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Henan Audit: 10 Billion Yuan of Questionable Spending from Disaster Relief Funds

Chinese officials have a reputation for stealing or improperly handling money. Recently, the Henan Province government published an audit report on 2022 provincial-level spending. According to the report, there were about 10 billion Yuan (US$1.4 billion) in improper spending using the relief and reconstruction funds designated following last summer’s floods in the region.

  1. Nine counties, including Qi County, spent 405 million Yuan improperly. Two counties, including Weihui County, saw at total of 31 million Yuan withdrawn from government accounts for personal use.
  2. Some 162 projects, worth about 3.13 billion Yuan, were carried out at a very slow pace. Twenty four cities and counties, including Boai County, were involved in such practices.
  3. Four cities and counties, including Hengchuan County, provided fake status updates on 22 projects totaling about 1.28 billion Yuan. Four cities and counties, including Xinmi County, reported 15 non-existent projects totaling 432 million Yuan in claimed value.
  4. Nine cities and counties, including Xinyang County, put 24 projects, worth 523 million Yuan, in use without any acceptance inspection. Seventy three counties, including Zhengyang County, were involved in projects that failed quality requirements. There were 242 such projects worth a total of 3.35 billion Yuan.
  5. Three counties, including Jun County, obtained 375 million Yuan for 3 projects that did not qualify for disaster relief funding.

Source: Hanan Provincial Audit Department website, July 28, 2023