commissioned after a motion brought by an MP for the ruling USDP party.

Some 380 workers were jailed, just over 4,900 dismissed, and 80 forced to return money, while 689 police were also punished, according to the report.

In late January, Myanmar opened a probe into alleged high-level corruption in its telecommunications ministry, while in a rare public move to tackle graft authorities in November ordered state loans totalling tens of millions of dollars to be clawed back from private businesses.

A new anti-graft law will enable authorities to "investigate and rigorously prosecute those involved in corruption in both the public and private sectors", according to an official document distributed at a recent donor forum.

- AFP/al
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