BEIJING, June 24 -- China's National Audit Office (NAO) Tuesday reported management loopholes and malpractice concerning receptions, vehicles and overseas trips.
The audit report on the implementation of the central budget was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, at its ongoing bi-monthly session.
After having audited 38 central government departments and 389 institutions attached to them, the NAO found that management of expenses on receptions, vehicles and trips are not strict enough, though the expenses dropped about 22.93 percent in 2013 from the previous year.
The NAO report said about 149 visiting groups sent by seven departments and nine subsidiary institutions to foreign countries changed their approved itineraries and extended their stay abroad.
The NAO named several departments in its report. For instance, a group of officials with the China Geological Survey spent three days in Las Vegas during their trip in North America in January 2013 and reported that they were working in Canada.
Also, 14 departments and 56 subsidiary institutions had spent 32.98 million yuan on overseas trips that was not budgeted or in line with protocols.
Receptions, public vehicles and overseas trips are the perennial subject of public concern about excess and unregulated spending. These three areas have also been the target of a nationwide campaign against extravagance since late 2012.
According to a State Council report on central government final accounts for 2013, also reviewed by lawmakers Tuesday, central government spent 7.02 billion yuan (1.14 billion US dollars) on reception, public vehicles and overseas trips, 954 million less than the budgeted figure, and 410 million yuan less than the figure of 2012.
Lou Jiwei, minister of finance, told lawmakers that fewer overseas trips, stricter management of public vehicles and receptions led to the reduction.
The central government spent 1.66 billion yuan on overseas trips in 2013, still 473 million yuan less than the budgeted figure.
The expenses on public vehicles stood at 4.2 billion, 199 million yuan less than the budget figure, while the figure of receptions was 1.15 billion yuan, 282 million yuan less.