China's central government spent 7.43 billion yuan ($1.19 billion) on receptions, vehicles and overseas trips last year, down 20 percent from previous year, according to a government report issued on Thursday.
The amount was also 559 million yuan less than the budgeted figure, according to a State Council report on the central government's final accounts for 2012.
The report was submitted to the ongoing bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).
Money on officials' overseas trips totaled 1.95 billion yuan in 2012, 200 million yuan less than the budgeted figure, while 4.07 billion yuan was spent on vehicles and 1.41 billion yuan on receptions, down by 281 million yuan and 78 million yuan, respectively, the report said.
In 2011, central government spending on receptions, vehicles and overseas trips totaled 9.36 billion yuan.
The report attributed the reduction to central government efforts to practice prudence and cut costs.
In 2011, the central government published actual spending on receptions, vehicles and overseas trips in its final accounts report for 2010 for the first time. Government spending in these areas has long been a matter of public concern.
Despite the drop in spending, problems were found regarding central government departments' holding of sessions and organization of overseas trips, according to a 2012 audit report submitted to the legislative session by the country's top auditor on Thursday.