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China’s NAO Detects Over $38 Billion In State Funds Misused

ChinaChina’s anti-corruption campaign is yielding significant results with massive misuse of state funds coming to light along with the identification of officials responsible for it. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been spearheading a vigorous anti-corruption campaign since taking over in 2012.

A multi-pronged approach involving both detection and prevention is being followed. Extensive investigations are being undertaken to identify corruption and in parallel, new polices and systems are being put in place to discourage corrupt behaviour.

The National Audit Office (NAO), China’s top audit body, is playing a key role in identifying misuse and corrupt officials within the Chinese government. Under the aegis of the campaign, it has so far audited 700,000 companies or institutions and retrieved over 1.7 trillion yuan. Such in-depth and impartial audits have helped in ensuring proper use of state funds and smooth implementation of projects.

At a recent conference Liu Jiayi, the head of NAO, has stated that the audit body has audited over 20,000 officials and found misused funds of more than 250 billion yuan ($38 billion).

He also mentioned it has identified and handed over 321 officials and related staff in this connection to judicial and inspection authorities.

According to Deng Lianfan, an anti-corruption expert from Hunan Province,

The top auditor has played an important role in cracking down on corruption. And the Party strengthened its anti-graft campaign in 2015 by arresting corrupt officials and punishing them

As per reports in the Chinese state news agency, in 2015 over 30 ministerial officials across 31 provinces were placed under investigation for flouting Party policies. Additional reports mention that around 145, 432 officials found in violation of the Party’s eight-point frugality campaign have been investigated.

The campaign has been expanded to many other branches of the government such as judicial bodies, regulatory agencies, militaries in addition to state-owned institutions. The country’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) has been pursuing investigations in all major state-owned enterprises since 2014. Dozens of senior officials have been probed in sectors like petrochemical, coal and telecom sectors where the state dominates, leading to a number of arrests.

Top management officials like the former chairman of China National Petroleum Corporation Zhou Jiping have been sentenced to 16 years in prison for graft. The campaign is expected to intensify in 2016 when investigations will be stepped-up in order to meet the target of covering all 280 government bodies by the end of 2017.