China's top auditor has pledged to continue publicizing audit results from
government departments, particularly those of the central government, in a
continuous push to regulate and enhance transparency of government spending.
"Fiscal revenue comes mainly from taxpayers. There should be an explanation
to the taxpayers of how the money is spent," Li Jinhua, auditor-general of the
National Audit Office (NAO), said Tuesday at a meeting in Beijing of fiscal
chiefs of central government departments.
"The only way to explain this is to publish audit results, except information
involving state secrets," said Li, who has become a national icon for starting a
crusade against irregularities in government spending, a major concern of the
The NAO has identified 14.6 billion yuan (US$1.85 billion) of funds misused
by central government departments over the last two years.
The irregularities included the National Development and Reform Commission
using public money to build houses for its staff and the Ministry of Education
investing in unlicensed projects.
Li said in many countries details of national budgets were available in
bookstores. They showed how much money was allocated to every department and for
He said the office would again name central government departments with
fiscal transgressions in a report to a national legislature session next year.
This appeared to quash speculation that the office will stop mentioning names
for fear of offending too many people.
The office had focused on irregularities in central government department
budgets because of the example they set, said Li.
The practice of announcing the irregularities, known as an "audit storm", has
proved effective in promoting image-conscious government departments to mend
However, Li said government departments would be given more than a month to
conduct self-examinations before this year's audit.