Auditors failing to eradicate problems to be prosecuted

(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-10-17 09:27

Chinese top auditor Li Jinhua has promised punishments for auditors if serious problems are later discovered in institutions they have audited.

Li, auditor-general of the National Audit Office (NAO), said auditors will be questioned about their performance if serious discipline violations and economic crimes are detected after the original audit.

He said all audit offices must strengthen budget management and check their accounts as "some audit institutions have shown problems in internal management, especially budget implementation and financial management."

"As to clean governance, some signs of corruption and discipline violations also exist," he said.

The NAO -- which has achieved popular acclaim for its exposure of corruption, malpractice and misspent public funds in the country's other government departments -- has been strengthening its fight against internal corruption, after one of the NAO auditors ate and drank himself to death in April at a banquet organized by the government department he was auditing.

In an effort to further strengthen its internal struggle against corruption, Liu Jiayi, deputy auditor-general of the NAO, said earlier this month that the NAO is opening itself to scrutiny by other government departments to fight corruption in its own ranks.

A joint team of officials from government finance and supervision agencies is scheduled to start annual inspections of audit departments.

Financial income and expenditure, the use of special funds and work performance of audit departments will be subject to the external inspections.

Results of the inspections will be published, said sources at the NAO.

Before the external inspection system is installed, the NAO ordered its provincial subordinates to begin self-examination and will send inspection teams to check local auditing offices from November.