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Main Page > National Audit Office

China has a long history and brilliant civilization, and the practice of an auditing supervision as well.
According to the historical records, auditing originated as early as Western Zhou Dynasty, 3,000 years from now. Zaifu was the official position with the audit function at that time and regarded as a rudimentary form of auditing.

A royal audit court was set up in Song Dynasty in 992 A.D, which was the first time when the term of ¡°audit¡± was used to denominate a state organ.

After the Revolution of 1911 overthrew the feudal Empire, the national government established its Chamber of Audit and issued Audit Law.

There were no independent government audit institutions in the first 30-old years after the founding of the People¡¯s Republic of China. The Ministry of Finance controlled the practice of audit. Since China has adopted the reform and open policy in late 1970s¡¯, an independent audit Office is set up as the constitutional organ in promoting economic supervision.

It was in December 1982 when the 5th Plenary Session of the 5th National People¡¯s Congress adopted the resolution to practice an independent auditing and supervisory system in China, which was included in the amended Constitution. With the explicit stipulation of auditing in the Constitution of 1982, government auditing in China entered a brand new phase of historical development.

According to the Constitution and the Law of Organization of the State Council, audit institutions in China shall function within the governments at various levels and be affiliated to the executive branch of the state.As a ministry under the State Council, the National Audit Office shall be under the direct leadership of the Premier of the State Council, exercise its power of supervision through auditing independently in accordance with the law and report on audit findings to the Standing Committee of the National People¡¯s Congress. The National Audit Office shall organize and administer audit work of the whole country under the leadership of the supreme administrative head--- Auditor General who shall also be a member of the State Council.

Corresponding audit institutions shall also be established by the people¡¯s governments at and above the county levels, exercise their power of supervision through auditing independently in accordance with the law and work as functional departments of the corresponding people¡¯s governments. Their administrative heads shall also be members of the people¡¯s governments at the corresponding level.

By the end of 2009, the number of audit institutions at the provincial level has reached 31, at the municipal level 434 and at the county level 3075. There are about 83,000 government auditors in all of the country.

Local audit institutions at various levels shall be accountable and report on their work to the people¡¯s governments at the corresponding levels and to audit institutions at the next higher levels. However, under this dual leadership, their audit work should be directed mainly by audit institutions at the next higher levels.

The governments of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macau Special Administrative Region have also established audit offices in light of Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region respectively. Both of these two audit offices shall exercise their power of supervision through auditing independently in accordance with the law. There is an audit office in the province of Taiwan, too.

As of January 1, 1995, Audit Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China, a special law regulating government auditing in China, entered into force and later on October, 1997, the Implementation Rules for the Audit Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China were promulgated and taken effect.

On September 15, 1983, the inauguration ceremony of the National Audit Office of the People¡¯s Republic of China (hereafter referred to as the CNAO) convened in the Great Hall of the People. Since then, five Auditor Generals were appointed in succession. They are Mr. Yu Mingtao, Mr. Lu Peijian, Mr. Guo Zhenqian, Mr. Li Jinhua and Mr. Liu Jiayi. As the supreme audit institution of China, the CNAO has a total staff of 3535 persons working in four functional categories.

About 300 persons work in the CNAO headquarter which has 5 general services such as General Office, Law Department, Department of Personnel and Education, Department of International Cooperation and 10 audit work units. 240 persons work in the CNAO¡¯s 25 dispatched audit offices which are responsible for auditing revenues and expenditures of departments and direct subordinate undertakings of the State Council, and their Beijing-based affiliated units.

The CNAO has also established resident offices in China¡¯s 18 major cities with an authorized establishment of 2910 persons. Resident Offices of the CNAO are responsible for auditing final account of public finance at the provincial level, auditing revenues and expenditures of local branches, enterprises and undertakings of central government, auditing budgetary implementation and final accounts of state key construction projects.

The CNAO has 7 subordinate undertakings with a total staff of 175 persons. They are Logistics Service Bureau, IT Office, Audit Research Institute, Auditors¡¯ Training Center, Audit Service Center of China national audit office for Foreign Loan and Assistance Projects, China Auditing (newspaper office) and China Times Economics (publishing company). Ever since the establishment, government audit institutions in China, focusing on the central task of promoting reform and opening up and developing the national economy, have carried out a variety of audits in an all-round manner with the audit priority placed on ensuring the truthfulness and compliance of revenues and expenditures of public finance. Entities subject to audit totaled more than 140,000 in 2002, with a sharp increase over 1200 in 1983. Auditing has played a significant role in facilitating healthy development of the national economy, promoting the building of a clean government and ensuring the implementation of government financial policies and economic laws.

Over the twenty years since its establishment, the CNAO has been persisting in pushing forward the improvement of the qualification of auditors, building of audit regulatory framework and upgrade of audit measures and methodology. The Chinese audit institutions have paid utmost attention to the training of top-quality auditors with due attention being drawn on the compliance of auditors with Professional Codes of Ethic for Government Auditors which require auditors perform their duties in accordance with law, be fair and objective, seek truth from facts, be honest and clean and devoted to audit work. The CNAO has initiated the system of all-staff on-the-job training and examination for the access to audit qualification and also introduced the system of examination and appraisal for technical qualification titles of the auditing profession.

The Chinese audit institutions have also worked to strengthen the building of audit regulatory framework with the target set for standard-abiding audit. The CNAO has successively promulgated 15 auditing standards and guidelines and tried to finish the regulatory system of government auditing standards of the People¡¯s Republic of China. ¡°The Golden Audit Project¡±, an IT Development Scheme aiming at audit computerization, has been initiated by the CNAO with great importance attached to the creative application of computer, network and communication technology in audit work. The total intended investment is expected to reach 200 million RMB (nearly 24 million US Dollars) for the general target of improving the ability of government audit in the computerized environment.

Since its founding, the CNAO has established friendly and cooperative relations and maintained close exchanges in the audit field with more than 80 countries. The CNAO joined the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) in 1982 and the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) in 1984.

We shall strengthen friendly exchanges, communications and understanding with SAIs of other countries and learn from each other, and thereby jointly make contributions to the development of the cause of auditing in the whole world in 21stcentury.