China to Crack Down on Statistic Fraud

China is to wage a nation-wide inspection next year against fraud by local officials who distort statistics for political gain, official sources said Wednesday, December 27.

According to a national meeting of the directors of the statistic bureaus held in Beijing from Tuesday to Thursday, the nation-wide inspection of the enforcement of Statistics Law will focus on the activities of local officials who use their power to intervene in the operation of the statistics system.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and relevant departments of the central government will pay special attention to the illegal conduct of obtaining political status, honor and economic returns by providing misleading statistics.

At the same time, the country will wage an educational campaign to promote awareness of the Statistics Law among the people.

China amended The Detailed Regulation for the Implementation of the Statistics Law this year, stipulating that government officials involved in the production of misleading statistics will be punished.

In order to ensure the accuracy of official statistics, the NBS has begun to adopt sampling methods in 1999, instead of relying on reports by local governments. The NBS collected data directly from the 5,000 biggest industrial enterprises and 3,000 real estate companies in the country this year so as to avoid intervention of local governments.

The World Bank has accepted the official GDP figures of China as an accurate indicator of the economy since 1999. China's official statistics have also been recognized by the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.

Director of NBS Zhu Zhixin said that the NBS will continue to spread the use of sampling and establish a new set of calculation methods for industrial and agricultural growth next year. At the same time, China will use information technology and the Internet to collect data.

Zhu said that China will overhaul the system of economic and social development indicators next year, adding new indicators of the market economy. The NBS will adopt statistics on the research and development sector and hi-tech industries, improve the sampling method of urban and rural households and prepare to adopt indicators of the quality of life and social security.

(People's Daily 12/28/2000)

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