Government-by-Government Assessments: People's Republic of China
During the review period, the government made its enacted budget and end-of-year report accessible to the public, including online, but it did not publish an executive budget proposal before enacting the budget. Information on debt obligations was publicly available but was not always complete or updated. Budget documents did not identify financial allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises. Not all major state-owned enterprises had publicly available audited financial statements and they did not disclose their debt holdings. The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence but reviewed the government’s accounts and made audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period. The government specified in law or regulation and appeared to follow in practice the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available. The sovereign wealth fund had a sound legal framework and disclosed its sources of funding, but not its general approach to withdrawals.
The People’s Republic of China’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:
- Publishing executive budget proposals ahead of the budget’s enactment;
- Providing timely and complete information on debt obligations;
- Detailing debt holdings as well as financial allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in the budget or other public documents;
- Publishing audit reports for major state-owned enterprises;
- Establishing an independent supreme audit institution that meets international standards of independence; and
- Disclosing the sovereign wealth fund’s general approach to withdrawals.