Ma­jor over­haul of govt au­dit­ing set

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YI zhang_yi@chi­

China’s top pol­i­cy­mak­ers is­sued a guide­line on Tues­day for build­ing up an ex­ten­sive au­dit­ing sys­tem by 2020 to fa­cil­i­tate the coun­try’s mod­ern gov­er­nance.

The doc­u­ment, jointly is­sued by the Gen­eral Of­fice of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China and the Gen­eral Of­fice of the State Coun­cil, calls for ef­fi­cient au­dit­ing mech­a­nisms to be es­tab­lished that tar­get the use of pub­lic funds and State as­sets, ex­ploita­tion of State-owned re­sources and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials’ role in eco­nomic af­fairs.

The move is in­tended to safe­guard na­tional eco­nomic se­cu­rity, re­struc­tur­ing, the rule of law and clean gov­er­nance, the doc­u­ment said. It also stressedtheim­por­tanceof the in­de­pen­dence and su­per­vi­sion of the au­dit sys­tem.

Seven prov­inces and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties were se­lected this year to pi­lot the sys­tem— Jiangsu, Zhe­jiang, Shan­dong, Guang­dong, Guizhou, Yun­nan and Chongqing.

“China has a huge, un­par­al­leled amount of State re­sources, and the size is grow­ing,” said Wang Yongjun, head of the Gov­ern­ment Bud­get Re­search Cen­ter at Cen­tral Univer­sity of Fi­nance and Eco­nomics. Au­dit­ing of State-owned re­sources should be stepped up in the wake of the lack of au­dit­ing in this area for many years.”

With­out an ef­fi­cient au­dit­ing sys­tem, it’s hard to hold gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials ac­count­able, he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice, 94 com­pa­nies af­fil­i­ated with min­istries and other cen­tral gov­ern­ment agen­cieshad­not been au­dited from 2008 toMarch this year.

Dur­ing the same pe­riod, only 57 of the 118 com­pa­nies un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the State Coun­cil andMin­istry of Fi­nance had been au­dited.

Deputy Au­di­tor Gen­eral Shi Aizhong said the over­seas in­vest­ments of State-run com­pa­nies have never been au­dited due to a lack of re­lated laws and reg­u­la­tions.

Be­cause of per­son­nel lim­i­ta­tions, the Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice could only carry out au­dits of com­pa­nies un­der the su­per­vi­sion of cen­tral gov­ern­ment de­part­ments ev­ery five years, Shi said.

Cur­rently, there are about 90,000 au­di­tors across the coun­try to mon­i­tor 3 mil­lion en­ti­ties us­ing pub­lic funds, which sug­gests that the coun­try’s au­dit­ing staff is far short of the num­ber needed to cover all the en­ti­ties that should be au­dited, said Cai Chun, a pro­fes­sor of au­dit­ing at South­west­ern Univer­sity of Fi­nance and Eco­nomics.

Un­der the newly is­sued guide­line, the cy­cle and fre­quency of au­dit­ing will be nailed down, said Guo Caiyun, di­rec­tor of the pol­icy re­search depart­ment at the Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice, adding that the of­fice will make sure to au­dit key en­ti­ties an­nu­ally.

“Of­fi­cials of lo­cal Party com­mit­tees and lead­ing of­fi­cials in lo­cal gov­ern­ments should be au­dited reg­u­larly, and they will be held ac­count­able,” Guo said.

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