A payroll sheet for the Shenzhen city government. Local lawmakers feel certain public-sector workers have been paid too much. (Internet Photo)
A report by China's National Audit Office confirming that employees of Shenzhen's residential property rental center earned an average of 300,000 yuan (US$47,508) per year has led to local lawmakers to call for reforms, the Guangdong-based Southern Daily reports.
At the end of 2010, an online user posted a list of the annual salaries of the center's employees, calling them outrageously high for public workers. While officials then said the document could be a forgery, recent media reports citing the National Audit Office's documents have confirmed the allegations.
On Jan. 10, Xiao Geyang, a division chief of the center, told the newspaper that income reforms were completed in 2011, but declined to offer further details. Meanwhile, the website of the center was suspended that day, the newspaper added.
Between July 2008, when the center was established, and the end of 2010, the center transferred 4.44 million yuan (US$703,000) of revenue from its properties into the accounts of its labor union. While 2.16 million yuan (US$342,000) was paid to employees as benefits, the rest of the money was used for leisure activities.
Council members expressed their concern over this when Shenzhen's two main lawmaking bodies recently gathered for their annual session. One of the members, Wu Limin, said authorities should explain the situation to lawmakers, since there was no official response after the situation was brought to light.
Another member, Zhang Hongqiao, said the incident showed that there was a loophole in supervising the use of government-owned assets, while representative Yang Jianchang said the center's practice of paying employees with incomes from public services was inappropriate.
Shenzhen-based lawyer Zeng Luochuan said the government should investigate if any unlawful activity occurred in this case which may indirectly cause losses to state-owned assets. Zeng also said that while employees could be rewarded for their public service, they could not be paid such large amounts, which should go to the government that funds these institutions.