Author: Yang Sheng
Posted on: Global Times, December 21st,2016
China has rolled out a revised regulation to streamline auditing practices in the military and tighten disciplinary supervision.
All economic activity of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the armed police is subject to auditing, and officials with economic duties must also be placed under scrutiny, says the regulation which was signed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC).
Officials with a lot of financial and logistics responsibilities, those who have been considered for promotion and those who are leaving their posts should be placed under particularly close watch, it said.
Military auditing agencies with powers to investigate and penalize must hand over disciplinary and legal violation cases in the financial sector to anti-graft and prosecution authorities for further investigation.
According to the PLA Daily, the official military newspaper, implementing the new regulation will be crucial in building a modern military audit and surveillance system. The report added the regulations will improve Party construction and enhance the anti-corruption campaign within the military through a strict and effective surveillance network system.
Guo Chunfu, the Auditor General of the Audit Office of the CMC, told the PLA Daily that “since 1934, we have issued five versions of auditing regulations, the last in 2007, and because of the fast development and change of our military forces in past 10 years, we need a new auditing regulation.”
“In the past few years, during the military reform launched by Xi, we found there are many problems of corruption and many senior military officers were arrested,” Xu Guangyu, a retired PLA major general and a senior advisor of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
“These facts tell us that we have to improve the auditing and supervision system within the military to fix the problems,” Xu said.
The new regulation has 11 chapters and 77 articles, covering the audit system, audit authorization, and audit process. The new regulation requires that the Auditing Office of the Central Military Commission must report to the CMC.
Xu said in the past, auditing and supervision were conducted by low-ranking agencies under the General Logistics Department, and many senior military officers had the power and authority to make decisions without supervision on using money, and cooperated with non-military sectors, such as companies.
“Therefore, in the past, there was room for corruption to occur and auditing couldn’t find it due to a lack of authority,” Xu said.
According to the new regulations, the auditing agencies within the armed police forces will be canceled and PLA auditing agencies will be responsible for the auditing and supervision of the armed police force, with the same standards.
Unlike the PLA, the armed police deal more with non-military sectors as its duties are very different, Xu said.
“The armed police are responsible for fire control, forest protection, and so on, thus they have more connections with society and this means the chance for corruption is higher.”
Focus on ‘tigers’
Among other things, officers with massive financial and logistics responsibilities, those who have been considered for promotion and those who are leaving their posts should be placed under particularly close watch, the regulation says.
Among the nearly 50 senior officials who were probed for corruption since 2013, some were from the general logistics department or in charge of the approval of real estate-related projects. The falls of Gu Junshan, former Deputy Director of the PLA General Logistics Department from December 2009 to February 2012, and Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, were related to real estate projects they oversaw.
Military audit authorities will be authorized to check bank deposits, impose fines, publish the result of investigations and seek necessary assistance. Party and government organs are required to cooperate with military auditing units, and once authorities discover violations of Party discipline and laws, the case will be forwarded to discipline inspection and prosecutorial organs.
Song Zhongping, a military commentator, told the Global Times that “the improvement in the military auditing and supervision system can largely guarantee the defense budget will be spent correctly,” and systematically prevent the abuse, waste and corruption of the defense budget.
This is the foundation for building a modernized world-beating military force, Song said, “In addition, the new regulation will coordinate with the systemic reform of Chinese military forces, and it will reasonably distribute resources to every unit based on the new structure of military forces and conduct auditing and supervision.”