China's Red Cross responds to luxury feast scandal

08:19, April 20, 2011      

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The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) promised on Tuesday to enhance transparency by setting up a platform to release information and close loopholes in its financial management system after a luxury feast scandal in its local division aroused a public outcry.

The organization's secretary general, Wang Rupeng, said on Tuesday that the incident "seriously violated relevant regulations and smeared the image of the RCSC."

A netizen posted a dining invoice for the Red Cross office in Shanghai's Luwan district on a microblogging site on April 15. The invoice showed that the total cost of the dinner was 9,859 yuan ($1,509), sparking widespread public concern about abuse of donations.

According to the investigation by Shanghai's Red Cross division, payment for the dinner came from administrative, instead of donated funds, but the hefty cost of the dinner for 17 people far exceeded the set standard of 150 yuan per person.

Further, the excessive expenses of 7,309 yuan have been refunded, the local division said.

Wang added that the RCSC would tighten regulations on the management and use of administrative and donated funds and publicize information on use of donations, funded projects, and project progress in a timely manner to enable more effective supervision by the public.

"Using donated funds on public affairs and spending administrative funds in excess of the set standard are strictly prohibited," he said, vowing severe punishment for violators.

Source: Xinhua
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