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Amended Audit Law Adopted
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The revised Audit Law, which was adopted Tuesday the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, requires the government officials to be audited during his or her tenure to ensure efficient use of public funds and prevent corruption.

The amendment to Audit Law was unanimously adopted with 166 votes in favor at the 20th session of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People' Congress (NPC), which lasted from last Saturday to Tuesday.

The revised Audit Law added a new clause, saying auditor are entitled to audit leading officials of departments under the central government and leading officials in local governments.

Zhang Chengqi, NPC deputy and director of the Audit Department of Hebei Province, said in a Xinhua interview that auditing the financial statements of officials is conducive to governing by law and prevents graft taking.

"The audits will help prevent officials from spending public funds to blindly pursue his or her personal achievements in political affairs and will stem extravagance," said Zhang.

The revised law also said Chinese auditors are entitled to request organizations provide electronic account balances and ensure the integrity and authenticity of the financial statements, in a bid to effectively supervise audit organizations and prevent the concealment of important financial information.

Zhang said some units and organizations were good at cheating auditors, for example, some units designed special computer programs to make fake financial statements.

"Allowing auditors to ask the audited organizations to provide true records of their electronic accounts will prevent computer-based cheating," said Zhang.

If auditors ever receive reports that an official has public funds in a personal bank account, auditors will be entitled to launch an investigate with only the approval of leading officials at the county-level or above, according to the revised law.

The revised Audit Law will go into effect on June 1, 2006.

(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2006)

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