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January 29, 2011

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Public outcry over coats

GOVERNMENT officers in a city in east China should pay for expensive jackets on their own following an outcry over the bulk purchase of the coats as "uniforms," a local authority has ruled.

Employees of the safety appraisal department under the Commission of Housing and Urban-rural Development in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu Province, were ordered to pay for the coats, the Yangtze Evening News reported yesterday. The department head received an administrative warning, the commission said.

The department was under the spotlight after it spent 108,300 yuan (US$16,443) on 57 outdoor jackets for its employees as uniforms.

Netizens questioned if it was necessary to equip the employees with such expensive jackets as they usually sit in heated or air-conditioned offices.

The department head argued the jackets were bought as a uniform. They used a special fund designated by a superior department to buy the jackets and the bulk purchase followed standard procedures, the department head was cited as saying.

But he couldn't provide evidence of the approval as the employee in charge of this was on leave, the report said.

Zhao Yejian, an official with the housing commission, told the newspaper that the money used to purchase the jackets was actually from the department's own account.

All the employees have since reimbursed the department, the report said.


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