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Auditing to target wasting of resources
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-03 06:35

Better auditing systems will be introduced in China to try to reduce the wasting of resources, said top auditor Li Jinhua.

Although many audited projects were legal, he said, they did not produce the expected sound economic returns and social benefits and even resulted in a waste of resources, which wasn't found out during auditing.

"Economic losses like this are really as serious a problem as embezzlement and corruption," said Li.

Observers say improving auditing to prevent wastage is important as China needs to use its limited resources wisely to back up its fast economic growth.

Li admitted strict auditing had improved the way budgets had been spent by government departments in recent years. After auditing 40 departments in the central government, auditors concluded that the number of cases involving irregularities was going down and budget management was improving, said Li.

"How to save resources and achieve the best possible results for the least cost and least use of resources is the important task facing us," added Li, who is auditor-general of the National Audit Office, speaking during a recent interview with Xinhua.

Auditors will evaluate how resources are used and the results of projects, and then put forward suggestions for the government to deal with problems found during the auditing process, said Li.

Li said his office will intensify efforts to audit the cost-effectiveness of projects. However, he said, auditors just investigate and make suggestions; "it's up to policy-makers to decide whether suggestions or proposals are feasible."

Li said he believed auditors will win understanding and support from those being audited.

Li has been called a "national hero" after leading his colleagues during the auditing of major projects including the Three Gorges Project and public reserve housing funds.

(China Daily 01/03/2006 page2)

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