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December 29, 2009

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Auditors reveal cases of misuse

CHINA'S state auditors found a whopping 234.7 billion yuan (US$34.36 billion) in public funds misused between January and November.

Judicial and disciplinary authorities were informed of 863 alerts and suspected cases that involved 1,068 people, China's chief auditor Liu Jiayi said yesterday at a Beijing overview conference that also outlined tasks for 2010.

Most of the irregularities were plots or collaborations by officials and were often linked to bank-loan distributions, bill discounting, securities, land and mining rights assignments and the transference of the ownership of state assets, Liu said.

Nearly 100,000 work units nationwide were audited between January and November, which led to the discovery of 16.3 billion yuan of unnecessary losses but also to savings of 52.1 billion for the national treasury, he said.

Liu said state auditors would further scrutinize officials' performance in financial management next year.

Officials should be personally responsible for the bottom line during their tenures.

During this year's checking of the books between January and November, auditors also focused on more than 20,000 senior officials' performances in economic activities, including 14 ministers or provincial officials and senior executives of 12 state-owned enterprises directly under the central government.

Sixty-seven top officials and 164 others in this section of the audit were referred to judicial or disciplinary authorities while about 10.7 billion yuan in public funds was found to be misused because of dereliction of duty or malpractice.

State auditors tracked down major public-funded projects including construction in the aftermath of the May 12 earthquake, the Shanghai-Beijing high-speed railway and the second phase of the west-east gas pipeline.

Attention was paid to local governments' debt, the management of financial institutions, the security of state-owned assets and risks for medium and small enterprises, investment on projects for people's well-being and the protection of natural resources and the environment.


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