Li tells au­di­tors to help curb graft

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By AN BAIJIE and ZHAO YI­NAN

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang urged au­dit agen­cies on Thurs­day to play a ma­jor role in boost­ing clean gov­er­nance and pre­vent­ing fi­nan­cial risks.

They should en­hance su­per­vi­sion of pub­lic funds, and of­fi­cials mis­us­ing or em­bez­zling funds must be se­verely pun­ished, he said.

Li made the re­marks af­ter hear­ing the an­nual re­port of the Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice, which held its yearly con­fer­ence from Dec 24 to 25.

The pre­mier told the agen­cies to keep a close eye on the con­struc­tion of gov­ern­ment build­ings. He pledged in March that the gov­ern­ment would not ap­prove any new projects for gov­ern­ment build­ings.

Li also urged au­di­tors to strengthen their vig­i­lance of the fi­nan­cial sys­tem to pre­vent po­ten­tial risks, as well as re­vi­tal­iz­ing cap­i­tal.

His com­ments fol­low credit crunches in China’s money mar­kets in June and De­cem­ber.

The money short­age last month prompted the cen­tral bank to in­ject liq­uid­ity into the mar­ket through short­term op­er­a­tions.

Ma Jun, a pro­fes­sor of pub­lic gov­er­nance at Sun Yat-sen Univer­sity in Guangzhou, said many cor­rupt of­fi­cials were ini­tially ex­posed through au­dit­ing.

Liu Ji­ayi, head of the Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice, said on Dec 27 that au­dit au­thor­i­ties found more than 970 clues to cor­rup­tion cases and trans­ferred th­ese to ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties be­tween Jan­uary and Novem­ber.

Liu told China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion in Oc­to­ber that a clue of­fered to the dis­ci­plinary watch­dog re­sulted in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Liu Zhi­jun, for­mer min­is­ter of rail­ways,

Such prob­lems should have been found dur­ing in­ter­nal au­dit. The fact that they got away from au­di­tors shows loop­holes in the sys­tem.” MEI XING­BAO AN EX­TER­NAL SU­PER­VI­SOR FOR THE BANK OF CHINA

who was later sen­tenced to death with a two- year re­prieve for bribery and abuse of power.

Mei Xing­bao, an ex­ter­nal su­per­vi­sor for the Bank of China, said au­dit­ing, in­clud­ing au­dits of fi­nances and ef­fi­ciency, can de­tect po­ten­tial fi­nan­cial risks at an early stage and help banks to pre­vent losses.

Mei said one cause of last year’s money short­age was that many com­mer­cial banks failed to spot the risks of prob­lem­atic loans amid rapid credit ex­pan­sion.

“Such prob­lems should have been found dur­ing in­ter­nal au­dit. The fact that they got away from au­di­tors shows loop­holes in the sys­tem.

“Al­though au­dit­ing is not the fun­da­men­tal method to erase such con­cerns, it of­fers a chance for fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion be­fore mis­takes be­gin to snow­ball,” he said.

Late last month, the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences said some lo­cal gov­ern­ments have in­ter­fered with au­dit­ing work, af­fect­ing the authen­tic­ity of au­dit re­sults. Hou Liqiang con­trib­uted to this story. Con­tact the writ­ers at an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn and zhaoy­i­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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