Central Audit Reveals Billions in Misused Funds

By Ren Yujie, Zuo Maohong
Published: 2008-08-28

News flash

Embezzlement, poor management, and waste reached tens of billions of yuan at Chinese government agencies, state-owned companies, and other institutions in 2007 according to an audit report released on August 27.

About 10 agencies were named in the report, including the Ministry of Education, the National Bureau of Statistic, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance, which said that 29.3 billion yuan was mis-used by the central government alone in 2007.

Another 17.07 billion yuan was found misused by organizations underneath central agencies including the Ministry of Agriculture and the State Intellectual Property Office.

The budget implementation audit report was made by Liu Jiayi, Auditor General of China's National Auditor Office (CNAO), to the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress, China's parliament, on the same day.

Besides central government bodies, the report also covered funds transferred from the central to local government, allocated for railway construction projects, special appropriations, and financial intuitions and companies.

A total of 258 million yuan in disaster relief funds, which were classified as special appropriations, were found to be used for administrative costs and government buildings.

Meanwhile, the five state-owned telecommunication giants, China Mobile, China Unicom, China telecom, China Netcom and ChinaTietong, were found to have lower rates of returns on net assets than the average of all central SOEs. The report pointed out that this was due to over-investment that left idle assets.

Another 24.3 billion yuan were found to have been misused by branches of the Agricultural Bank of China due to the head office's poor supervision and management, the report said.

The China Development Bank was found to have issued 9.1 billion yuan in illegal loans and embezzled another 24.57 billion yuan, among which 5.8 billion yuan had flowed into stock and real estate markets illegally.

The bank's deputy president, Wang Yi, was detained for alleged financial crimes this June.

According to the report, the MOF and the National Development and Reform Commission, two agencies in charge of the country's financial management, failed to budget a total of 37.68 billion.