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Army Auditors Given Greater Powers to Monitor Expenditure
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The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has given its auditors greater powers to check and supervise spending by military units and commanding officers.

The PLA issued a new statute on Tuesday to set up a mechanism for the review of Army units that have been audited. Under the new system, Army auditors will independently audit and review any military units and individuals that have been audited, without interference.

Army auditors can review units and individuals through site inspections, by phone, mail and e-mail. Those who refuse to be re-examined may be disciplined or prosecuted.

The new statute was jointly issued by PLA General Department of Staff, the General Political Department, the General Logistical Department and the General Equipment Department.

This year, the Army has stepped up auditing of expenditure. By 2010, the auditors will have checked 4,000 commanding officers at regimental level and higher. This year, more than 980 officers will be audited on budgetary expenditure and spending on infrastructure projects, procurement, major investments, and real estate.

The auditors are obliged to check for "scientific, democratic and lawful" spending, and for illegal activities.

The PLA set up its internal auditing departments at headquarters and regional levels in 1985, two years after the establishment of the State Auditing Administration.

From 2001 to 2004, Army auditors helped reduce military spending by 4.5 billion yuan (US$560 million).

Official statistics show 94.8 percent of officers audited abided by the law and 5.2 percent were found to have violated disciplines or law.

Under the law, commanding officers must be audited before they leave their posts. Retired Army officers can be summoned for auditing.

(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2006)

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