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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Red Cross goes public in hiring auditors

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

09:31, March 14, 2012

The Red Cross Society of China is publicly soliciting bids for auditing services for the first time, in order to enhance openness and transparency.

The society is still struggling to recover its public image after a young woman claiming to be one of its officials bragged about her lavish lifestyle last year.

"The latest move to publicly purchase auditing services is actually among a series of measures to improve the charity's transparency and better meet public demand for information," said Wang Rupeng, secretary-general of the organization.

According to a media release, the charity will select five auditing firms to provide auditing services for three years.

The bidding is open to the top 100 auditing firms recognized by the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the release said.

Wang said the society had previously invited certain auditing firms directly, which could give rise to corruption and nepotism.

Wang also revealed that the society was building an online information platform to connect the society and its local branches.

Information like donations and distribution details will be publicized via the platform to facilitate public supervision, he said.

In June, the society came under fire after Guo Meimei, who claimed to be an official of the society, bragged about her lavish lifestyle on Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.

Her actions provoked the ire of Internet users who suspected that she might have paid for her extravagant purchases by embezzling money from the society.

During the ongoing two sessions, improving the transparency of charities has been hotly discussed by legislators and political advisers.

Wang Ming, a CPPCC member, called for specific and detailed regulations to ensure transparency.

Key information about administration, finances, staff payroll, donations and distribution, cooperation with enterprises and international collaboration should be publicized in a candid and timely manner, he said.

"Also, independent third-party institutions should be introduced to supervise, evaluate and inquire when necessary about the charity and the work it has done," he added.

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