Source AP ©

Chinese government agencies rise extra cash

Call it creative fundraising.

China's government ministries and agencies have concocted myriad ways to take in extra cash, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Audit Office.

The title, "Report of Audit Results," scarcely does justice to its contents.

A copy of the report posted on the audit office's Web site outlines numerous ingenious ways that state agencies allegedly have used to raise extra cash. The report does not indicate whether the practices are actually illegal.

But the auditors took the National Development and Reform Commission, China's economic planning agency, and other government departments to task for charging companies for politically useful "endorsements" or sponsorships. Such charges by the NDRC alone amounted to 13.4 million yuan (US$1.8 million; EUR1.3 million) in 2006, the audit agency's report said.

The agency accused the Foreign Ministry of charging 62 million yuan (US$8.2 million; EUR5.9 million) in excess fees for visas, noting that the average amount charged was twice the cost.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission was singled out for alleged misuse of 51.9 million yuan (US$6.9 million; EUR5 million) in project funds, while the Public Security Bureau, or police, misused 6.3 million yuan (US$837,000; EUR604,000) in public funds, the report said.

Many of the abuses reported involved misuse of funds or failure to report funds raised.

The audits were carried out in the first three months of 2007.

China's audit office regularly reports huge losses due to corruption and other abuses by government offices and state-run companies

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