More open govt spend­ing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - — IFENG.COM

Com­ment­ing on the au­dit re­port sub­mit­ted to the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Con­gress on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of last year’s cen­tral bud­get, Premier Li Ke­qiang said at a meet­ing of the State Coun­cil, China’s Cab­i­net, on Wed­nes­day: “What this year’s au­dit has dis­cov­ered are mainly the ‘chronic prob­lems’ iden­ti­fied in pre­vi­ous years. So we should not only fo­cus ef­forts on their rec­ti­fi­ca­tion, but also try to set up a longterm mech­a­nism to avoid their re­oc­cur­rence.”

In its re­port to the top leg­is­la­ture in late June, the Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice re­vealed a se­ries of cases in­volv­ing the mis­use of funds by a num­ber of state de­part­ments. Wed­nes­day’s State Coun­cil meet­ing was aimed at pro­mot­ing bet­ter im­ple­men­ta­tion of the bud­get and ef­fec­tive en­force­ment of the coun­try’s ma­jor pol­icy mea­sures. “The govern­ment should be brave in re­veal­ing its prob­lems, but more im­por­tant, it should know how to re­solve them,” Li said.

It is usual for the Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice to pro­vide a list of the mal­prac­tices of govern­ment de­part­ments in its au­dit re­port on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pre­vi­ous year’s cen­tral bud­get and other fi­nan­cial rev­enues and ex­pen­di­tures. It sub­mits its au­dit re­port to the top leg­is­la­ture ev­ery June.

In the 2015 re­port, it sug­gested the ac­count­abil­ity sys­tem be strength­ened and a long-term su­per­vi­sory mech­a­nism be set up. How­ever, this year’s au­dit re­port in­di­cates that has not yet been done. This jus­ti­fies the premier’s vow to es­tab­lish such a mech­a­nism and in­ten­sify the crack­down on mal­prac­tices and vi­o­la­tions.

A su­per­vi­sory mech­a­nism that in­cludes peo­ple’s con­gresses at var­i­ous lev­els, the ju­di­cial or­gans, me­dia and the pub­lic should be in­tro­duced to pro­mote ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Bud­get Law and other laws and reg­u­la­tions con­cern­ing govern­ment spend­ing.

Given that abuse of power usu­ally takes place in the dark, an open and trans­par­ent bud­get sys­tem and a mod­ern fis­cal sys­tem should be set up so that power can be re­ally put inside the cage.

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