The State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SAOCH) has appeared on a list of "wrong-doers to be punished" released Friday by Beijing environmental protection authorities.
It is rare in China for a central government department like the SAOCH, a vice-ministry-level unit under the State Council, China's cabinet, to be criticized publicly.
The administration was among 114 violators discovered by the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau in a week of intensive checks on practices that may harm the city's air quality.
One SAOCH canteen was blamed for refusing checks on its treatment of kitchen fumes, one of the "unsavory elements" said to contribute to the capital's PM 2.5 particles, said the bureau.
The bureau received reports of the canteen discharging unprocessed fumes and causing excessive noise, and sent an inspection team there on June 4.
A bureau staff member said the inspectors were refused entry and had to wait for more than two hours outside the canteen. Their requests to inspect the premises went unanswered.
"We merely want to check if the accusation is true and give our suggestions to fix it," said the staff member, who declined to reveal the exact penalty handed to the administration.
More than 1,300 restaurants, automobile factories, garages and construction sites were checked, and the violators have paid total fines of 2.45 million yuan (394,450 U.S. dollars).
According to the bureau, other violators will be punished for practices such as "not installing or using air quality control facilities," "making excessive noise" and "leaving coal piles uncovered."
Beijing launched a five-month campaign in June in its fight against air pollution and lingering smog.
The campaign will focus on emissions from industrial chimneys, casting factories, printing houses and chemical, furniture, medicine, industrial coating and automobile plants.
The municipal government also vowed to step up efforts to supervise open-air barbecues and restaurants and construction sites.
According to an action plan unveiled in 2013, inhalable particulates will be cut by at least 10 percent in major cities nationwide by 2017. In Beijing and surrounding areas, PM 2.5 should fall by about 25 percent from 2012 levels by 2017.