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Red Cross faces more supervision

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-23 08:28

Draft amendment calls for charity to tell donors how money is spent

Red Cross societies and their staff members will be held accountable if they do not provide donors with feedback-on how their money was spent, according to a draft revision to the Red Cross Society Law.

The draft amendment was brought up for a third discussion at the ongoing bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, China's top legislature, on Wednesday.

The article to punish Red Cross societies and workers who do not provide donors with feedback has been added to the draft for the first time.

Liabilities of the societies have been highlighted and clarified since the draft was submitted for the first two discussions in June and October respectively.

"We want to clarify the specific responsibilities of the societies and aim to improve their credibility by increasing supervision and internal control," said Zhang Mingqi, vice-chairman of the NPC's Law Committee.

The draft stipulates that the societies and their employees will also face punishment if they spent money on projects against a donor's wishes, embezzle funds, or privately divide or hide donations.

The draft amendment has received wide attention since its first reading, as the public is eager to know where their donations go and how they are used.

Responding to public concerns, the societies have been asked in the draft amendment to improve transparency and supervision.

For example, the societies are ordered to regularly publicize information about donations they receive and how they are spent, according to the draft.

Meanwhile, they should establish a system for financial management, internal control and public auditing as well as supervision and examination of their funds and assets, the draft states.

Independent third-party agencies should be hired to audit the sources and use of donated money and materials, and the results should be reported to the board of directors of Red Cross societies, it adds.

Wu Xiaoling, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, agreed to clarifying liabilities of the societies in the draft, "as they are major organizers of charity in our country and also an important bridge through which we contact the world".

"It's necessary to clearly state an exact time limit for the societies to disclose their auditing report to the public," said Li Dajin, an NPC deputy.

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