China's government has told its auditors to maintain a clean image after one of their colleagues reportedly died of alcohol poisoning while on an auditing assignment.

"The incident has caused negative influence over the image of audit offices and auditors," the National Audit Office said in a notice reported in Kerala News.

The office said that the incident should sound an alarm to audit offices and auditors, and encouraged them to draw a lesson from the incident of strengthening discipline. "Auditors who violate the discipline must be severely punished," the notice said.

Last week, the NAO said in a statement that controller Zhang Hongtao died from "excessive drinking," when he and the auditing team he worked with attended feasts hosted by a county electricity bureau he was auditing. Zhang, 25, worked with the Yanshan County Audit Office and died in front of a restaurant after attending a banquet given by Yanshan County Electricity Bureau in north China.

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