China’s top auditor Liu Jiayi said on Dec 26 that auditors will seek to include all public funds, state-owned assets and resources as well as government officials in their annual budget, fiscal revenue and expenditure reports.
Liu, head of the National Audit Office (NAO), was speaking at a joint inquiry session on a rectification report about problems found in an audit of the central government’s 2014 budget, fiscal revenue and expenditure. His comments came in response to a question raised by lawmakers over how to expand the subjects of NAO’s annual audits.
The NAO submits the reports to China’s top legislature in June every year, but it only covers 44 government departments.
Liu said innovation was key to what he called an “all-inclusive” audit, adding that auditing resources should be unified and “social services at proper levels” should be purchased in order to do so.
The Q&A-style inquiry on Dec 27 is part of a bimonthly meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, the top legislature.
This is the first time that a top legislature inquiry was held to discuss problems listed in the audit reports.
In previous years, only written reports were submitted to lawmakers. The change this year, experts say, could signal the government’s resolve to curb widespread malpractice.
In addition to local government debt, the three-hour inquiry on Dec 26 also focused on ways to fine tune government budgets, address malpractice in the lottery, and to rein in local government debt, which has ballooned since 2009.
This week’s NPC Standing Committee session runs until Dec 27. Also on Dec 26, top legislator Zhang Dejiang presided over a meeting of the chairpersons of the NPC Standing Committee.