The nation's top auditor said Wednesday that embezzled or misappropriated
central government funds cost taxpayers nearly 7 billion yuan ($919 million)
last year, while more than 37 billion yuan ($4.86 billion) was poorly managed.
In his annual audit report to the country's top legislature, Auditor-General
Li Jinhua accused 56 central government departments of misappropriating 1.52
billion yuan ($200 million); and 434 subordinate units of 5.35 billion yuan
Li said the National Audit Office (NAO) had also found "managerial
irregularities" involving 37.28 billion yuan ($4.9 billion) in central budgetary
Another 2.73 billion yuan ($360 million) was squandered or wasted, he said
while reporting to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
Eleven central departments were named as violators, including the ministries
of education, health, the State Environmental Protection Administration, the
General Administration of Press and Publication, the State Tobacco Monopoly
Administration and the State Information Center.
In particular, 92 subordinate agencies of 25 central departments including
the Ministry of Culture and the National Development and Reform Commission, were
blamed for misappropriating 2.75 billion yuan ($361 million), accounting for 40
percent of the total misused money.
Figures released yesterday show that 28 officials have been detained in cases
relating to last year.
For problems reported last June, 177 people have been penalized and 94
arrested, prosecuted or sentenced.
Misused State funds in 2004 and 2005 were 9.06 billion yuan ($1.18 billion)
and 5.51 billion yuan ($720 million), according to the NAO.
Probes in 29 provinces revealed a total of 7.1 billion yuan ($930 million) of
misappropriated social securities funds.
Li said central government departments have become more adept at handling
budgets, but more reform measures are needed to better manage budgetary
It is also necessary to better manage and supervise the social security
funds, he noted.
Li has made a name for his courage to air the government's dirty laundry in
public. Every summer since 1999, his audience has been eagerly awaiting the
"audit storm" when he reports to the legislature.
Major audit rule violations
The Ministry of Finance failed to return 17.4 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) of
untapped project funds to the central budget.
19 central departments, including the Ministry of Education and the State
Tobacco Monopoly Administration, were involved in budgetary irregularities worth
19 billion yuan ($2.5 billion).
33 departments, including the South-to-North Water Diversion Office and the
General Administration of Customs, misappropriated 859 million yuan ($113
15 departments, including the All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing
Cooperatives and the Press and Publication Administration, misappropriated 394
million yuan ($51.7 million) by hiding revenue or fabricating expenditure.
92 agencies under 25 central departments, including the Ministry of Culture
and the State Development and Reform Commission, misappropriated 2.75 billion
yuan ($361 million).
50 agencies under 13 departments, such as the Ministry of Water Resources,
were involved in improper investment of 2.28 billion yuan ($300 million).
Five agencies under four departments, including the General Administration of
Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Information Industry, misused 1.74 billion
yuan ($228 million) by inflating budgets.
33 agencies under 23 departments, including the Ministry of Labour and Social
Security and the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, illegally made 591
million yuan ($78 million) by hiding income or fabricating