Officials to be liable for bad investment
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-10 05:57
Government officials and heads of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) will be held
accountable for bad investment decisions that cause huge economic losses,
China's top auditor said yesterday.
Auditor-General Li Jinhua said inspectors will conduct economic
responsibility audits on government officials and SOE chiefs, and assess the
cost-effectiveness of major infrastructure projects in order to avoid the misuse
of State funds.
"In line with the newly-amended
Audit Law, we will audit government officials and SOE managers for their
economic responsibilities during their tenure in office," he said.
Auditor-General Li Jinhua
"Meanwhile, conducting cost-effectiveness audits on major infrastructure
projects will become a very important task for us at the next stage."
The top auditor stressed the main aim of these audits is to expose problems
involving economic losses and wasted resources in huge infrastructure projects.
Li made the comments on the sidelines of the on-going annual session of the
National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.
He once warned of massive economic losses resulting from bad investment
decisions by government officials and SOE heads, saying, "wrong decision-making
is more serious than embezzlement and corruption."
In his report to the NPC Standing Committee last June, Li said auditors in a
2005 campaign discovered the illegal use of 1.6 billion yuan (US$198 million) in
10 large SOEs.
In stark contrast, economic losses caused by wrong decision-making and
mismanagement stood as high as 14.5 billion yuan (US$1.7 billion) in these
Growing calls for government officials and SOE heads to be held responsible
for bad decisions have been addressed in the newly-amended Audit Law.
Article 25 of the law, amended by the NPC Standing Committee on February 28,
and to be enacted on June 1, authorizes auditors to conduct economic
responsibility audits for the first time.