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4,000 PLA Officers Set for Audit by End of 2010
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China will audit more than 4,000 military officers during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) to ensure the efficient use of military expenses, a senior military officer said.

Among these officers, more than 100 will be army commanders or above, said Liao Xilong, a member of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China.

"We will make it our priority to audit those taking charge of military expenses, officers whom people complain about, those likely to be promoted and those set to retire," said Liao, who is also the director of the General Logistics Department of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

"We will apply the audit results to the evaluation of the military officers."

China will strengthen its auditing of projects relating to armaments and military expenditures to improve its management of the army and the anti-corruption and Party building drives, Liao said.

Starting from last year, China began to audit all military officers with the rank of lieutenant colonel or higher who are in charge of army finance work, according to a regulation issued by the PLA in 2004. The rule requires senior military officers be audited when they have held a post for two years, are a candidate to leave the post or are being evaluated.

The audits will cover annual budgets, accounting work, revenue, expenses, assets and debts.

The audit work has succeeded in standardizing and raising the efficiency of military expenditures, the PLA said.

During the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-2005) period, the country audited 77,000 military institutions and projects and 7,890 military officers, bringing about direct economic benefits worth 6.8 billion yuan (US$840 million).

Key projects, such as the aid the Chinese army provided to countries suffering from the Indian Ocean tsunami and expenditures on the joint military drill with Russia, have all been audited.

In the next five years, the PLA audit office will also improve auditing of engineering projects and stored materials for preparedness against war and equipment auditing.

The Chinese PLA Audit Office will review all large engineering projects with investment above 100 million yuan (US$12.3 million) while leaving smaller projects to audit departments of military area commands across the country and various military forces.

China practises a State-wide ordering system to guarantee the procurement and provision of weapons, equipment and military materials. The General Armaments Department is responsible for procuring weaponry and equipment, and the General Logistics Department is in charge of procuring military materials. According to the white paper on China's national defence in 2004, the management of China's defence funds has become more transparent and standardized.

(China Daily February 1, 2006)

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