Report: Chinese Auditors To Take Corruption Fight Almost to The Top
China's chief auditor plans to carry his fight against corruption almost to the top of the country's political system, state media reported on Sunday.
Li Jinhua, auditor-general of China's National Audit Office, said next year the leaders of one or two provinces and one or two departments under the state council (cabinet) will be probed for possible mishandling of public funds, the China Daily Business Weekly reported.
"Corruption thrives under a lack of efficient supervision," the paper said, quoting an unnamed state council official.
Two years from now, the audit office expects to be auditing all government and party leaders above county level, according to the paper.
The government is under increasing pressure to keep track of officials' use of public money as dissatisfaction with corruption and other fiscal wrongdoing is large and growing.
Auditors have looked into the accounts of 85 percent of all government agencies at county level and below, and earlier this year the National Audit Office investigated China's four largest state banks, the paper said.
According to earlier official reports, the auditing led to the discovery of misuse of funds at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Construction Bank of China, causing losses worth more than 10 billion yuan (1.2 billion dollars).
Since an audit campaign was initiated in 1998, a total of 42,000 party and government leaders, along with 15,000 leaders of enterprises, have been audited.
Despite the large number of individuals covered in the campaign, only 200 were fired from their jobs, and 470 admonished or punished, according to the paper -- BEIJING (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)