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Man seeks financial transparency in lawsuit

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-18 07:48

A person with a hearing disability is suing the Guangzhou Disabled Persons' Federation and the Guangzhou Bureau of Finance to force both agencies to release information on how the city is spending a fund specifically designed for helping disabled people.

Li Yang, who suffers from hearing problems, submitted the lawsuit, the first of its kind in Guangdong province, on Monday because he said both agencies were not transparent in how they have managed an employment security fund.

The lawsuit was submitted to Guangzhou's Tianhe District People's Court.

Throughout China, the fund is used to help disabled people with job training, finding employment and rehabilitation. Companies and organizations, private or State-owned, are asked to donate money into the fund if they offer less than 1.5 percent of their jobs to people with disabilities.

Li, who is from Henan province and works in the Zhuhai special economic zone in Guangdong province, said he is seeking more transparency in how local governments manage the fund.

The 25-year-old said he has written 44 letters to federations for disabled people and finance bureaus in 21 cities in Guangdong province, asking them to reveal how much they have received from companies and organizations and how much they have spent from the fund from 2001 to 2012.

"The two defendants refused to reveal details," Li said.

According to laws on government disclosures of information, government departments are obligated to reveal how they manage their money.

Li said the reply from the Guangzhou Disabled Persons' Federation was not clear and contained few details.

"I want to know how the money was used in detail and whether it is used in a reasonable way or not," he said.

Attorneys for the agencies said Li is not entitled to ask the defendants to reveal expenditures from the employment security fund because Li is from Xinmi, Henan province, and not from Guangdong province. Making the information public has nothing to do with Li's life, work or scientific research, they said.

The court has yet to decide on the case.

Ge Yongxi, Li's attorney, said: "Li's requirements are reasonable. Making such data public will help bring the usage of such money under public supervision and improve the transparency of government operations."

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