BEIJING, June 19 (Xinhua) -- China's top statistician Ma Jiantang said Tuesday that the National Statistics Bureau (NBS) will be able to ensure the "authenticity, accuracy, integrity and timeliness" of important data through tightened auditing at various government levels.
The NBS has sent inspection teams to 32 provincial-level governments, 348 city-level governments and 857 county-level governments since 2005, said Ma, director of the NBS, at a national conference on statistical management.
He said the country's statistical management is standing at a new historical starting point and authorities must work to strengthen their statistical capacity, as well as improve the quality of statistics and government data credibility both now and in the future.
The inspection teams are responsible for auditing a slew of major economic data, including the consumer price index and property prices. They will also conduct surveys on impoverished people and migrant workers, according to Ma.
Inaccuracies in statistics once aroused the keen attention of China's top leadership. The State Council, China's Cabinet, held a meeting in October 2004, urging statistics bureaus to provide authentic data that policymakers can refer to.
Also in October 2004, a vice chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, the top legislature, demanded a nationwide campaign to "squeeze out the false elements in statistics."
The top legislature later sent four investigation teams to audit work at provincial statistics bureaus, a move described by news media across the nation as an "authentication storm" sweeping China's statistics field.