Hundreds punished amid audit storm

Nearly 600 people had been punished for being involved in irregularities disclosed by the State Audit Office three months ago, the office said on its Web site Thursday.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank punished 368 people, with 52 people being fired. At least four people were transferred to legal authorities.

The provinces along the Huaihe River in Central China imposed disciplinary punishments on 202 people involved in misappropriating relief money for flood victims. Investigations show that nine of the 14 flood-stricken counties in the Huaihe River Valley grafted 136 million yuan (US$16 million) from the disaster relief fund.

The Ministry of Water Resources transferred 21 people who allegedly cheated on the Yangtze embankment projects to the judicial departments for investigations.

Education authorities in Huazhou City and Zhanjiang City in Guangdong Province had imposed ¡°disciplinary punishment¡± on more than 10 people who embezzled education funds. The former director of the Huazhou Municipal Education Bureau was fired. The former director of the Wujiang education bureau in Zhanjiang was fired. Two people thought to be directly responsible were under criminal investigation.

The State Power Co. vowed to improve management after the auditors said wrong decisions by management caused huge losses for the firm.

China¡¯s Auditor-General Li Jinhua has said 1.4 billion yuan (US$170 million) had been misused in the 2003 budget after completion of the audit of 55 ministries and commissions under the State Council.

Source: Shenzhen Daily

People's Daily Online ---