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A monitor of taxpayers
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The supervision of budgetary enforcement could be more effective if it is open to all taxpayers, say an article in Oriental Morning Post. The following is an excerpt:

The "online supervision of budgetary enforcement" by the Standing Committee of the People's Congress in Sichuan Province has gained much attention by scholars lately. Starting from August 2005, the local standing committee has linked up with the provincial finance department so that the congress can have access to the payment system to check funds allocated to all departments.

A total of 73.46 million yuan ($9.67 million) in budgetary funds was found to have been improperly used between June and October this year. Such a check has enhanced supervision by the people's congress.

The online supervision has changed the way budgetary enforcement is monitored. It is now possible to discover and rectify inappropriate use of public money immediately.

A further step can be taken to enhance the online supervision. There should be a link not only between the financial department and the people's congress but also between the financial department and taxpayers. All taxpayers should be allowed to conduct supervision of public finances through the Internet.

With the Internet, the restriction of time as well as costs can be removed. The Internet has provided technical support to realize this.

Taxpayers are the source of public money. And the combined force of the public and the people's congress can be more powerful than that of limited number of deputies. Budgetary supervision by all taxpayers can be the most effective and best way to prevent corruption.

(China Daily December 4, 2007)

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