China to audit provincial Party chiefs

08:12, June 13, 2011      

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China's auditors have planned to look into financial dealings and work performances of all provincial-level Communist Party chiefs during the upcoming five years to ensure their cleanness and accountability, sources revealed.

The plan is an attempt by the top authorities in Beijing to prevent corruption and build up efficiency of China's powerful local Party officials.

A statement from the National Audit Office's (NAO) website said over the weekend that the Central Government will carry out “economic accountability audits” of provincial Party secretaries during the 12th Five-Year Plan period from 2011 to 2015.

It showed the country's determination to combat corruption and build a clean government., and the audits are also expected to make officials follow laws, and properly use the power empowered by the people, the official Xinhua News Agency said in a report.

In 2010, China audited 36,900 officials, and found some of the audited officials were directly liable for the misuse of 24.9 billion yuan (US$3.83 billion).

As a result, 82 officials involved in irregularities were handed over to inspection authorities and judicial organs.

The accountability audits evaluate the performances of leading Party and government officials and leaders of state-owned enterprises. Such audits include how they manage and utilize public funds, national resources, state capital and social funds which fall into their jurisdiction.

Sun Baohou, auditor-in-chief at the NAO, said 180 of 200 countries and regions in the world have established audit institutions, but China is the only one that carries out economic accountability audits. Since China started economic accountability audits in the 1980s, more leaders have been subject to audits.

In May 1999, the State Council formulated provisional rules for economic accountability audits for government leaders at or below county levels and leading persons of SOEs.

The country started pilot audits of provincial level officials in 2000. As of last year, authorities had audited 53 provincial level officials, with 37 of them being audited in the past two years.

The pilot program gained experience and also laid a foundation for the extension of the audits to all provincial-level cadres, Sun said.

Also, the NAO guidelines said officials will continue to optimize the country's audit system over the next five years.

By People's Daily Online / Xinhua
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