This year’s national exams for civil service positions across China began in more than 20 provinces in April, and after two months, local governments have published candidates’ results along with reports of misconduct and rules violations.

Though the scale of the recruitment this year was notably smaller, there are still nearly 80,000 government positions to be filled across a total of 22 Chinese provinces, Wen Wei Po reported.

After one month of the recruitment process, local governments were announcing candidates who had made satisfactory scores in the written examination held on April 20.

Prospective candidates were expected to enter the next stage by attending interviews conducted by various corresponding departments.

Meanwhile, along with the publication of the written test results, provinces including Fujian, Hubei, Hunan, and Shaanxi also reported on the disciplinary violations in this year’s civil service examination, according to a report by China News on June 14.

The Fujian Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security, for instance, reported two candidates who had been caught red-handed using electronic equipment such as mobile phones to take photographs of test papers during the examination. They were disqualified and are now listed in the provincial database with integrity violation for five years.

At the Shaanxi Personnel Testing Center, a total of 38 candidates violated various examination regulations, including “failing to take the test at the designated seat,” “intentionally damaging the test paper or answer book”or “continuing to write after the end of an examination.”

All these 38 individuals were disqualified by the Shaanxi government from this year’s examination. If they repeated offenses in the future they would be listed in the provincial database for integrity violation.

On top of these violations, all provinces have been stepping up a crackdown on plagiarism in examinations.

Six candidates sitting the Administrative Proficiency Test at the Shaanxi test centre came up with extremely similar information in their test papers, resulting in the invalidation of their exam scores.

Another 10 candidates – four in Fujian and six in Hunan – shared the same fate after their answers were found to be identical as those given by some private professional institutions.

The most notable case occurred in Guizhou province, where more than 20 candidates were suspected of collective cheating through a crime syndicate.

Three members of the syndicate, who have been arrested by Zunyi police of Guizhou province, allegedly sold earphones, transmitters, receivers and other equipment to the candidates so  they could receive instant answers during the examination.