Nine officials sent to assess a Three Gorges relocation project in one of China’s poorest counties ran through over 800,000 yuan (about $125,000) during their month-long inspection — four times the original budget. The total included prohibited but evidently enthusiastic spending on tourism, gifts and entertainment. From Caixin:
A June audit of the inspection team’s expenses sparked discreet criticism by local officials who spoke with Caixin on condition of anonymity.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to spend that much money” for a reception to welcome the inspection team, one county party official told Caixin. “I’m not saying 800,000 yuan is astronomical, but you have to look at where the money was spent ….”
The reception and accomodations alone cost 370,000 yuan, which included 90,000 yuan spent on food and drinks at hotels. In addition, the county spent more than 113,000 yuan on gifts, and another 150,000 on alcohol and cigarettes ….
Listed separately were expenses for two cell phones and 10 tablet computers bought supposedly to help the team do its job. The audit said the inspectors “used and kept” the tablet computers ….
… The group also rented an excursion boat, and sailed as far as Chongqing Municipality and Sichuan Province, hundreds of kilometers away.