Anti-graft agen­cies set to be re­aligned

China Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­

China’s four-year anti-cor­rup­tion fight will pro­duce a new in­sti­tu­tion, called a su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sion, to in­te­grate sep­a­rate and less ef­fec­tive cor­rup­tion con­trol au­thor­i­ties.

Three pro­vin­cial-level su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions are be­ing as­sem­bled as a test in Bei­jing, Shanxi and Zhe­jiang prov­inces fol­low­ing ap­proval by the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, China’s top leg­is­la­ture, in De­cem­ber.

Whether the pro­gram will be ex­tended is un­cer­tain, but the three test com­mis­sions are ex­pected to be ready by the end of March, ac­cord­ing to the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion, the na­tion’s top anti-cor­rup­tion watch­dog.

The CCDI also said com­mis­sions at city and county lev­els in the three ju­ris­dic­tions will be fin­ished by the end of June.

Le­gal ex­perts call the su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sion a more ef­fi­cient anti-cor­rup­tion in­sti­tu­tion, adding that it will be good to give more struc­ture to the coun­try’s su­per­vi­sory bod­ies.

In a de­par­ture from the frag­mented su­per­vi­sion bod­ies in­side govern­men­tal de­part­ments — such as cor­rup­tion pre­ven­tion bu­reaus and dis­ci­plinary in­spec­tion au­thor­i­ties — the pi­lot pro­gram would have the three re­gions in­te­grate their lo­cal su­per­vi­sory re­sources into the newly built com­mis­sions.

Yang Wei­dong, a law pro­fes­sor with the Chi­nese Academy of Gov­er­nance, said that the fight against cor­rup­tion will be more in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized and the na­tion’s su­per­vi­sory struc­ture much clearer as a re­sult.

Cur­rently, Chi­nese pros­e­cut­ing au­thor­i­ties not only in­ves­ti­gate crimes such as dere­lic­tion

of duty and bribery, they also pros­e­cute the sus­pected of­fend­ers. This mix­ture of func­tions can weaken over­all ef­fec­tive­ness, Yang said.

“For ex­am­ple, the head of the anti-cor­rup­tion bureau within a pros­e­cut­ing au­thor­ity usu­ally is also the au­thor­ity’s deputy chief procu­ra­tor. That may bring graft risks and a neg­a­tive in­flu­ence on the abil­ity to su­per­vise it­self,” he said.

Af­ter the in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sions are formed, the role of in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be sep­a­rated from the pros­e­cut­ing au­thor­i­ties, “which can in­crease mu­tual re­stric­tions be­tween the two func­tions and make our ef­forts against graft more sys­tem­atic,” he added.

Ma Huaide, a law pro­fes­sor at China Univer­sity of Po­lit­i­cal Science and Law, said that the com­mis­sions re­flect a newly emerg­ing su­per­vi­sion struc­ture. In­stead of hav­ing the su­per­vi­sory bod­ies in­side gov­ern­ment of­fices, hav­ing “su­per­vi­sory or­gans in par­al­lel with the gov­ern­ment bod­ies will make the na­tional su­per­vi­sion sys­tem more pow­er­ful.”

The head soft he com­mis­sion­swill be elected by peo­ple’s con­gresses and they will an­swer to the leg­isla­tive body at their own level, as well as to higher-level su­per­vi­sory com­mis­sions, the leg­is­la­ture man­dated.

The pi­lot com­mis­sions are au­tho­rized to su­per­vise, in­ves­ti­gate and pun­ish all pub­lic em­ploy­ees, such as civil ser­vants, in their own re­gion, the leg­is­la­ture said. Also, they have been given 12 tools to do the job, such as in­ter­ro­ga­tion, de­ten­tion and freez­ing as­sets, the leg­is­la­ture said.

Ex­ec­u­tives of Sta­te­owned en­ter­prises and ad­min­is­tra­tors in gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties, such as med­i­cal, cul­tural, re­search, ed­u­ca­tional and sport in­dus­tries, also will fall un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the com­mis­sions.

Wang Qis­han, sec­re­tary of the na­tional Party CCDI, said in Novem­ber that such su­per­vi­sion com­mis­sions are “an­ti­cor­rup­tion agen­cies by their na­ture”.

Since the 18th CPC Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress in 2012, China has stepped up its anti-cor­rup­tion ef­forts, and a se­ries of of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing some at min­is­te­rial level, have stood trial or been sen­tenced in crimes re­lated to their du­ties.

In ad­di­tion, new rules is­sued by the Party over the past few months also demon­strate the strong de­ter­mi­na­tion to fight cor­rup­tion sys­tem­at­i­cally, the ex­perts added.

(The com­mis­sion) can make our ef­forts against graft more sys­tem­atic.” YANG WEI­DONG, a law pro­fes­sor with the Chi­nese Academy of Gov­er­nance

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