A thorough investigation has been ordered into government buildings
constructed after 2005 and those under development after a recent scandal in
which more than 20 officials were punished for constructing lavish official
A government office building in
Puyang, Henan Province in this undated file photo. The county is one of
the poverty-stricken counties in the country.
The Central Commission of Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party
of China Central Committee said the purpose of the probe was to ascertain if
government buildings are excessive in terms of size, decor or facilities.
The government has set a limit of 4,000 yuan ($512) per square meter for the
construction of ministerial level buildings.
The investigation will also target projects for which bank loans were
obtained, money collected unofficially, donations sought illegally or funds
misused, the CCDI said.
Local governments have until June 20 to report on buildings that contravene
the regulations although the CCDI did not say whether officials would be treated
leniently if they came forward voluntarily.
The central government issued a circular last month in response to public
discontent, reiterating the ban on construction of wasteful and extravagant
official buildings, including hotels and entertainment centers.
If the constructions violate government rules, they could be put up for
auction, according to the circular.
Last week, the CCDI announced a list of officials in the country's
less-developed inland provinces who had been sacked or demoted for wasting funds
on the construction of lavish government buildings.
The government of Puyang County in Central China's Henan Province spent 32.84
million yuan ($4.21 million) on a new office building between 2002 and 2004, far
exceeding the budget of 9.75 million yuan ($1.3 million).
County officials were found to have misappropriated 7.7 million yuan ($1
million) of pension funds and subsidies for laid-off workers; and collected 1.06
million yuan ($136,500) of unauthorized funds from subordinate units to make up
for the extra spending.
In another case, the grain bureau of Shanxi Province misappropriated national
grain reserve funds of 1.5 million yuan ($193,200) to construct a
6.9-million-yuan ($889,000) hotel project at a famous scenic spot in the