How far is sunshine finance from us?

  Although Sunshine Finance is an old problem that has no new ideas, in the past year, this old problem that has been delayed cannot be solved again because of the new situation, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

  In the report on the implementation of the review opinion submitted by the State Council to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress a few days ago, it was proposed that the central department’s budget will be open to the public, and that after two or three years of efforts, all central department budgets will be made public.

  At the beginning of last year, due to the use of 4 trillion huge investment, the transparency of information and the voice of the public to monitor the flow of funds, Sunshine Finance became the hottest issue of the “two sessions.” At the end of last year, the Guangzhou Municipal Finance Bureau put all the financial budgets of the 114 government departments of Guangzhou in 2009 on the Guangzhou Finance Network. This is the first time that the mainland government has disclosed all the financial budgets on the Internet for the first time. “Frenzy” attention. Before the budget was published, the Guangzhou Finance Network had only about 1,000 hits per day. After the public, the click rate increased by 40 times. The Guangzhou Financial Network was even embarrassed because it could not afford the download traffic. The concern of the society is so high that it just proves that the government’s existing public information about the budget is not enough.

  The qualitative change that is difficult to complete

  Why does the publicity of Guangzhou’s fiscal budget cause such concern? Because the Chinese public has always lacked the right to know about fiscal expenditure.

  In recent years, there has been some progress in the disclosure of financial information, and the state has made some efforts in this regard. For example, the monthly implementation of basic data on the fiscal revenue and expenditure of the countries that are of great concern to all sectors of society has been open for three years. Now, the system has been formed to disclose the data of the previous month to the public around the 15th of each month. The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission announced the financial data of more than 100 central enterprises. The social security department has proposed to announce the operation of social security. However, these are only partial changes in quantity, and the overall situation of financial information disclosure is still not ideal.

  Jiang Hong, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and a professor of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, has been a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference for two years. He conducted a survey on the transparency of financial information in various provinces in China for two consecutive years. The results were shocking. Every time, he and his project team applied a well-designed questionnaire with 113 basic financial information to the provincial government information disclosure office and the finance department in accordance with the provisions of the “Government Information Disclosure Regulations”. Website and publication search to collect financial information.

  The survey results show that in 2008, the average amount of information available to the public in the 113 basic financial information set by the Institute was 22, which was only about one-fifth of the information surveyed. That is to say, if 100 is divided into perfect scores, from the perspective of citizens, in 2009, provincial fiscal transparency was only passed by Fujian Province, with a score of only 62.7 points, the lowest province with less than 15 points, and 31 provincial finances in China. The average transparency score is only 22 points. Moreover, all financial information related to details is basically unavailable.

  It should be noted that the assessment adopts a very low-demanding evaluation standard. The investigation only examines whether financial information can be obtained, does not consider the normativeness, authenticity and timeliness of such information, and does not involve too much. Information details. In other words, even if measured by the minimum standards, China’s fiscal transparency is at a very low level.

  Unclear financial information and lack of transparency are urgent issues to be solved in current financial management. The “Regulations on the Disclosure of Government Information Disclosure” implemented in May 2008 and the “Guiding Opinions on Further Promoting the Information Disclosure of the Budget” issued by the Ministry of Finance in September 2008 require local governments to disclose information, especially to increase finances. Active disclosure of budget information. This has created certain conditions for the disclosure of financial information. But so far, apart from individual regions and departments, most places still use the “state secrets” as a reason to “disregard” the requirements of the public to open local government budgets. There is still a long way to go to protect the people’s right to know.

  “Sunshine Finance” is a public finance supervision system. It requires the government’s fiscal expenditure as an important tool for the public to be placed in an open and transparent sunshine, so that all the public can understand and participate in government finance. The preparation and decision-making process has the opportunity to express their opinions and preferences and have the power to monitor the use of government funds.

  Before being a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Jiang Hong had been a representative of the Shanghai People’s Congress for 10 years. For the entire 12 years, he has been drumming for the sunshine. “I personally feel that although the financial information disclosure has been improving over the years, China still has a long way to go from the Sunshine Finance. For example, although the Ministry of Finance announced the data in March 2009, it is still a relatively thick line. The data, for the people, only grasp these figures can not be effectively supervised. Further announcement of more detailed information can play a role. Guangzhou is only a point, we are now conducting provincial-level investigations, we follow the same this year We will conduct a survey to see if there is any progress. In April and May this year, we will announce the transparency rankings of the 31 provinces last year. The results have not yet come out, and some provinces have made progress, but some provinces have regressed. Guangzhou can only represent one point. As far as the general level at the provincial level is concerned, there is still a long way to go before the level of fiscal transparency achieved by Guangzhou.” The
  
  lack of supervision of budgetary

  financial information is poor, and transparency is not enough. The public has basically lost the right to supervise the finances. The public does not know how every dollar of finance is spent, and there is no clear channel to question the budget and get a satisfactory answer. It can be said that there are great arbitrariness in everything from budget preparation, budget revenue storage, budget expenditure and budget supervision. The lack of public supervision of the finance has enabled the governments and departments at all levels to have considerable independent financial power, which has caused a lot of waste of funds and led to corruption.

  Through the auditing situation announced by the National Audit Office in recent years, it is not difficult to find that there are many problems in China’s fiscal revenue and expenditure, tax collection and management, and the problem of budget irregularity is universal. A considerable number of departments directly draw and embezzle public financial funds in the implementation of the budget, mainly including false reimbursement, fraudulent use, and withdrawal of funds. They are not managed according to the income and expenditure, and public funds (including extra-account deposits and public funds transfers). , public housing private rent, illegal fees, over-expenditure and illegal expenses, and so on. Many of these problems have not been punished, resulting in repeated violations in some places.

  According to the 2009 audit report, the audit found that there are some common problems. There are four main aspects in the summary: the diversion of funds for misappropriation, the misrepresentation of multi-financed financial funds, the indiscriminate charging of the name and the lax management of public funds. If we look at the audit situation in recent years, these problems are basically reappearance of old problems.
  The use of 4 trillion investments that have been worried about is indeed unsatisfactory. According to the Audit Commission’s announcement on December 29, 2009, the results of the 1981 audit survey on the construction management and use of funds for expanding domestic demand investment projects show that 53 projects do not fully meet environmental protection requirements, accounting for 2.68% of the total number of spot checks. The approval procedures for the occupation or requisition of land for 140 projects are incomplete, accounting for 7.06% of the total number of spot checks. 137 projects were not approved according to the prescribed procedures, changing the construction scale, use or lowering construction standards, accounting for 7.74% of the total number of spot checks. The audit investigation also found that some places applied for government investment subsidies with completed projects.

  According to the audit results announced by the National Audit Office, in addition to not including the income of more than 60 billion yuan of land sales, the local finances still have inaccurate income and expenditure, and less, and inflated fiscal revenue and expenditure. Government revenue is split into “budgetary income” and “extrabudgetary income”, and extrabudgetary funds can be freed from budget management.

  The supervision of the audit system may be the most powerful supervision of the current financial supervision system. However, the audit supervision implements the after-the-fact punishment system, and the loss has been caused when the problem is discovered. A lot of questions are “annual annual audits.” From the audit storm that started in 2004, the shocking effect has become weaker and weaker. According to the announcement of the Audit Commission on December 30, 2009, the results of the 2008 central budget execution and other fiscal revenue and expenditure audits found that the rectification results of 13 central enterprises were initially confirmed due to losses caused by mistakes in decision-making, mismanagement and illegal operation. There are 2.842 billion yuan that cannot be recovered.

  China’s financial supervision system has long been criticized by people. At present, China’s financial supervision mainly relies on the internal supervision of the government, such as the supervision and audit supervision of people’s congresses at various levels. According to China’s Constitution and Budget Law, people’s congresses at all levels should be the most important financial supervision institutions. The government budget cannot be implemented without the approval of the National People’s Congress. The budget work committee of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress also has only 20 people in the district, and most local people’s congresses do not have a special budget supervision agency. The supervision of the budget is almost zero. Moreover, tens of thousands of auditors across the country have to audit the financial status of tens of millions of civil servants and hundreds of thousands of state-owned enterprises, and the manpower is obviously insufficient.
  
  Who will change the pattern of interests?

  The Guangzhou Municipal Finance Bureau announced the budget of 114 municipal departments at the same level, which is regarded as a feat of “sunshine finance”. It can be said that Guangzhou is at the forefront of the country in terms of financial information disclosure, but with the announcement of 114 departments, one The sharp problems of the series were also thrown in front of the financial department of Guangzhou. Publicity is not equal to transparency. After the budget is released, many citizens have said that they “can’t understand” and think that many subjects are not detailed enough. The people actively consult the budget and ask questions to the government to finally realize the democracy of budget formation and deliberation. This is the true meaning of information disclosure.

  It is understood that in Hong Kong, 82 government expenditure items will be listed one by one. The statistics of revenue and expenditure in the past five years are clear at a glance. How do you spend every penny paid by taxpayers? Where can the Hong Kong citizens find detailed data on the SAR Government website? . In the budget, not only the current year’s budget, but also the mid-term forecast for the next five years of income and expenditure, and the coordination of short-term and long-term overall economic planning. The public can pick up the printed version at the designated location on the day the budget is released, or download the entire contents of the budget directly from the website. The budget is not only detailed, but also vivid and easy to understand. In addition to text and data, there are a large number of illustrations, forms and even comics. In Hong Kong, the government’s fiscal budget is not announced to the public after it is released. Instead, it is consulted in stages and in consultation with the public in the process of formulation. This is worth learning from other provinces and cities in China.

  ”Sunshine Finance” should be how to go. In fact, everyone knows well. The hard part is that there has been a lot of resistance. “The reasons for the obstruction are very clear. After the information is disclosed, all parties will express their own demands, and the requirements for government decision-making will be higher. It is more difficult for some government departments to seek local interests or special interests, and to comply with the will of the chief executive. Violation of the public will be greatly hindered.” Jiang Hong said, “Information disclosure itself is actually changing the pattern of the use of fiscal funds, the power structure of the public decision-making process will change, and the original interest pattern will change greatly. At present, public funds are used, public funds are abused, wasted, and things happen in private pockets. Some things may not be meaningful to the people, but they are meaningful to the leadership performance. Such projects occur from time to time. Such things will be greatly reduced, and image projects will certainly be questioned. The supervision of ‘three public’ consumption will inevitably be restricted. It will inevitably affect the interests of some people.”