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Audit law revised to tighten official supervision
Updated: 2005-10-23 11:14

China is amending its audit law to strengthen supervision over leading officials by enlarging the scope of audit and diversifying audit means.

The draft amendment to the audit law was first read at the 18thsession of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), which began on Saturday.

Li Jinhua, China's top auditor, told lawmakers at the meeting that a new clause has been written into the draft amendment. It reads that audit organs are entitled to audit leading officials of government departments, state-own enterprises and state-holding companies and financial institutions concerning their performance in fulfilling their duty in financial and related economic activities during their tenure.

To guarantee the independence of the audit organs and the authenticity of the audit report, the draft amendment adds a new clause to the audit law, which says that the appointment and dismissal of chief auditors of audit organs at or above the county level shall be endorsed by audit organs at their immediate higher level, rather than the local governments, said Li.

To enlarge the scope of audit, the draft amendment suggests a change of those subject to audit from "state financial institutions" as stipulated in Clause 18 of the existing audit law to "state financial institutions or state-holding financial institutions".

Another change is from "state construction projects" to "construction projects with investment mainly from the government or state-owned enterprises."

To intensify audit, the draft amendment requires that those subject to audit shall provide electronic balance sheet and their accounts in banks to the audit organs along with other necessary materials.

The audit organs are also entitled to require the leading officials of the organizations being audited to sign a written confirmation of the authenticity of the documents they provide.

The draft amendment says the audit organs are entitled to check the bank accounts of the organizations subject to audit, as long as they are approved by chief auditors at the county level or above.

To promote close cooperation between the audit organs and other government organs, the draft amendment suggests that the audit organs shall be entitled to ask public security, supervision, finance, taxation, price and administrative organs as well as the customs for help in carrying out auditing.

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