Auditor a glutton for punishment
Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:11am ET
BEIJING (Reuters) - A 25-year-old auditor in China apparently ate and drank himself to death while he was supposed to be inspecting a government department, a state newspaper said Friday.
Zhang Hongtao went to many banquets organized by a power company in northern China's Hebei province in April, and instead of working did little else but eat, drink, play cards and enjoy massages, the official China Daily said.
He collapsed and died following one of the banquets, after which "his team and two officials from the electricity bureau traveled for a sightseeing tour around east China," the report said.
"Zhang's colleagues said most of them were too upset over the death to stay in the office, so they went to Yangzhou to relax," it added, referring to a city in eastern Jiangsu province renowned for its gardens.
The National Auditors' Office said the incident had "marred the image and influenced the public's trust" of the government body, which is supposed to be at the forefront of a high-profile campaign against corruption.
Auditors are not allowed to be entertained by departments or companies they are inspecting, according to a 2000 rule, the report said.